Aljamain Sterling Reveals He Made $400,000 Before Taxes At UFC 273, Questions Michael Chandler On Fighter Pay

Aljamain Sterling
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Undisputed UFC bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling has revealed that before taxes and expenses, he received a $400,000 payday for his successful title defense and unification win over Petr Yan at UFC 273 in the pair’s rematch, questioning recent thoughts from UFC lightweight, Michael Chandler on the infamous fighter pay issue.

Sterling, who co-headlined the April pay-per-view event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida – confirmed that he received a payday in the region of $400,000 for his victory over the Dudinka native, however, likely walked away with $110,000 in pocket following taxes and expenses.

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“Full disclosure, my last fight, I made $400,000,” Aljamain Sterling told MMA Fighting during a recent interview. “That’s before taxes, that’s before i paid my coaches, that’s before expenses, and I owed money in taxes from last year. Because of COVID and everything, the things I had to do for my personal side of that, I had to do with family and take care of family and pay stuff, remodeling this, remodeling that, so I owed money.”

“I probably walked way with about $110,000,” Aljamain Sterling explained. “Now I get to spend that, and I have to budget it, and I’ve got to put away money for savings, and put away stuff for my investments, so not I have to budget all this out to make sure I don’t go broke. So it sounds like, ‘You made a sh*t ton of money,’ and yes and no.”

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Aljamain Sterling took umbrage with Michael Chandler’s recent comments on the issue of fighter pay

Previously, playing down the issue of fighter pay and compensation in the organization, one-time lightweight title challenger, Chandler pointed to the fact that UFC president, Dana White has had many sleepless nights in order to make sure the promotion succeeded, while fighters only had to worry about training and competing.

“Michael Chandler fought for Bellator, he made a sh*t ton of money for Bellator, he was a world champion in Bellator, (and) I think he was also a national champion at the Division I level, so he has all those things going for him,” Aljamain Sterling said. “The average fighter comes up, they’re not a wrestler, they’re not a national champion, they didn’t become a Bellator champion, they don’t have all those credentials and accolades, they don’t come from money – I’m not saying Michael Chandler comes from money, I don’t know anything about his backstory, but he doesn’t understand the situation of the other fighters.”

“Clearly, he doesn’t understand this, because he wouldn’t have said what he said if he did – the backstory of the other fighters that aren’t making the type of money that Michael Chandler is making, and that’s the difference.”

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“Once he looks at it from a different perspective, I think he would change what he was saying,” Aljamain Sterling said. “But him saying Dana White had 10,000 sleepless nights, Michael Chandler, you’ve been competing since you were out of the womb pretty much. What about all your sleepless nights of training, cutting weight? What about all the other fighters training, cutting weight? You can’t say all we do is go to the gym, train, sleep and repeat. Some of us have second jobs.”

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“I had a second job all the way through my career until after I beat ‘Tanquino” (Augusto Mendes), after two split decision losses,” Aljamain Sterling said. “I have a college degree. I would have been potentially making more money doing that in the beginning of my career if I had just stuck to that and I’d have been making more money than what I was making if I had just stuck to fighting.”