Former UFC champion Daniel Cormier recalls that after his first fight against Jon Jones, UFC president Dana White sent him a cheque for $1 million.
Fighter pay has become a highly publicized and debated topic around the MMA world. Many have been very critical of the money that the UFC pay some of their athletes and some have even called the fighters to band together to form a union to tackle the issue.
When former Champion, Daniel Cormier was on The Pivot podcast discussing fighter pay, he recalled a time when he fought Jon Jones for the first time. After the loss and only receiving his show money, Dana White called Cormier to inform him that they would be sending him a cheque for $1 million.
“Back in 2015, I fought Jon Jones for the first time,” Cormier said. “We had this great build. And I was making $80,000 to show up and $80,000 to win,” “I lost. So I left that arena thinking, ‘All that, and I made $80,000.’ And I made like $80,000 in sponsorship back when we could wear those patches on our shorts. So I was like, ‘Man, for all that, I’m gonna make $150,000. It’s crazy.”
“Dana calls me two days later,” Cormier continued.. “‘Hey, man, you all killed it. Numbers are out of this world.’ He goes, ‘We’re gonna send you a million dollars.’ (This is) 2015. Dude sent me a million-dollar check next day, just because he said I did a great job.”
Cormier would also reveal that the UFC often try to not disclose everything that the UFC would be paying all their fighters and that some of the bigger names in the sport earn serious money.
“So, they try to protect the athlete a little bit by not showing exactly what you make,” Cormier explained. “… A lot of it is hidden. And you also make money on the pay-per-view side. So if you become a guy like Conor (McGregor), like Jones, like Izzy (Adesanya) – you start selling pay-per-views, man, you get $2 a buy, $3 a buy, $4 a buy. Then that money really starts to go.” (H/T MMAJunkie)