Israel Adesanya believes it’s time for UFC performance bonuses to see an increase with inflation becoming an issue across the country.
The $50,000 bonuses were first introduced in its streamlined form in 2014, though bonuses have been part of the organization dating back to 2006. Fighters can usually bag the extra payout for delivering a highlight-reel-worthy finish or competing in a particular event’s Fight of the Night. While it’s a nice chunk of change to take home in addition to their base pay, the amount has significantly diminished in value due to the alarming increase in inflation over recent years.
Speaking to social media sensation and WWE Superstar Logan Paul, Israel Adesanya believes the UFC needs to increase the performance bonuses on a more permanent basis.
“My knockouts alone are worth $50,000,” Adesanya said on the IMPAULSIVE podcast. “Alone, that’s knockouts, alone. Like my last one, bonus. I’ve said this, the UFC, sometimes they bump it up to $100(k) for certain cards. UFC 200 I think or UFC 100 they did, bonuses were $100k. When I knock someone I normally get a bonus, so I’m like my knockouts are worth $50,000.”
Adesanya has earned a performance bonus for all five of his knockouts inside the Octagon, his most recent coming against long-time rival Alex Pereira at UFC 287 in April.
Israel Adesanya Believes It’s Time For Bonuses to Go Up Following the Promotion’s Merger with WWE Into a $21 Billion Business
The UFC has, on occasion, increased the performance bonuses from the standard $50,000 to $75,000 and $100,000 though those are typically reserved for special events like the ones Israel Adesanya mentioned. During its return to the UK in March 2021, the UFC handed out a performance bonus to nine individual fighters for delivering finishes in what turned out to be one of the best cards of the year. Though again, that was a fairly unique situation and not something a fighter can typically count on.
Israel Adesany also believes the $50,000 should be increased based on the promotion’s recent merger with World Wrestling Entertainment, forming a singular business entity worth a staggering $21 billion.
“The UFC and WWE merger, $21.4 billion dollar company,” Adesanya continued. “I’m like, ‘Yo, they can go up.’ It’s been a few years, inflation has been going up. The bonus got to go up, that’s how I feel. But, I’ve told them this, I’ve said this publicly, it’s nothing crazy.”
Israel Adesanya’s criticism comes shortly after reports revealed that the promotion’s revenue share with athletes is embarrassingly low when compared to other major sports organizations, including the MLB, NBA, and NHL who hover around 50%. The UFC is reportedly sharing a meager 13-15% of its revenue with athletes.