With a major role in today’s debuting (Wed., June 3, 2015) “Entourage,” undefeated UFC women’s bantamweight Ronda Rousey is not surprisingly making the rounds to promote her latest part in a high-profile movie.
That’s lead to a multitude of various questions about an overarching range of topics, and the oft-discussed issue of UFC fighter pay came up in a recent interview with longtime media mogul Larry King.
With a class action antitrust suit against the UFC in the headlines for being transferred to Las Vegas last night, a large contingent of fighters are up in arms about their supposedly low pay that will soon get even lower when the highly criticized payouts from the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok go into effect in July.
But as the UFC’s biggest star, ‘Rowdy’ certainly isn’t one of them. Even though she accepted a seemingly low payday of $65,000 to show and $65,000 to win for her shocking 14-second submission of Cat Zingano at February 28’s UFC 184, Rousey obviously makes much of her biggest money from her pay-per-view (PPV) backend points, which are believed to have pushed her UFC 184 haul well past $1 million.
Rousey isn’t sure what other fighters are making, but she’s doing so well that she told King she believes she’ll be within the top five (or top 10) of highest grossing MMA fighters of all-time in just a few more fights:
“Well, I don’t know exactly what everyone else’s contract looks like, but I think within the next few fights I’ll be in the top five to 10 money-making of all time in MMA,” Rousey said. “So I’m paid well.”
That could be an understatement, as much of the UFC’s success may rest on Rousey’s able shoulders right now. Former top PPV draws like Anderson Siva, Georges St. Pierre, and even Jon Jones are on the sidelines and uncertain to return (if they ever do), and the UFC is clearly lacking in top-level stars necessary to keep building momentum for the brand.
Yet with a burgeoning movie career and multimedia opportunities seemingly around every corner, Rousey is already surpassing those massive names in terms of mainstream exposure, and she could soon threaten them in terms of actual fight popularity, as well.
Not bad for a girl who has endless troves of haters around every corner. Then again, that could be what is driving a big part of her success in the first place.