UFC veteran Sam Alvey claims fighters get paid ‘Way more than we deserve’: ‘They’re paying us more than fair’

Sam Alvey claims UFC fighters get paid way more than they deserve paid fairly

Former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight Sam Alvey doesn’t think fighter pay is much of a problem.

Alvey fought in the UFC from 2014 until 2023 and went 10-13-1 in the promotion, but ended his tenure going 0-8-1. Despite his struggles, the UFC kept him around, which he is thankful for as he knows the promotion pays fighters more than they deserve.

Sam Alvey UFC 2
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“The UFC pays us way more than we deserve,” Sam Alvey told Ultimate Punching (via MMAFighting). “You have some of the superstars like the [Justin] Gaethje’s and the [Max] Holloway’s and the Jon Jones’, those guys get paid what they get paid. But most of the card gets paid way more than we’re worth.”

Although some fighters have complained about the pay, Alvey isn’t one of them. Instead, he says he was treated more than fair and points ot his first win in the UFC and the compensation he got.

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“My first win in the UFC was over in Australia,” Alvey said. “They flew me and my corner out there, and then they flew my opponent, his corner out there. We got off the plane, they gave us $1000, they get off the plane, give them $1000. “We did the math and by the end of our fight, the UFC probably spent $50,000 to $70,000 on our fight and didn’t make a penny off us. I mean, nobody tuned in to watch ‘Smilin’’ Sam Alvey. Nobody tuned in to watch Dylan Andrews. They still paid me $70,000, or they paid ‘us,’ to have us fight, $70,000. It’s a crazy amount. We did nothing to deserve that.”

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Sam Alvey says UFC takes a bet on fighters

Sam Alvey points to several UFC fighters not becoming stars and washing out of the promotion after a couple of fights, which actually costs the UFC money.

Sam Alvey Karate Combat
Mandatory Credit: Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire

With that, Alvey says when fighters get to the UFC they are paid more than what they deserve as not many fans know the debuting fighters.

“They paid that with the hopes we’d become the Max Holloway’s or the Conor McGregor’s, or ‘Smilin’’ Sam, like I eventually did,” Sam Alvey continued. “But they’re putting a big bet on that in the beginning.

Sam Alvey UFC 2 1
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“As you rise in the rankings, they pay you more and more and more. Now, people also overestimate how many people watch the UFC. We are still — as much as I have made in my career, my passion, and my love, and I’m surrounded by UFC — it is still such a small sport in the grand scheme of things.”

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“The biggest event you could ever imagine, which was Conor vs. Khabib [Nurmagomedov], they fit it in the MGM, there was like 15,000 to 17,000 people there. In a mid-season worthless game, the NBA has close to 50,000 people there. It’s ridiculous to compare the sports. They’re paying us more than fair and they’re taking a big risk with every fighter they have.”

Since being released from the UFC, Alvey has been competing in Karate Combat.