One of the biggest criticisms that mixed martial arts (MMA) receives is how much fighters are paid.
For example, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone only made $200,000 for his pay-per-view (PPV) headliner against Conor McGregor last month. While that’s certainly a large number in the grand scheme of things, many argue that Cerrone should’ve made a lot more for fighting the biggest star in the sport. Also, some fighters who find themselves in legal issues, or other financial issues, result to selling fight gear or working odd jobs to make ends meet.
According to a report from The New York Post, the UFC is only paying its fighter 16 percent of its total revenue, as of 2019. The report reads that fighters only cost the UFC less than $150 million last year. That is 16 percent of the company’s total $900 million in revenue. Other sports leagues such as Major League Baseball (MLB) or the National Football League (NFL) pay their fighters around 48 to 50 percent.
Endeavor president Mark Shapiro offered the following comments on the matter.
“It’s different league by league,” Shapiro said. “We pay our fighters significantly more than any other MMA organization. They deserve it. Fighter compensation has gone up commensurately with the success of UFC.”
Although fighters are making 16 percent, celebrity investors are getting some nice payouts. The report reads, “Ultimate Fighting Championship is draining its cash reserves to fund big payouts to celebrity investors — even as its fighters gripe that they are vastly underpaid, The Post has learned.
“The mixed martial arts giant has approved a massive $300 million dividend to UFC’s investors — a star-studded list that includes Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Gisele Bündchen, Ben Affleck and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, sources said.”
What do you think about the UFC only paying fighters 16 percent of their 2019 revenue?