The subject of fighter pay in mixed martial arts has recently worked its way back into the news thanks to Francis Ngannou’s move from the UFC to the PFL.
Ngannou’s new deal includes a guaranteed $2 million for his PFL opponents.
Based on information that was recently released about the UFC’s financials, it seems there is a need in MMA for more fighters to start looking out for each other.
According to Bloody Elbow’s John S Nash, the UFC had record profits last year, but their fighters still only took home 13% of the organization’s revenue.
13% share? Fighters paid even less, UFC profits skyrocket and beat every MMA and boxing promoter combined (@heynottheface) https://t.co/rhOlcQMB2M pic.twitter.com/ObyGUVNwPg
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) May 22, 2023
While Nash believes that the UFC made more of a profit than all other promoters in MMA and boxing combined, they still find themselves lagging far behind all other major sports organizations in the US in terms of paying their athletes.
Only paying fighters 13% of revenues in an organization that just made their most money ever is ridiculous.
Other major sports in the US see their athletes take home at least 50% of revenue every year.
The perfect example of how ridiculous the UFC fighter pay issue is came this weekend. Themba Gorimbo won a unanimous decision over Takashi Sato to take home his first UFC win.
After the fight, Gorimbo revealed that he had about 7 dollars in his bank account before the fight.
Even after securing the win, Gorimbo likely isn’t going to be in a great place financially.
With his fight taking place in Vegas, we won’t be getting any info on his pay for the fight, but he likely made 10K to show and 10K for the win. He’ll lose some of that to taxes. He’ll lose some of it to his agent. Then he has to pay his corner.
He’ll also be spending that money on his next fight camp and he’ll have to hope the UFC can get him back in the cage quickly.
Even though Dana White likes to pretend it doesn’t exist, there is definitely a huge pay issue in the UFC and we can only hope more fighters like Francis Ngannou start making negotiations more difficult for them so maybe something actually changes.