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UFC reaction to ESPN about fighter pay

Russello
Russello
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01.16.2012 | 12:56 PM ET


Despite the fact I get to watch the cards in the UK for literally nothing on ESPN, they've been complete ****s trying to claim they've 'exposed' the small pay the fighters get. Danas reaction:

Original article with ESPN:  http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/page/UFCpay/ufc-fighters-say-low-pay-most-painful-hit-all  

What complete bellends ESPN are. Heres the reported salaries for 141: http://mmajunkie.com/news/26760/ufc-141-salaries-overeem-386k-lesnar-400k-lead-1-4-million-payroll.mma

The smallest earners earned $8,000. Lets just say they fight 4 times a year, something that is unheard of and is common for smaller fighters. Thats $32,000 to do the job the love doing. They dont have to get a job on the side but they can fight for a living. Its not going to be a wealthy existence but theyre not going to be starving. Then, a win bonus can easily double a fighters pay. This isnt even covering sponsorship or possible FOTN bonuses. Im not going to write a full page about this because I know none of you are ******s and appreciate everything i've already said, I just liked the interview for Matt Serras head.

* Edited at 01.16.2012, 1:11 PM ET *

"In the quiet words of the virgin Mary.. come again?"

Responses

inspektor_voss
inspektor_voss
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01.16.2012 | 1:27 PM ET

Thanks for the links! I was just about to post that too... ;-)

* Edited at 01.16.2012, 1:32 PM ET *

"Dogs cannot accumulate sausages."

Russello
Russello
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01.16.2012 | 3:56 PM ET

@inspektor_voss, Gotta be quicker aha :P If Bayern were, they could have Reus right now ;)

"In the quiet words of the virgin Mary.. come again?"

Lopati
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01.16.2012 | 4:13 PM ET

I have been reviewing the fighter pay over night and am working on a document that will really analyze how the UFC has improved their pay to fighters.  Getting access to all the info is proving to be difficult but am continuing to research this and will be providing a write-up summary of what I think they have done to improve as well as areas that they could improve more.

There are UFCs 135-142, they have a green tag at top, UFCs 88,91,92,94 & 96 have a turquoise tag and UFCs 56-60 ave a blue tag.  I chose to look at events that were both early in the ZUFFA reign, the middle and the most recent events.  I am working on non-ppv events currently and they will be added.  

The numbers are all gross not net and I think I have the accurate ppv price for each particular event.  Thanks for taking a look.  will have the right up later tonight or in the morning on Tuesday.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12YfNznMTNwfwaXuTms_O1vfomTbeDqxeSwpK6CcnhE0/edit?hl=en_US

* Edited at 01.16.2012, 4:17 PM ET *

"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted. If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it." Jose Ortega y Gasset

logan48227
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01.16.2012 | 7:17 PM ET

@Lopati I just looked at your numbers for UFC 142 & had a question. Does Gabriel Gonzaga really make more than double what Jose Aldo does? I know there's extra bonuses & whatnot, especially for champions, but that just shocked me.

"You have respect, you don't lose your teeth"

POPMYTRUNK
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01.17.2012 | 11:24 AM ET

Aldo was the main event, so I'm assuming he got a cut of the PPV money

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SoccerKick
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01.17.2012 | 11:59 AM ET

Is Aldo really a $24/$24 guy? That surprises me! I figured he'd at least hit $100k with a win in a fight!

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Piercerdan
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01.17.2012 | 12:20 PM ET

@lopati, the ufc doesnt get the whole chunk for ppv price.  Id bet they get about half from the cable companies.  Also what does the stadium cost to book for the night? And then on top of all that the staff, the commissions, etc.  I like that you are putting that together but its not quite accurate.

"Fact: knowledge or info based on real occurrences, opinion: a belief held with confidence not substantiated by proof."

zarog
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01.17.2012 | 12:38 PM ET

Has anybody seen the Sean McCorkle interview about this? Pretty interesting. It's onMMATorch right now

"Surrender??!! You think this letter on my head stands for France?" - Captain America

Bigj383
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01.17.2012 | 12:49 PM ET

When keeping in mind that UFC only Grosses half of the revenue from PPV those numbers shift drastically. If you watch Ferttita's full 47 minute interview he makes mention that UFC has currently 29 fighter that receive a PPV%. I would assume all the champions fall into that category as well as any of the big draws. Fighters aren't the only people they have to pay, they are a multi national company and staff over hundreds of non fighter employees. Plus unlike like most sports UFC handles all production cost where in Boxing the networks take the production cost. The full uncut interview with Lorenzo is informative.

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Lopati
Lopati
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01.17.2012 | 2:02 PM ET

@Logan, these are just the salaries for showing and winning.  Since bonuses are subjective I did not want to include them in their salary.  Also doesn't have their exact contract info as to PPV or other pay.

@PiercedDan, yeah they don't get the whole cut but getting the exact figures is taking me some time.  that was just an original document that I created in order to create a comparison from when they first hit the profit era of UFC and now.

Fees that I have not included and am looking for:
1. Commission Fees
2. Venue Cost
3. Ring Girl Rates
4. Fighter Pay besides Show/Win
5. Supplemental UFC Staff Costs
6. Exact PPV split
7. Ad Revenue (which in 2005 was $3500 for a 30 second spot)


That original document is more than likely the one that ESPN would have used to make some of the accusations that they made.  As several of you have mentioned this is an inaccurate division of the revenue, but I needed a starting point and am working on filling in the gaps.  

Just bare with me while I finish this process.  Thanks for the feedback, it is appreciated.

* Edited at 01.17.2012, 2:04 PM ET *

"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted. If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it." Jose Ortega y Gasset

Russello
Russello
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01.17.2012 | 6:38 PM ET

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1028284-espn-completely-off-base-sean-mccorkle-gives-the-real-story-of-ufc-fighter-pay

Sean McCorkles take on it. Gives alot of insight, worth the 2 minute read.

"In the quiet words of the virgin Mary.. come again?"

zarog
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01.17.2012 | 6:45 PM ET

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApVee-H2gnCudHBNem1FWExNa2I2Yzg5YmUtVXloZ3c&hl=en_US#gid=0


A little something I did for fighter pay. You would think the less than 2 hours it took me to do this would have been a good use of some time from ESPN. ESPN is really terrible at investigating things in my eyes, if they couldn't even bring up these basic numbers. Clearly, this doesn't encompass everything, but it still shows some interesting data. I also low-balled how much they make on PPV because 50% is what is considered typical. If you take an average of 
$51 per PPV buy, it would actually be $25.50. I set it to $20. Sponsorship and undisclosed bonuses are not included. The only reason I did not have more events is because there was no available data for fighter pay that was official. I also cannot say how much revenue was made on network or cable television deals. I also low-balled the one marked gate revenue (UFC 134) at $100 per seat, even though the average from the other events is nearly $200. Anyway, just thought the numbers would be interesting to discuss instead of 100% speculation; even though these numbers are incomplete they still allow for a starting point.

* Edited at 01.17.2012, 6:55 PM ET *

"Surrender??!! You think this letter on my head stands for France?" - Captain America

Lopati
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01.17.2012 | 7:01 PM ET

@Logan, Gonzaga has been a 6 figure salary guy for a couple years now.

@zarog can't access your document fella

"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted. If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it." Jose Ortega y Gasset

Piercerdan
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01.17.2012 | 7:28 PM ET

heavy weights always get paid more because they attract a bigger crowd.  Everyone wants to see the heavies go at it.

"Fact: knowledge or info based on real occurrences, opinion: a belief held with confidence not substantiated by proof."

Piercerdan
Piercerdan
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01.17.2012 | 7:39 PM ET

enjoyed mccorkle's take on it and good for him stating whats real. 

"Fact: knowledge or info based on real occurrences, opinion: a belief held with confidence not substantiated by proof."

zarog
zarog
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01.17.2012 | 7:50 PM ET

@Lopati Sorry, don't think I had set it to public viewing. Now I have.

"Surrender??!! You think this letter on my head stands for France?" - Captain America

Lopati
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01.18.2012 | 12:26 AM ET



https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sWrUkmhITOSdgT0KYfUGfH1ZOBbabH9RbYqe0m64xVo/edit


any feedback is welcomed.

* Edited at 01.18.2012, 2:57 AM ET *

"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted. If one were to present the sportsman with the death of the animal as a gift he would refuse it." Jose Ortega y Gasset

logan48227
logan48227
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01.18.2012 | 6:51 AM ET

@Lopati That would explain why he didn't have many fights after the UFC let him go last year. Lower-tier orgs probably couldn't afford him.

"You have respect, you don't lose your teeth"


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