The UFC Fighters’ Pay Scale

UFC fights can get pretty intense sometimes. And perhaps, it leads you to ask questions like, “Why do these people willingly take all those hits?” A few moments later, you arrive at the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, the pay is worth the pain.

UFC, as the big-ticket sport that it is, makes sure that every punch, strike, and kick are worth fighting for. Aside from the prize possession of pride victory, the take home cash is undeniably enormous – considering that the fight doesn’t even last for a day.

If you are curious to know how much do your UFC idols receive in every fight – win or loss – then you have to keep on reading. Now, we shall break down every centavo that gets into their pockets.

how much does the average UFC fighter gets paid?

The Standard Payout

There are different factors that can determine a UFC fighter’s worth. This may include popularity, MMA records, winning rate, etc. Take a look at Conor McGregor for example, he brings in an enormous crowd whenever his fight is on play. Hence, it is obvious why the UFC organization pays him a lot.

The standard payout of UFC fighters is more or less 147,965 dollars – and this amount, mind you, is considerably small against fighters like Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Israel Adesanya.

The obvious reason is their popularity in mainstream media. Therefore, if you want to get out of the average pay scale, then you might as well invest in captivating the audience with your charm.

How much money do UFC fighters make?

The Minimum Wage

Now, if we were to go specific, then I guess it’s safe to say that each fighter has their own base salary for making weight and fighting. Apart from the abovementioned factors, a fighter’s base pay can also be negotiated with the UFC facilitators.

This privilege of negotiation is given considering that UFC fighters, by nature, are all independent contractors. But still, the more popular the fighter, the more opportunity to demand for a higher pay.

For example, we have here Nate Diaz whose base salary is a whopping twenty thousand dollars. This amount of money was what he got after his fight against Michael Johnson.

A few seasons later, Nate Diaz emerged successfully and became a superstar. Therefore, he used his privilege to negotiate and demand a higher pay for fights he commits into. Now, his base salary of 20,000 turned into 250,000 dollars for just one fight. What a glow up, right?

For what it’s worth, there is additional compensation for those fighters whose base pay isn’t really high to begin with. This is the so-called win bonus.

Let’s make Nate Diaz again as our example. Before his ultra-fame, he had a twenty thousand dollars win bonus on top of his twenty thousand dollars standard payout. Thus, in each fight he takes part in, he brings home a total of forty thousand dollars.

Sponsorships And Endorsements

This is not exactly new, is it? Sponsorships and endorsements are given to UFC and the fighters whose personalities are displayed worldwide.

Way back in 2015, an exclusive sponsorship deal between UFC and Reebok was signed into a deal. Therefore, during the night fights, the logo of Reebok is plastered all over the UFC’s channel.

As we all know, night fights are the most profitable and cost-effective time for sponsors to appear in favor of everyone. This is because a lot of people, for some reason, choose to watch television during the night.

But this Reebok-UFC relationship isn’t exactly good from the UFC fighters’ perspective since they no longer have other sponsors than Reebok. To aid such conflict, Reebok pledges to pay each fighter an amount based on how many fights they’ve had so far in the organization.

The Reebok pay isn’t much, but it is a good range of 3,500 dollars to 40,000 dollars per fight. That is already a good deal, right?

As for the endorsements, the same rule applies; the more popular you are as a UFC fighter, the more endorsements you will receive – and ultimately, a bigger pay.

Bonuses, Fines and PPV Points

When talking about how much a UFC fighter earns, it is important to take note of these three money-making ventures for them: bonuses, fines, and PPV points.

Starting off with bonuses, this is not the same with win bonuses. In fact, performance bonuses are categorized into two: 1.) “Fight of The Night” bonus and 2.) “Performance of the Night” bonus. These are typically bestowed after a fight card ends.

In total, four people will have the chance to get these bonuses where an individual payout of fifty thousand dollars will be awarded. Sometimes, one person will get two bonuses and receive an extra $100,000. 

Another one is the so-called backroom bonus, which is, according to its name, paid behind closed doors. Typically, the UFC organization awards a certain amount of money to the fighters for whichever reason. Because of the nature of this payout, the amount remains mysterious.

And now, let’s go over the fines. Now, this is not your regular fine-paying practice when you jaywalk or the like. This interesting part of MMA is that when the opponent misses weight, they will be sanctioned or fined a certain amount of money.

This fine will be deducted from their salary and will be given to the other fighter. So, fines can be a source of income for UFC fighters, too.

Lastly, let’s talk about the PPV or pay-per-view points. Basically, it means exactly what it sounds like. When a PPV package is selected, you have the power to watch games on a pay-per-view basis. Technically, you are paying for each individual show that you watch on that specific PPV channel.

As a result, this gives the fighters a chance to make millions. However, only selected people will be able to accumulate such points. In simpler terms, as the audiences pay for a PPV, there will be a small percentage of money that gets into the fighters’ bank account.  As such, earning through PPV points are only common with well-seasoned and famous fighters. 

Final Words

You see, UFC fighting is just like any other profession. UFC fighters work hard to get a pay that they deserve.

To simply put, if an office setting is where you earn your monthly salary, then the octagon is where the UFC fighters grind to earn a living. 

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