How Much Do UFC Referees Earn?

Although the center of each UFC fight is fixated upon the fighters, there is no denying that UFC referees play a vital role in each event.

UFC, being the biggest promoter of MMA fights, earns a lot in every fight. Therefore, it is a natural tendency to give back, not only to the fighters, but also to their referees through an extraordinary compensation.

Just like how UFC fighters are paid based on their popularity, the same factor is also considered among the referees. However, the main focus isn’t on popularity, but on the career level of each referee.

 Now, let’s cut down the chase, and see for ourselves how much pay each referee receives.

How much do UFC referees make per fight?
SAN JOSE, CA – JULY 26: Referee John McCarthy signals the start of round four between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the SAP Center on July 26, 2014 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The Average Payout

As you might’ve guessed, referees don’t receive a fixed salary for their day-to-day service. In fact, they are allowed to act as a referee in several promotions but obviously, working for UFC events will pay the most amount.

To add, they don’t earn their salary on a monthly basis, but on each and every fight they work on. The good thing is get paid extra to call the big PPV fights and main events.

According to a source, the minimum wage a referee can earn is 250 dollars per fight – and from that point onwards, the pay increases as he becomes more seasoned. While most of these details are hidden, John McCarthy made $1,900 to call the clash between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. 

Considering that UFC hosts a lot of events in a day, a referee can also earn a hefty amount of money daily.

how much UFC referees make in a year?

The Professional Payout

UFC referees, particularly the ones who have already achieved the highest point of their professionalism, receive a base pay of almost two thousand dollars. These professional referees are match officials with over three to five years of experience in the cage.

As to say, they are already well-versed when it comes to UFC’s rules and regulations. And so, if their yearly earnings sum up to over four hundred thousand dollars, then it is surely a case of hard work paid off.

The Female Payout

Firstly, I’d say it is amazing how female referees aren’t stereotyped in any way inside the octagon. That being so, they are very much welcomed to practice their expertise in this industry.

In terms of their base pay, the minimum amount they can get is less than five hundred dollars for each and every fight.

For your reference, let’s talk about the most famous woman official in the UFC – the mighty Kim Winslow. A whopping one thousand dollars is paid to her in each event she commits into.

To say the least, she had a very interesting career whose career kickstarted through Strikeforce. Perhaps one of the famous events she attended was the fight between Nick Osipczak and Frank Lester. As such, she was said to earn a pile of money in cash.

The best thing about her career is the inclusivity that follows thereafter. As she rose to fame, UFC became more open towards accepting female referees in the future. In fact, any female referee who chooses to join the organization will automatically get one thousand dollars $1k per fight because of her advocacy.

The Entry-Level Payout

Just like any entry-level employee in any field, they typically earn the least amount of money. More or less, rookie referees earn a base pay of two hundred fifty dollars per fight.

To be frank, they don’t get as many matches as the other referees get, but they hold complete official duties for the under-card fights.

This is a very difficult level since they have to show off in each event just so they get contacted for more matches. But, at the end of the day, everyone starts from this level, right?

Final Words

A UFC referee’s role is not an easy job. Therefore, these people deserve to be properly compensated, just like the fighters.

So, if you are a UFC fanatic and would want to work for the organization without having the need to receive kicks and so on, then perhaps you should consider this one instead.

Overall, the work of a UFC referee is more than just peeking or watching how the fight goes. They scrutinize the fighters’ action, call out illegal executions, and finally help in ensuring a fair and non-dirty match. 

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