Through the UFC antitrust lawsuit documents that were unsealed, Bloody Elbow was previously able to reveal the likely full payouts given to several of the highest paid UFC stars such as Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey and others.
These previously unreleased figures would include total amount the UFC paid to their athletes for each fight, including any non-disclosed side deals and cut of the pay-per-view sales.
Bloody Elbow has since done a deeper dive into this “Internal Zuffa Bout Compensation” list and have identified more payouts for dozens of former UFC champions.
How did we figure out the likely payouts of all these UFC fighters?
As noted earlier, an appendix from the unsealed Roger D. Blair’s expert report had an “Internal Zuffa Bout Compensation” that listed the payouts to every UFC fighter from 2011 to 2016.
Individual fighter names weren’t listed, but the report does include how many bouts that fighter has had in the UFC at that point, along with how many fighters received such a payout. That alone made it easy to identify many of the top earners from the UFC.
For example, while it might be hard to identify one of the 4 fighters who were paid $27,000 for their 7th fight in the UFC in 2016, it’s easier to surmise that the outlying UFC debutant in 2016 with a $1,042,736 payout was CM Punk. Or that the only possible candidate for a fighter earning $4,374,326 in his 18th UFC fight in 2013 would have been Anderson Silva.
Combining information from disclosed purses from lawsuits, athletic commissions, along with some sources of Bloody Elbow’s business expert John Nash, we were able to make a fairly educated guess to identify the most likely purses for dozens more UFC champions.
It’s worth noting that while many of the biggest totals match our other sources, there could always be inaccuracies and human error involved in these sheets — like how former heavyweight UFC champion Cain Velasquez’s payout for his 14th UFC fight was listed as the 15th bout instead.
That being said, here’s we saw after doing a deeper dive into the document.
Median UFC payout was $29,000 during class period
John S. Nash compiled some interesting statistics looking at the overall payouts from the entire class period.
From 2011-2016, there were 5004 total bout compensations.
Total compensation: $505,028,484
Lowest pay: $4,000 for one fighter on his third fight in 2011
Highest pay: $8,000,000 for Brock Lesnar in 2016
Mean Average: $100,925
Median Average: $29,000
Average UFC payouts per year
600 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $65,315,210
Mean Average: $108,859
Median Average: $14,500
682 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $59,996,307
Mean Average: $87,971
Median Average: $25,000
773 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $82,064,874
Mean Average: $106,164
Median Average: $20,000
1018 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $62,722,405
Mean Average: $61,613
Median Average: $25,000
945 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $98,346,976
Mean Average: $104,071
Median Average: $29,000
986 total bout compensations
Total compensation: $136,582,712
Mean Average: $138,522
Median Average: $36,000
Likely payouts for 33 former UFC champions
Once again these figures listed for UFC champions represent their full payouts, including any non-disclosed side deals and cut of the pay-per-view sales.
$125,000 vs. Junior dos Santos — Disclosed purse: $80,000 (30K+50K bonus)
$692,736 vs. Alistair Overeem — Disclosed purse: $650,000 (600K+50K bonus)
$475,000 or $1,119,166 vs. Antonio Silva 2 — Disclosed purse: $400,000
$350,000 vs. Travis Browne — Disclosed purse: $350,000 ($300K+50K bonus)
There seems to be a minor error on the sheet, listing this as the 15th fight for Cain, but should’ve been 14th.
Junior dos Santos
$450,000 or $762,251 vs. Cain Velasquez 2 — Disclosed purse: $400,000
$335,000 vs. Stipe Miocic — Disclosed purse: $310,000 (130K/130K+50K bonus)
$400,000 or $475,000 vs. Roy Nelson — Disclosed purse: $250,000 (125K/125K)
$480,000 or $583,377 vs. Junior dos Santos — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$415,000 vs. Daniel Cormier — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$415,000 vs. Josh Barnett — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$415,000 vs. Alistair Overeem
$450,000 or $470,000 vs. Antonio Silva — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$475,000 vs. Todd Duffee — Disclosed purse: $250,000 (200K+50K bonus)
$110,000 vs. Andrei Arlovski
$400,000 vs. Mark Hunt
$225,000 vs. Frank Mir — Disclosed purse: $225,000
$250,000 or $260,000 vs. Stipe Miocic — Disclosed purse: $250,000
$275,000 vs. Alistair Overeem
$220,000 vs. Roy Nelson
$1,750,000 or $1,396,544 vs. Lyoto Machida
$820,370 vs. Ryan Bader — Disclosed purse: $525,000 (450K+75K bonus)
$1,221,632 vs. Rashad Evans
$1,396,544 or $1,750,000 vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
$2,542,792 vs. Forrest Griffin — Disclosed purse: $325,000 (250K+75K bonus)
Griffin fight was part of the Sonnen vs. Silva 2 card.
$1,140,000 vs. Jon Jones 1
$630,000 or 1,000,000 vs. Anthony Johnson 1 — Disclosed purse: $230,000 (90K/90K+50K bonus)
$390,000 or $464,286 vs. Alexander Gustafsson
$2,048,343 vs. Anderson Silva — Disclosed purse: $500,000
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
$862,850 or $1,176,108 vs. Matt Hamill — Disclosed purse: $250,000
$857,143 or $1,705,969 vs. Jon Jones
$1,100,000 vs. Fabio Maldonado
$537,000 or $1,300,000 vs. Jon Jones — Disclosed purse: $300,000
$300,000 vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira — Disclosed purse: $300,000
$515,000 vs. Dan Henderson
$550,000 vs. Chael Sonnen — Disclosed purse: $250,000 (125K/125K)
$500,000 vs. Rich Franklin — Disclosed purse: $275,000 (125K/150K)
$575,000 vs. Tito Ortiz — Disclosed purse: $350,000 (125K/150K+75K bonus)
$600,000 or $1,000,000 vs. James Te Huna
$285,000 or $530,000 vs. Dan Henderson 2
$195,000 or $550,000 vs. Ovince Saint Preux
$329,000 vs. Randy Couture
$400,000 vs. Ryan Bader — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$200,000 vs. Phil Davis
$800,000 vs. Mark Munoz
$207,000 or $550,000 vs. Gegard Mousasi
$550,000 vs. Chris Weidman — Disclosed purse: $250,000 (200K+50K bonus)
$675,000 vs. CB Dollaway
$525,000 vs. Luke Rockhold
$200,000 or $500,000 vs. Yoel Romero — Disclosed purse: $200,000
$500,000 vs. Jon Jones
$650,000 vs. Michael Bisping
$750,000 vs. Luke Rockhold
$850,000 vs. Dan Henderson
$1,967,908 vs. Anderson Silva 2 — Disclosed purse: $500,000 (300K/200K)
$793,688 vs. Lyoto Machida — Disclosed purse: $500,000 (225K/225K+50K bonus)
$707,301 vs. Vitor Belfort — Disclosed purse: $500,000 (250K/250K)
$2,073,083 vs. Luke Rockhold — Disclosed purse: $325,000 (275K+50K bonus)
Rockhold bout was part of the McGregor vs. Aldo card.
$155,000 or $250,000 vs. Costas Philippou — Disclosed purse: $130,000 (40k/40k+50k bonus)
$225,000 vs. Lyoto Machida
$630,000 or $1,000,000 vs. Chris Weidman — Disclosed purse: $210,000 (80K/80K+50k bonus)
$320,000 vs. Michael Bisping — Disclosed purse: $250,000
$375,000 or $400,000 vs. Jorge Rivera
$425,000 vs. Jason Miller — Disclosed purse: $425,000 (275K/150K)
$300,000 vs. Chael Sonnen
$425,000 vs. Brian Stann
$300,000 vs. Vitor Belfort
$450,000 vs. Alan Belcher
$1,833,000 vs. Josh Koscheck
Koscheck bout was part of the Jones vs. Rampage event.
Read the rest of the post over at our Substack, where we have much more payouts from 14 other UFC champions across five divisions.
The complete list includes just about every UFC champion that fought in that period, including some of the most dominant fighters from different eras of the sport.
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