Dana White Assures that UFC is “Not Doing Away with the Fight of the Night Bonuses”

July 16, 2013
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UFC President Dana WhiteHow much people make, no matter their profession, is almost always a topic of contention. Nobody ever makes enough, and everybody could always use a little more.

The UFC is no different.

UFC fighter pay has been one of the hottest topics around for quite some time, but has been rekindled recently, especially with UFC veterans like Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann publicly discussing the matter.

The discussion hit a fever pitch that had UFC president Dana White considering doing away with the promotion’s traditional “Fight of the Night” and discretionary or “locker room” bonuses. The bonuses are typically issued on the basis of performance for fighters that UFC officials felt had an entertaining or heartfelt fight or particularly exciting finish.

After some deliberation and feedback from his fighters, White assured everyone during a Tuesday UFC on Fox 8 media conference call that the bonuses aren’t going anywhere.

“We’re not doing away with the Fight of the Night bonuses,” he declared. “After I said (we might end the bonuses), we had a lot of feedback from fighters and fighters want the finish bonuses.  They want the finish bonuses and fighters want the discretionary bonuses to stay the same.”

Bonuses, of course, aren’t the only way for a fighter to increase his pay. Winning is another, but so is entertainment value.

“You wanna make more money?” said White following UFC 162. “Go out there and be (expletive) exciting. Make people talk about you Sunday and Monday. Go out and put on the (expletive) show of your life.

“When people are doing the (expletive) wave during your fight, they might not be too excited about your fight.”

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  • bajafox

    I used to work on an assembly line with about 100+/- people on the manufacturing floor. I some how was able to work my way up to Program/Project Management Analyst with a decent salary.

    This is no different. Go out there and stand out from your peers and the pay will come.

    • s

      What about the other 99 people?

      • bajafox

        What do they have to complain about? They still have a job at the end of the day

        The point is if you stand out, your pay will increase. It’s a very simple concept, kind of hard to sell on todays entitled youth where everyone gets a trophy though.

        • Adam Vogt North Yarmouth

          I think his point was that everyone deserves to be fairly compensated for their labor, not just the 1-2% that excel. Granted those that out perform the rest deserve to be promoted and obtain a better income, but not at the expense of exploiting the rest. I’m not saying that is what was happening at your company or in the UFC, but it certainly is a reality for millions of workers in the US and hundreds of millions world wide. I think most fighters in the UFC are decently paid, and I’m sure Weidman made a ton of money off that fight that we don’t know about, but when his disclosed salary is $48Gs to defeat the GOAT, eyebrows are going to be raised. I like Fight of the Night and Submission and KO bonuses, but they are disclosed, and I have still not heard a decent argument for why these secret “locker room” bonuses need to be such a significant portion of fighter pay. Promoting a hard working competent individual to a higher pay bracket is the way business works…handing someone a back room check for five times their annual salary and keeping it secret from all other employees is sketchy, in my opinion.

      • Lucas Freire

        He earned it, the 99 other people didn’t. That’s the point.

    • Congrats on that and yes this is no different. If anything this is what should be expected. This is a highly competitive sport and you have the ability to boost your salary by putting in the hard work.

      • Joe

        Correct you are, a perfect example of this is Weidman, everyone except Weidman was complaining about what he was getting paid to fight the “GOAT”, but with a well timed hook he will probably never make less than a 100k for a fight again

        • Exactly. He kept fighting, and earned his big pay day. I don’t really like making statements about fighters working hard and earning their bonus money and such but sometimes it’s true. There are even talented guys who don’t put push it. Not saying they need to take risk in losing a fight but if you complain about money and don’t push it then you have no right to complain; just win the fight by points or survive and get your pay.

        • Mark McDowall

          Dont kid yourself…with PPV main event pay as well….Weidman took home a hell of alot more than the 48k and bonus they showed.

    • Werdoomb

      and you don’t even know the difference between disclosure to the public vs disclosure to the IRS?

      Project analyst that gets paid $50k a year after 10 years of factory rat job is not success in life you doomb doomb.

      I feel bad for your kids.

      • bajafox

        Of course I do, but if you’re stupid enough to think that disclosing it to the public isn’t the same as disclosing it to the IRS then you’re the one that should get castrated. The IRS WILL get their money, one way or another. “Locker room bonus” is another word for fk off uncle sam

  • El Gvapo

    My only beef with the bonuses awarded by the UFC is that they always seem to give them to the top tier guys in the big fights. A fighter on the main card may win by submission with a fairly standard RNC and he’ll win the bonus over someone on the prelims who wins with something much more impressive or unusual. It just seems a little unfair that they guy who is making near 100k in appearance and win bonus gets even more cash, whereas the dude on the standard 8k+8k deal gets nothing.

    • rampagin

      dana and fertitas still being scrooges. pay them more. we are not sayin tg gve them anderson silva money. just more. they have plenty of profits to do so. period.

      • bajafox

        What do you think “locker room bonuses” are? It’s money they give their fighters under the table so they don’t get taxed on it.

        • bajafoxequalsidiot

          You are retarded. Locker room bonuses are always disclosed after the fights. You’re an idiot.

          • WhatADipshit

            You must be the retarded idiot dipshit. Those bonuses are not disclosed, but the. Fighters do need to pay taxes on it.

          • Werdoomb

            WhatADIpshit is a retard.


            Lockerroom bonuses are not disclosed to the PUBLIC!

            It is disclosed to the IRS you retard.

            Zuffa is not paying “under the table” in cash you dooomb piece of shiit!

            Lockerroom bonuses are written in checks, deposited in the fighter’s account, and reported to the IRS.

            Seriously, how doomb can one be?

          • Werdoomb

            sorry, not WhatAdipshit but Bajafox.

            Yes, bonuses are not disclosed to the public the way salaries are.

            But they are disclosed to the IRS.

          • bajafox

            LOL, corrected and still arguing your point?

            MY point is, NOBODY knows what those bonuses are. Waiters who make $150 a night probably only disclose about $50 by the time it’s all said and done. So just because Dana gives someone a $15,000 bonus, doesn’t mean the fighter (contracted fighter) will disclose it on his forms when he files. AKA, NICK DIAZ. MORON

        • Werdoomb

          no man. Locker room bonuses are amounts that are reported to the IRS but not disclosed to the public.

          And because these bonuses are not disclosed to the public, we have no idea of how much they are.

          I doubt it is anything close to the fighter’s salary.

  • Milosc

    Associating Fight of the Night bonuses with the latest fighter-pay debate is a typical manipulative psychological tactic and a diversion from it’s only obvious argument

    What he should do (if he were just ‘honest’, and not a self-serving business-path) is simply state how much each UFC grosses per event, and then give a ballpark ratio of how much of that money makes it’s way back to ‘the people who do [literally] everything anyone cares about’

    We’re talking an extra knockout of the night bonus worth of money, spread out over the undercard, to make sure these guys can pay their rent the month after risking their goddamn lives for your beer lols

    Dana White has paintings worth more than what this debate is about. This is a tool-test