by Ivan Trembow – MMAWeekly.com
UFC 62 took place on Saturday, August 26th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and aired on pay-per-view. The following figures are from the fighter salary information that the UFC is required by law to submit to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Any additional bonuses or non-disclosed money that the UFC pays its fighters are not included in the figures below.
Zuffa president Dana White has said in numerous interviews over the years that he would prefer for the UFC’s fighter salary information to not be publicly available, and White said just this week in a Canadian Press article about UFC fighter salaries, “When people know what you make, it causes a lot of problems in your life.”
Unfortunately for White or anyone else who shares his position on the matter, that is simply not how it works with any major sport. Athletes’ salaries are public knowledge in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and every other major sport.
By talking in various interviews about secret bonuses without revealing the specific amounts (including the following quotes from the Canadian Press article: “Our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money… we’re thrilled, thrilled that these guys are able to make what they’re making”), the UFC has essentially taken the position that the salaries of UFC fighters are secret.
This is unlike any other major sport and is a lot closer to World Wrestling Entertainment’s position on its performers’ salaries, which makes it very surprising for White to have taken this position publicly. One would think that anything which might invite comparisons to WWE’s business model for paying talent would be avoided.
There is one other way in which the UFC is similar to WWE and different from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. Like pro wrestlers and unlike any of the athletes in any of the aforementioned sports, mixed martial arts do not have a union or any form of collective bargaining.
Again, this makes it surprising for the UFC to have taken a secretive, WWE-like approach to talent salaries, because it only invites more WWE comparisons.
Without further ado, here are the disclosed fighter salaries for UFC 62 from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Regarding the “known event revenue” that is listed below the disclosed fighter payroll, the live gate for this event was $3,040,880, but the PPV revenue information is not yet available.
UFC 62 Fighter Salaries
Event took place on August 26, 2006 and aired on pay-per-view
-Chuck Liddell: $250,000 (defeated Renato “Babalu” Sobral in co-main event)
-Forrest Griffin: $32,000 (defeated Stephan Bonnar in co-main event)
-Renato “Babalu” Sobral: $21,000 (lost to Chuck Liddell in co-main event)
-Nick Diaz: $20,000 (defeated Josh Neer)
-Stephan Bonnar: $16,000 (lost to Forrest Griffin in co-main event)
-Cheick Kongo: $12,000 (defeated Christian Wellisch)
-Hermes Franca: $12,000 (defeated Jamie Varner)
-Yushin Okami: $8,000 (defeated Alan Belcher)
-Josh Neer: $6,000 (lost to Nick Diaz)
-Rob MacDonald: $5,000 (lost to Eric Schafer)
-David Heath: $4,000 (defeated Cory Walmsley)
-Eric Schafer: $4,000 (defeated Rob MacDonald)
-Wilson Gouveia: $4,000 (defeated Wes Combs)
-Alan Belcher: $3,000 (lost to Yushin Okami)
-Christian Wellisch: $3,000 (lost to Cheick Kongo)
-Jamie Varner: $3,000 (lost to Hermes Franca)
-Wes Combs: $2,000 (lost to Wilson Gouveia)
-Cory Walmsley: $2,000 (lost to David Heath)
-Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $407,000
-Event Revenue: Live gate was $3,040,880; PPV revenue not yet available