UFC on Fox 7 Fighter Salaries: Benson Henderson, Frank Mir, and Gilbert Melendez Top Payroll

April 21, 2013
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UFC on Fox 7 Poster - largeThe UFC on Fox 7: Henderson vs. Melendez fighter salaries were released to MMAWeekly.com on Sunday by the California State Athletic Commission.

UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson successfully defended his belt by winning a five-round split decision victory over Gilbert Melendez, the outgoing Strikeforce champion.

UFC on Fox 7 took place Saturday, April 20, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

The following figures are based on the fighter salary information that promoters are required by law to submit to the state athletic commissions, including the winners’ bonuses.

Although mixed martial arts fighters do not have collective bargaining or a union, the fighters’ salaries are still public record, just as with every other major sport in the United States. Any undisclosed bonuses that a promoter also pays its fighters, but does not disclose to the athletic commissions (specifically, pay-per-view bonuses, fight of the night bonuses, etc.), are not included in the figures below.

UFC on Fox 7 Fighter Salaries

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $95,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Jordan Mein: $16,000

Chad Mendes: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $10,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Hugo Viana: $8,000

Anthony Njokuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Clifford Starks: $8,000

UFC on Fox 7 Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $1,318,000

  • BigDaddyMMA

    How the hell does Diaz only make 15,000. Know wonder they can’t get out of the hood.

    • Rence54

      I was kind of thinking Ceasar needs to get on that also…he needs a new contract. I mean Matt Brown even made 2x as much…

      • Adam Bruss

        Matt Brown has been putting butts in seats lately.

    • Phil Sparagna

      That’s why he has a new manager

    • Lucas Freire

      Has to be somekind of typo.
      He earns 50k every fight.

    • Jake

      Could have signed a long contract therefore signed before he increased his market value. Each fighter signs for a specific number of fights

    • Sir_Roy

      Nah … that’s Dana throwing the “we don’t pay taxes” Diaz brothers a bone. He probably banked more than that under the table. Lol.

    • Yeah, that’s crazy. Since they publish what fighters make, he must not pay any attention to that stuff. Not a very wise move.

  • Milosc

    Nate Diaz gets 15 freaking thousand dollars???

    Ice cold, UFC. Especially after that many great fights. (The guy just fought for a title). Love ’em, and leave ’em, huh?

    • Just-sayin

      You have Nate mixed up with Nick. Nick Diaz recently fought for the title. Nate did not. Nate is the younger brother.

      • Scotty_O

        I do believe he did, think a little bit harder there Just-saying.

  • Wow Matt Brown makes twice as much money as Nate Diaz, or rather Nate Diaz only makes 1/2 the money Matt Brown is getting. That is b@ll s***, straight up!

  • I hope they meant he got 150 000.

  • Giovanni

    How in the hell did Melendez make more than the champion? Technically he did. If Bendo had lost he would’ve only made $100,000 but since he won he made 200k…that is only 25k more than Melendez who lost. What if Melendez had won, would he have made 275k? Wow unacceptable, it doesn’t matter if it includes ticket bonuses, etc. Bendo should’ve made a little more. Heck, Mir lost and he took the same amount Bendo did.

    • Jake

      It might be a fixed figure with no bonus required. They could have also inherited the $$ that they were being paid by Strikeforce for the remaining fights on their previous contract.

    • TW

      It simply comes down to the fighter’s contract. Most contracts escalate in pay with each successful fight. Gilbert won many fights in Strikeforce before coming to the octagon to the UFC picked up his contract. Bendo will make more in his next fight. Gilbert will probably make less. That’s generally how it works.

  • That’s good to know. What exactly does your aunties neighbour and their co-worker’s sister’s neighbour do?

  • JohnnySmash

    I belive they make much more money , i dont think Diaz just got 15k , UFC is a private company, they don’t show real amount of money witch fighters get, i belive this numbers are just given for athletic comission.

    • TW

      Actually, they are required to disclose the payroll of all fighters. This does not include sponsor pay, special bonuses, etc.

  • Joe D

    Just remember fighters salaries disclosed are usually not necessarily every dollar the fighters made on the fight. It is merely their base. It’s safe to say fighters on the pre prelims may be making base alone, but fighters on the main card and especially in the co and main events are rarely not receiving far more than the number you see released to the public. once pay per view buy rates, incentive / bonuses outside of fight of the night bonuses are given that number jumps up considerably. Not to mention fighters receive tens of thousands of dollars from sponsors to wear their logos. Someone can easily charge a sponsor 20 thousand dollars to wear a 6×6 patch on one leg for a live broadcast on fox and they still have a lot more surface area to go on trunks for more, unless you are GSP of course! I’m not saying Nate made a million but count his sponsors for a start. And the fact that he probably doesn’t pay taxes like his big bro so really that 15g’s is like making 30!

    • Cereal Killer

      Dana threw in a fat bag of weed. Nick is good with that!

  • Cereal Killer



    Curious why Nate Diaz only made $15,000. That cannot be correct. Look at the salaries of the others who made more.

  • justin_e

    15000 for Diaz is criminal.

  • bajafox

    Too bad they fought in Commiefornia, uncle Jerry Brown is going to take a huge cut from these guys

  • Muay Thai

    Strikeforce Vs UFC. Strikeforce clearly won. Melendez, Cornier, and Thompson all won. It just goes to show how much UFC fighters are hyped.

    • Scotty_O

      lol Meledex lost. And Frank Mir?? Come on, who didn’t see that coming. Plus, after that boring fight, are you really excited to see Cormier fight again?

      Thompson on the other hand, what a killer! It takes a lot to stop a Diaz brother, props to him!

      • Muay Thai

        Melendez lost? Yeah, according to the 3 blind micr (judges). Melendez clearly won 3 rounds out of 5. But what fight were you watching? Lol. GTFO! Frank Mir was a former champ…

        The same thing happened to Chuck Liddel when Dana sent him to Pride, he got exposed by Rampage. UFC = Hype

        • Scotty_O

          UFC=Great Marketers and Great Promoters.

          Of course we all have our different opinions on fighters, but Frank Mir hasn’t been champ since when..2004-05 maybe? His time has come and gone. Sorry Frank

          And Melendez fought a great fight, I was rooting for him, not so much because I like him, but because I dislike Benson. Point of the matter is, Benson still has the belt, therefore my previous statement is true, Melendez lost.

          Thompson’s a beast!! That’s worth a second mention.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Glad to see UFC is paying people well. Lot of men fighting for a hell of a lot less than that in lower leagues. Lot of college basketball players getting taken advantage of too. UFC is more just than the NCAA!

  • 93fan

    Any way you look at it they are not being paid very well when compared to a headlining boxing match. The UFC has all the leverage but jeez…take care of the talent, they aren’t long term careers.

    • falloniousWolf

      I am gonna pretend to be an MMA nerd/UFC noob/Dana nuthugger and reply to your comment. Imagine either a nasally voice or a voice that resonates from a hollow skull.

      “You don’t know what you are talking about. You are not taking into account locker room bonus, under the table bonus, cut of the PPV, and endorsement fee!! Bendo made $2million from that fight!!! And UFC fighters on average get paid better than boxers. Therefore, don’t be a hater! You just hating because they made more money that you!!!”


    Nate should cut of his crank and challenge Fallon Fox.

  • Mr Me Too

    Diaz brothers will never fight for the title again. Fighters are beginning to figure out their style. Got love for them but they might need a new team.


    The Diaz brothers don’t pay taxes so it’s all tax free anyway