UFC’s Lorenzo Fertitta: We Pay Fighters Way More Than Anybody Else (Video)

December 1, 2015
Comments off

UFC fighter pay has long been a subject of controversy, both amongst fans and fighters themselves. At the end of the day, however, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta says that his company pays “way more than anybody else in the space.”

Lorenzo-Fertitta-UFC-Groundbreaking-cMany people are certainly going to point at the company building a new campus in Las Vegas, where it will bring the majority of its operations to one location, as proof that the UFC isn’t concerned about fighter pay.

RELATED > Benson Henderson to Test Free Agent Market; Will He Leave the UFC?

Fertitta, however, sees the new complex in an opposing light. He believes that the new complex, which is also expected to include a brand new UFC Athlete Health & Performance Center, will allow his company to continue to grow and increase revenues, which, in turn, will result in increased fighter pay.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

  • Darin

    The fact is; UFC fighter pay has got a hell of a lot better over the last few years. I remember when Rich Franklin was making less than $40k for a title defense and prelim fighters were getting as little as a thousand bucks. Now we see prelim guys getting $10k + the opportunity of a lifetime with a UFC fight. And in the case of fighters that really bring in the fans, like Conor McGregor (God knows why!), we’ll see someone like Chad Mendes getting 500k for being a part of that fight.

    I think the issues come from some of the people that fall in the middle. I can see how someone like Ben Henderson might feel like he is under appreciated. After all, he is a world class athlete and a very exciting and entertaining fighter. But, he doesn’t knock people out and he isn’t incredibly divisive and obnoxious, ala McGregor (except for his insistence on thanking Jesus after every fight). For him, a place like Bellator offers a smaller pond for him to be the big fish.

    • deepgrim

      cat zingano got something like 10k for a title fight tho. There pay is a bit inconsistent but obviously the fighters are agreeing to it. You see some people get 10k for a fight and you think not bad for a nights work, but they will probably only fight 3 times in a year with expensive training and diets, they needed the sponsors badly, reebox is a terrible deal for the fighters even tho it was meant to be for the fighters

  • Herman Allmaras

    UFC fighter pay has gotten better? According to the vast majority of fighters, pay is significantly worse, mostly due to the Reebok deal.

    • MikeMcK

      I get your point but technically the UFC is not responsible for that segment of a fighters income, at least they were never before. That old sponsor money may have put more money in the fighters pockets, but it wasn’t money being paid by the UFC. In fact, depending on how the agreements drawn up, the rebok deal may require more money out of the ufc’s pocket and, into the fighters. (Of course in that situation the UFC should have more income to cover that exspense.

      • TrentSki

        The ufc did the sponsorship thing to bring in more money for themselves, the fighters get less, You clearly haven’t done any research

        • Groinstrike

          Yeah I’m sure your research is spot on because of your pretend qualifications.

          • TrentSki

            Cool story noob

        • Chris Morgan

          Mike is absolutely right. When has the UFC EVER been responsible for the income a fighter generates via sponsorship? Last time I checked, the UFC is only obligated to pay the mutually agreed upon purse to fighters. I think we can all agree that some of the policies the UFC has implemented regarding sponsorships aren’t great. However, it’s their right to do so until they’re forced to change. Whether it’s through the courts, federal legislation, or voluntarily

          • deepgrim

            the ufc brought in the reebox deal and said they wouldnt make anything from it which is obviously lies, and now fighters have to wear the shitty reebox uniform out and miss out on the revenue other companies would pay to have them walk out with there brand out there t-shirt and shorts. Thats why the fighters are complaining about it. Dana white said the deal was for the fighters yet none of them wanted it, Backhanders!

          • cheflacsto

            Many of the fighters still have plenty of sponsorships that they make money from. Frankie Edgar pushes supplements, Miesha pushes the mate fit, Holly Holm just got paid for promoting some other supplement. They just can’t wear it on fight week, so I am sure they have lost money but a good agent should be able to get them, sponsorships, signings, and other revenue sources.

          • deepgrim

            but when they walk out to the octogon is when the millions of people are watching, thats the one the sponsor would like, its the most valuable. You use to see fighters with 5 or 6 logos on shorts or tshirts, now just reebox

          • cheflacsto

            Agreed, but its the UFC’s airtime, and the fighter were making money off the UFC setting up the tv deals, and PPV deals, so I would assume they should have a right to dictate what the product looks like, so we have uniforms.

          • Chris Morgan

            I know the issues surrounding the Reebok deal. It still doesn’t change the fact that the UFC is not responsible for the fighters’ sponsorship income. Again, there’s no denying that some of the policies the UFC has implemented for sponsorships have been crappy. However, last time I checked, there are no laws preventing businesses from implementing questionable practices. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now.

          • deepgrim

            the ufc are responsible for what they make from the sponsor yes, but when the reebox deal come in, dana white said this deal is to benefit the fighters the ufc wont see one dime from this, but it hasnt benefited most of the fighters and i bet there was backhanders to the ufc

          • Chris Morgan

            Just to clarify: 1) The UFC IS NOT responsible for a fighter’s sponsorship income and 2) Dana has also said a lot of things that didn’t happen (title shots for Miesha Tate and Matt Lindland for instance). The fact of the matter is that the Reebok deal looked good on paper. The execution has been a much different story due to the fact that the UFC did not seek fighter input when pursuing the deal (apparently).

            Again, last time I checked, there is nothing preventing the UFC from making those decisions. If anything, it should make the fighters reassess their management team and whether or not they should seek representation elsewhere.

          • deepgrim

            the first part there was a typo, i meant to say they arent responsible from what they make from the sponsor, but…. Nothing to stop them making them decisions but its the lies they tell with it, you can can already see fighters leaving over it so they are going else where, Just hope some of the bigger names would clear off and then they would get rid of reebox, their uniforms look terrible and reebox have shown themselves to be incompetent a few times already.

          • Chris Morgan

            The only way we will see change in the UFC (or combat sports in general) is if the promoters are forced to do so. Unless the fighters’ rights movement actually gains significant traction, I don’t see the bigger names (or enough of them to make a difference) leaving the company due to the current status quo within the combat sports world.

          • TrentSki

            They get paid according to how many fights they have had, dyor

          • Chris Morgan

            Clearly you’re the one that needs to do some research. Again, when has the UFC EVER been responsible for the income a fighter generates via sponsorship? They haven’t. The onus is on the FIGHTER or those that represent him to secure sponsorships, endorsement deals, etc. There are fighters that are getting outside money from more than just the reebok deal. Has Zuffa negatively impacted the marketplace? YES! Did Zuffa kill the marketplace? NO!

            Yes, the reebok deal represents a portion of that income now. However, I don’t see the UFC preventing fighters from entering deals with Monster, Metro PCS, individual reebok deals, and pursuing the other avenues available to generate income.

        • MikeMcK

          I didn’t say the fighters get more, nor did I say the UFC doesn’t make more. (We can only guess with their closed books)
          All I said was that the UFC wasn’t paying them sponsor money to fighters before the rebok deal. (Except the few fighters they actuall sponsored)
          If the UFC is actually writing the rebok checks then it can be said that the UFC pays the fighters more than they did before the rebok deal, and the fighters make less money now that the rebok deal is in place. Both of those things can be true.
          The old sponsor money didn’t come from the UFC. With all things outside of sponsor money being equal, the UFC either pays the fighters the same amount as before the rebok deal, or they’re actually paying more.

        • cheflacsto

          The fighters never got anything from the UFC unless they were directly sponsored by them. I.E. Ronda, Jon Jones. They can still have their own sponsors outside of fight week and many of them do.

          • TrentSki

            They are only the big names, no point in arguing, you haven’t researched

    • cheflacsto

      Well that is not fighter pay, you are now talking about sponsorship and that is up to the fighters to secure on their own. They are all subcontractors, not weekly employees. They have a contract that they sign and some of them even get PPV buy rates that isn’t disclosed under fighter pay, so I don’t think anyone knows how much they really make.

  • MikeMcK

    I’m not a person that dislikes Dana or Lorenzo, but this argument is so silly. Of course the UFC is paying most fighters more than other promotions would. That’s really not the question. A better question would be what percentage of income the fighters are being paid in comparison to other promotions.
    Also, the fact that the UFC pays fighters more than others does not mean they are well paid for the service they provide.
    However I’m pretty sure Lorenzo’s buissness experience says other wise. I’m sure that he believes it would be foolish to pay guys more than they require.

    • Chris Morgan

      I completely agree with this. It really will be interesting to see what the outcome ends up being once the legal proceedings for the class action lawsuit have concluded.

      • MikeMcK

        Just don’t make the mistake others do and confuse a court decision with what is morally fair. The UFC can clearly pay the fighters well under their actual value and still win the lawsuit. It will be incredibly difficult for the people suing to win if they can’t show the UFC intended to conspire to deflate fighter option and pay. In fact it really needs to be the sole intent. There are a couple more ways for the UFC to lose, but it’s really unlikely

        • Chris Morgan

          Again, I agree. However, “morally fair” isn’t going to put more money in the fighters’ pockets. The only way fighters get paid more (IMO) is if combat sports promoters (since this issue is a combat sports issue) are forced to do so through enforceable means. Fighter pay will always be an issue until promoters are forced to change their practices.

  • DamianCross

    At the end of the day its the fans’ own fault. If you want fighter pay to get better, you need to support other fighting organizations and create competition. We say we want the UFC to pay fighters better, but our wallets are saying we’ll watch no matter how little they earn.

    • Mikemck

      Because most fans don’t care. And the ones that do care don’t want the fighters pay to be raised. That would likely raise the price of their content.

      If people really cared they could just mail fighters some extra money.

      I 100% want the fighters to make more, but I really don’t want it to effect my wallet. And with that being said, it’s always much easier to spend someone else’s money.

  • Google gives you a great opportunity to
    earn

    98652$/WEEk at your home .If you

    are some intelligent you make many more Dollars.I am

    also earning many more, my relatives wondered to see how i settle my

    Life in few days thank GOD to you for this…You can also make cash i

    never tell a lie you should check this I am sure you shocked to see

    this amazing offer…I’m Loving it!!!! ☻ ▼ ▼ ▼

    ————————————————————————————————-

    »»»»»»»»» Go to my Account For WE

    ~““““““`

  • Google gives you a great opportunity to
    earn

    98652$/WEEk at your home .If you

    are some intelligent you make many more Dollars.I am

    also earning many more, my relatives wondered to see how i settle my

    Life in few days thank GOD to you for this…You can also make cash i

    never tell a lie you should check this I am sure you shocked to see

    this amazing offer…I’m Loving it!!!! ☻ ▼ ▼ ▼

    ————————————————————————————————-

    »»»»»»»»» Go to my Account For WE

    !1111111

  • MeatPicasso

    OK, so they pay better than the worse. Like saying killing you with a hammer is better than killing you with a sledgehammer. UFC enslaves its fighters, but the fighters are to blame. No fighters, no UFC.

    U N I O N I Z E

  • Chris Morgan

    I’ve done the research. You clearly haven’t. If you had, you’d have a LEGITIMATE rebuttal. Do yourself a favor and actually take some time and read up on the fighters that have other streams of income that ARE NOT from Reebok. How is it that Donald Cerrone can still be sponsored by the likes of Fram and Budweiser? Based on your logic, that shouldn’t be possible. Why is it that Monster Energy is sponsoring UFC fighters? Based on your logic, that shouldn’t be possible.

    Do everyone a favor and take your own advice. If anyone is a lazy prick it’s you. I’ve done the research. What’s your excuse?

    • TrentSki

      Ok, so you haven’t even googled it, not worth my time, even Reebok came out and said they have no say in how the money bets distributed lazy prick

      • Chris Morgan

        Your ignorance is astonishing troll. Do yourself a favor and take your own advice and RESEARCH. Start with what the UFC is actually CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED to do. Securing sponsors for fighters DOES NOT fall into that category (never has). The UFC was NEVER responsible for securing sponsors for fighters in 2005 and they’re not responsible in 2015. That has always fallen on the FIGHTER and their REPRESENTATION. That’s why Cerrone has sponsors like Fram and Budweiser paying him IN ADDITION TO the money from the reebok deal.

        Let me know when you finally man up and do some due diligence. Maybe then you’ll be welcomed back to the adult table and not look like a fool on these message boards.

        • TrentSki

          You lazy prick, do some research before typing. Think then type, and read what you write lazy prick

        • TrentSki

          So, your talking out your ass, you decide ufc sponsorship deal, not the ufc or reebok? That’s totally ridiculous kid, get real, and stop trolling

  • Chris Morgan

    The only one with egg on their face is you. YOU keep deflecting because you fail to accept the truth. It’s not rocket science (maybe it is for you). How can a fighter (Cerrone as an example) be SPONSORED by the likes of Monster, Fram, and Budweiser IN ADDITION to the Reebok payout? It shouldn’t be possible according to YOU. Who negotiated those SPONSORSHIPS for Cerrone? Was it his MANAGEMENT team or was it the UFC? I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the UFC.

    How do fighters OUTSIDE of the UFC get their sponsors? Once again NOT FROM (insert promotion here). It’s their MANAGEMENT team that’s responsible. Who was responsible pre-Reebok for fighter sponsorships? Hint: The answer starts with an “M”.

    • TrentSki

      Ok dude, just going by reeboks and ufcs statements, if you think they are wrong, take it up with them, but you’ll just look like more of a fool

  • TrentSki

    Ok simpleton I believe you, you trolled your way to victory