UFC 159 Salaries — Nelson & Sonnen among most underpaid

Posted: April 30, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Latest news

ROY-NELSON-1UFC 159 had some strange moments. The ref ending a fight after an eye poke and that demonic voice were just a couple of them. Fighter salaries are always cause a stir too. This one was no exception. And before you comment that those salaries don’t include “locker room bonuses,” I’m well aware of that. But since these are the official published compensation figures, I’ll discuss them.

(Prediction…I’ll STILL get angry comments from “experts” trying to explain to me what a locker room bonus is, despite my disclaimer above—meaning they only read the headline. Anyone wanna take that bet?)

Michael Bisping made $425k! That’s $275 to show and another $150 to win. Guess what? That’s more than champion/headliner Jon Jones. Interesting indeed. I’ve often wondered why The Count is such a favorite with the UFC brass. They love that guy.

To the contrary, Dana has always showed a disdain for Roy Nelson. And it sure shows in Big Country’s bank account. He’s still making $24 and $24. My god! Who did Roy’s contract negotiation…War Machine? This guy has NINE official UFC bouts now and he’s STILL making $24/24? That’s about half as much as Jim Miller; well below Alan Belcher and Phil Davis; and very similar to Leonard Garcia, who will likely get cut. Hell, he made about one-third the total of the guy he KTFO, Cheick Kongo.

Maybe the only guy on the show who is more underpaid than Nelson is Chael Sonnen (please remember the disclaimer above). $50,000? The guy is the best salesman in the business and was fighting in another main event for another title. $50k? Cody McKenzie cleared $20k. The World’s Most Interesting Man better be getting a sack-full of Hamilton’s stuffed in his locker.

Here’s the full listing of fighter paydays…

Michael Bisping: $425,000 ($275,000 to show, $150,000 win bonus)
Jon Jones: $400,000
Pat Healy: $152,500 ($17,500 to show, $5,000 win bonus, $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Roy Nelson: $113,000 ($24,000 to show, $24,000 win bonus, $65,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Jim Miller: $106,000 ($41,000 to show, $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Cheick Kongo: $70,000
Phil Davis: $60,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 win bonus)
Chael Sonnen: $50,000
Alan Belcher: $37,000
Ovince St. Preux: $34,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 win bonus)
Cody McKenzie: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 win bonus)
Leonard Garcia: $20,000
Rustam Khabilov: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Bryan Caraway: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Steven Siler: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Sara McMann: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 win bonus)
Gian Villante: $12,000
Vinny Magalhaes: $8,000
Johnny Bedford: $8,000
Yancy Medeiros: $6,000
Sheila Gaff: $6,000
Kurt Holobaugh: $6,000


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