Long-time MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has pointed out the massive pay disparity between top UFC fighters and boxers in the aftermath of George Kambosos Jr’s loss to Devin Haney.
A three-belt world champion coming into the bout at Marvel Stadium, Kambosos Jr earned a guaranteed $10 million for his first (and for now, last) defence.
Of course that pales in comparison to some of the biggest fights in history. Floyd Mayweather earned a purse of $AU387 million for each of his bouts with Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor – not to mention the $AU500 million-plus in pay per view money those two fights delivered.
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By comparison the UFC has come under fire for how much their fighters are paid, most notably by YouTuber Jake Paul who has verbally sparred with Dana White over the issue.
“For the MMA fans out there, Kambosos reportedly earned in the ballpark of 10 million for that fight,” Ariel Helwani tweeted post-fight.
“There ain’t an MMA fighter not named Conor McGregor making anywhere near that right now upfront. There should be. Several. But alas…”
There’s no suggestion Kambosos doesn’t deserve that pay packet. He’s the one who packed tens of thousands of fans into Marvel Stadium and sold pay per views.
But ,any UFC observers have pointed out the fighters take much, much less money made by the company (as a percentage) than in other pro sports leagues.
For example, the NFL and NBA players have collectively bargained deals that see them split 50 per cent of total revenue, while the UFC fighters earn between 16 and 20 per cent.
In 2020, the average UFC fighter made something in the range of $US150k, though that is somewhat misleading because of the million-dollar purses earned by the biggest names.
In that same year 38 per cent of the roster earned $US100k or more, with the lowest-tier fighters earning just $US10k to $US30k per fight.
That means even if they’re fighting three times a year, they may be making less than the average US wage of around $55k (2020).