The topic of fighter pay is one that is always debated.
Whenever the purses of UFC fighters are disclosed, comparisons always spring up with those in the boxing world who get paid significantly higher amounts, at least when it comes to the big stars. In addition, there have been repeated calls for the UFC to pay its fighters much more than they are currently earning.
However, there’s always more to the base purses that a UFC fighter receives.
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Former UFC featherweight and current Bellator lightweight Myles Jury shed some light on it as he revealed in a recent video what he got paid and all the expenses he had to shell out following his first UFC fight back in December 2012.
He was facing Michael Johnson at the time and received $8,000 to show and earned another $8,000 in a win bonus.
Fans have regularly debated about the other bonuses the UFC hands out that are undisclosed and interestingly, Jury revealed he received a locker room bonus of $5,000 following the fight. As he stated in a YouTube comment, a locker room bonus is a “behind-the-scenes bonus” that the UFC sends a couple of months after the fight which is usually between $3,000 and $10,000.
Given that he was simply an undercard fighter at the time, it reveals that the UFC does award non-performance bonuses and not only for their big stars.
In addition, he also earned $10,000 in sponsorship money to make a grand total of $31,000 for his debut promotional fight. However, he naturally doesn’t get to keep all of it.
Jury revealed that at the time, his manager received 20 percent of his earnings. In response to a YouTube comment, he added that managers today usually take just five to ten percent.
So his management received $5,200 which didn’t take into account his locker room bonus as part of their agreement.
He also has a gym fee of 10 percent — $1,600 — while he had to shell out $1,000 in miscellaneous coaching fees — for coaches outside his gym — and $500 for body work, massages and medicals.
And then, of course, there are taxes of which Jury had to pay around $3,400.
So in total, his take-home pay was $19,300 which Jury notably stated was “a good chunk of money” considering it was his first UFC fight and that he was previously being paid three figures in the regional scene.
Making a comparison to present day, featherweight Billy Quarantillo recently made his promotional debut at UFC DC earlier this month.
According to The Sports Daily, he made a grand total of $23,500 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 win bonus, $3,500 fight week incentive pay). Given the Reebok deal — which was signed in December 2014 — and its tiered system, he only made $3,500 in sponsorship money.
It doesn’t take into account any potential locker room bonuses he may have earned. However, he is still likely making less than what Jury made for his first UFC fight which was seven years ago.
It only serves to highlight that the pay for UFC fighters today can be much higher, even if it is still a significant jump up from the regional MMA scene.