Posted 06/26/2014 by McKinley Noble in UFC

UFC Fight Night 44: Who’s Getting Paid?

Out of the two UFC cards going down this weekend, this one’s actually worth watching.

Unlike that terrible New Zealand thing, UFC Fight Night 44 has several good things going for it—a main event with title shot implications, a showcase match for a rising top-ranked welterweight, and a key rebound fight for a still-dangerous former featherweight title challenger.

That’s just the main card, though—but at least it’s good on paper.

UFC: Cub Swanson

Cub Swanson cares NOTHING for your futile mouthpiece! (Image via Fox Sports)

Outside of some promising prospects—and a really odd heavyweight bout —there’s not much else to warrant giving up your Saturday night.

Smart fans will likely skip UFC Fight Night 43 altogether instead of waking up at the crack of dawn. Most others will probably tune in just for UFC Fight Night 44′s main card and avoid the prelims. International Fight Week (Weekend?) is kind of a bummer.

Thankfully, Fox Sports 1 demands a better product than UFC Fight Pass, so let’s sort through the pay scale.

UFC FS1 Main Card

Cub Swanson
$29,000/$29,000 (UFC 162)
Jeremy Stephens
$24,000/$24,000 (UFC 160)
• Andrew Craig
$12,000/$12,000 (UFC 162)
Ricardo Lamas
$10,000/$10,000 (UFC on Fox 1)
Kelvin Gastelum
$8,000/$8,000 (TUF 17 Finale)
• Clint Hester
$8,000/$8,000 (TUF 17 Finale)
• Nicholas Musoke
(No Salary Reported)
• Cezar Ferreira
(No Salary Reported)
• Hacran Dias
(No Salary Reported)
• Antonio Braga Neto
(No Salary Reported)
• Joe Ellenberger
• Bryan Barberena

Analysis: It’s a surprising that Cub Swanson (5-0 in his last five fights) hasn’t been given a second title shot at Jose Aldo. It’s even weirder that the UFC is pitting him against Jeremy Stephens, who hasn’t pieced together a resume remotely as impressive in his own winning streak (3-0 in his last three, and three straight losses before that).

At any rate, the UFC’s paying both guys roughly the same money, so whatever.

Speaking of title shots, Ricardo Lamas is the other major curiosity here. He hasn’t had a disclosed paycheck since November 2011, but has gone 4-1 since then in great fights with a good showing against Jose Aldo to boot. One would hope Lamas is getting at least more than double his last-reported $10,000/$10,000 pay rate by now.

Also, let’s talk Kelvin Gastelum for a little bit. He won The Ultimate Fighter, right? So why isn’t he being promoted like Uriah Hall? Is it an “explosiveness” thing? That’s probably it, isn’t it?

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

• Colton Smith
$15,000** (UFC 160)
• Johnny Bedford
$8,000/$8,000 (TUF 16 Finale)
• Cody Gibson
$8,000** (UFC 170)
• Ray Borg
$8,000** (UFC on Fox 11)
• Marcelo Guimarães
$6,000/$6,000 (UFC on Fuel 4)
• Andy Enz
(No Salary Reported)
• Carlos Diego Ferreira
• Shane Howell

Analysis: OK, maybe we were a bit too hasty when we said these fights were pointless. At least one prelim bout will be totally worth it if Colton Smith loses his third fight in a row and immediately gets cut from the UFC roster.

Seriously, Colton Smith is terrible.

UFC Fight Pass Preliminary

• Oleksiy Oliynyk
• Anthony Hamilton

Analysis: It’s always weird to see new heavyweights in the UFC, typically because the division is filled with a lot of old, withered veterans and sub-par athletes who would probably get mauled by anyone in the Top 10 of the division. Oleksiy Oliynyk definitely fits into that category. He’s 37 years old, has 58 MMA bouts under his belt, and has spent his career fighting across three different weight classes.

He’s also been fighting since 1997. That’s old. But wins over Mirko Filipović, Dion Staring, and Jeff Monson are apparently still worth something on the heavyweight stage, so Oliynyk gets a UFC Fight Pass debut against a guy who doesn’t exist on Wikipedia.


**=Loss and/or No Win Bonus

[Salaries via MMA Junkie]

McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. His work has appeared in PC World, Macworld, GamePro, 1UP, GamesBeat, Cox Sports, Bleacher Report, CNN, and The Los Angeles Times. Follow him at @KenTheGreat1 on Twitter.

McKinley Noble