Posted 07/03/2014 by McKinley Noble in UFC

UFC 175: Who’s Getting Paid?

This Saturday’s UFC 175 card is the big one, folks.

In a rare double-title-fight pay-per-view, we’re going to see no fewer than seven world-ranked UFC fighters compete in genuinely compelling match-ups, which is a pretty big deal considering the utter, horrid crap cards that MMA fans have been suffering through lately.

Moreover, if you’ve got friends that don’t watch MMA, this is most certainly the event that warrants a get-together.

Spoiler Alert: You’re probably going to see something like this. (Image Credit: UFC via Bloody Elbow)

Of course, with big-time UFC names come big-time salaries, and as a result we finally have plenty of fighter pay number to chew on this time around. As per usual, we’re going to analyze the event based on the prominent fighters’ most-recently reported paychecks, and what we can actually learn from them.

Are we excited? We should be excited.

Without further ado, let’s tuck in and enjoy the run-up to the biggest UFC event of the year (so far).

UFC 175 Main Card (PPV)

Chris Weidman
$200,000/$200,000 (UFC 168)
Lyoto Machida
$200,000** (UFC 157)
Ronda Rousey
$55,000/$55,000 (UFC 170)
Stefan Struve
$29,000/$29,000 (UFC 146)
Alexis Davis
$15,000/$15,000 (UFC 170)
• Matt Mitrione
$12,000** (TUF 16 Finale)
• Uriah Hall
$10,000/$10,000 (UFC 168)
• Marcus Brimage
$8,000/$8,000 (UFC 145)
• Thiago Santos
(No Salary Reported)
• Russell Doane
(No Salary Reported)

Analysis: Remember when Dana White was telling everyone in the world that Ronda Rousey is the UFC’s biggest star? That gets harder to justify as time goes on, especially with this card in particular.

Even with a dominant win and a “Performance/Fight of the Night” bonus, Rousey still won’t make more in disclosed pay than Chris Weidman or Lyoto Machida, the two main-eventers. On one hand, this is more than fair. Weidman and Machida are the “bigger” names as far as weight hierarchy. Plus, both men have been fighting in the UFC much longer than Rousey.

On the other hand, the majority of casual fans (and women) will likely be tuning in to see Rousey fight Alexis Davis, and you can’t argue against her as the draw for that crowd. This being said, it’s frankly kind of weird that Rousey didn’t get her own PPV—like the suddenly main-event-less UFC 176 card.

That oddity aside, it’s also interesting to see Ultimate Fighter veteran Uriah Hall is once again getting a PPV spot, despite hosting a pedestrian 1-2 UFC record overall. At least he’s finally gotten a minor pay bump since shockingly losing the TUF 17 finale to Kelvin Gastelum—from $8,000 to $10,000 in base “show” salary—but TUF Brazil 2 veteran Thiago Santos seems like a stiff test for that kind of money.

Fox Sports 1 Prelims

Urijah Faber
$100,000/$100,000 (UFC on Fox 9)
• George Roop
$13,000/$13,000 (UFC 160)
Alex Caceres
$10,000/$10,000 (UFC on Fuel 4)
• Kenny Robertson
$8,000/$8,000 (UFC 157)
• Chris Camozzi
$8,000** (UFC 137)
• Ildemar Alcantara
(No Salary Reported)
• Bruno Santos
(No Salary Reported)
• Rob Font

Analysis: Uriah Faber fighting Alex Cacares on the preliminaries is mind-boggling. Faber’s one of the only remaining draws in UFC—especially in the lighter weight classes—and his presence goes a long way to justifying a $60 PPV price point.

It’s certain that the UFC is doing Fox Sports 1′s ratings a solid here, but you can’t help but feel like it’s a waste. Still, Faber’s making at least $100,000 just to show up, so maybe he doesn’t care that much. Or, Dana’s cutting him a bigger check than we think. As a side note, “Leeroy” Caceres’ salary hasn’t been updated since July 2012, but he’s not getting paid enough for the beating he’s probably going to take on Saturday.

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

• Luke Zachrich
$8,000** (UFC on Fox 11)
• Kevin Casey
$8,000** (TUF 17 Finale)
• Guilherme Vasconcelos
• Bubba Bush

Analysis: Neither of these fights are worth a 10-dollar-per-month subscription. However, there’s intrigue in former TUF competitor Kevin Casey vs. Bubba Bush since it’s a bout between two solid regional MMA champions (RFA and Legacy FC, respectively) coming off decent winning streaks.

‘Meh. Hopefully Casey’s getting more than the $8,000 entry salary, since he’s a minor name that some hardcores should know.


**=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