Posted 07/25/2014 by McKinley Noble in UFC

UFC on Fox 12: Who’s Getting Paid?

After all the injuries that have been floating around, MMA fans should be quite thankful that UFC on Fox 12 made it to San Jose largely intact.

In fact, the only casualty to the card was young Blackzilian talent Michael Johnson, and we actually got a significantly better option in replacement Bobby Green. As a result, we have a wonderfully delightful UFC event where the main card is entirely filled with top-ranked talent.

(And that’s going by the official UFC rankings, which are garbage, and the MMA Owl rankings, which actually make complete sense.)

UFC Rankings

Erick Silva as a “Top 15″ welterweight? He’s 4-4 in the UFC with zero wins over ranked fighters. Let it go, you idiots.

It’s been a pretty exciting July, and this should be a great card for wrapping things up. Even better, you don’t have to flip around on three different networks to catch the whole thing. UFC on Fox 12′s main card and major prelims are all on “Big Fox” time, while most of the no-name fighters and interesting prospects are on Fight Pass. That’s how every event should be.

Alright, enough gushing. Let’s break down UFC on Fox 12 by the fighters’ most-recently reported salaries, what it means in the grand scheme of things, and exactly why Little Nog is getting paid so much money.

UFC on Fox 12 Main Card

Robbie Lawler
$100,000/$100,000 (UFC 173)
Josh Thomson
$85,000/$10,000 (UFC on Fox 7)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
$67,000/$67,000 (UFC 156)
Clay Guida
$44,000** (UFC 164)
Matt Brown
$41,000/$41,000 (UFC FN 40)
Anthony Johnson
$20,000/$20,000 (UFC FN 24)
Bobby Green
$18,000/$18,000 (UFC on Fox 9)
Dennis Bermudez
$14,000/$14,000 (UFC 160)

Analysis: If there’s any indicator of how badly the UFC needs marketable stars, it’s that Nick Diaz could sit out for a year and cut a new three-fight UFC deal while Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown toil away in Octagon. Even though Lawler’s making at least a cool $200,000 if he wins on Saturday, you can bet that Diaz will make that much just to show up for his next fight.

Speaking of which, Brown is probably due for a big pay bump if he score an upset here. That’ll put his winning streak at eight straight, which practically guarantees him a title shot.

Only Dennis Bermudez (6-0 since 2012) has a UFC winning streak anywhere close to Brown’s, and he’s earning the least amount of cash on disclosed pay figures. That might not be the case if anyone actually knew who Bermudez was, but his force of personality obviously doesn’t match his athletic abilities.

Anthony Johnson vs. Little Nog is a rare fight that’s fascinating from both the physical and monetary element, especially since “Rumble” hasn’t had a public Zuffa paycheck since beating up Dan Hardy at a UFC Fight Night in Seattle on March 2011. Nogueira hasn’t been nearly as active or valuable, though. Since both men competed on the same card at UFC 106, Johnson has fought 10 times between the UFC, Titan FC, Xtreme Fight Night, and World Series of Fighting. Nogueira has only made it to five fights, injuring his shoulder, ankle, knee, and back, in that order.

UFC on Fox 12 Prelims [Fox]

Jorge Masvidal
$39,000/$39,000 (UFC on Fox 11)
• Daron Cruickshank
$12,000/$12,000 (UFC FN 40)
• Kyle Kingsbury
$12,000** (UFC 146)
• Tim Means
$10,000** (UFC FN 40)
• Patrick Cummins
$8,000/$8,000 (UFC FN 42)
• Hernani Perpetuo
$8,000** (UFC on Fox 11)
• Michael De La Torre
(No Salary Reported)
• Brian Ortega

Analysis: It continues to be disappointing that Patrick Cummins is only making $8,000 in base UFC pay, especially since he saved Daniel Cormier from missing a fight. Plus, the hype job was amazing on such short notice.

An impressive win at UFC on Fox 12 hopefully gets Cummins a massive raise, although that falls squarely on his management team at Radius Sports. Considering how much Dennis Bermudez (also managed by Radius Sports) was making in the middle of his six-fight winning streak, Cummins should at least be earning $16,000 in show money with a victory next time around.

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

• Steven Siler
$10,000/$10,000 (UFC FN 26)
• Noad Lahat
(No Salary Reported)
• Akbarh Arreola
• Tiago dos Santos
• Andreas Ståhl
• Gilbert Burns
• Juliana Lima
• Joanna Jędrzejczyk

Analysis: Now this is exactly how Fight Pass prelims should look. Most of these fighters are making their UFC debut, and there’s more than a few interesting prospects on the list.

While the natural reflex is to complain about the second-ever women’s strawweight fight being tucked away online, it’s a little more clear what’s happening here. UFC seems to be tucking the 115-pound women away until The Ultimate Fighter starts up, which is dumb, but makes sense in Zuffa’s weird world.


**=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