We all know that there are critics when it comes to fighters’ pay. In this day and age, you would think that with the progression of the sport of MMA that fighters would get what they deserve. But guess what? They don’t.
There are a number of fighters that do get paid well. One of them being the face of the UFC, Conor McGregor. However, the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat McGregor is not in the same boat.
Conor McGregor made $47m in 2018 despite entering the octagon just once that year.
In a study done by Betway, they show that the average UFC fighter earns $138,000 per year. But looking at the infographic below, you will see that that is far below the average in terms of all other professional sports.
The misconception when it comes to this is that all fighters make that much money. That is not the case. In fact, due to no union in mixed martial arts, the fighters and their management are left to fight for their paydays and salaries. This becomes a sticky situation, to say the least. For many fighters, particularly those who have just signed to the UFC, their lack of financial security means they have to balance their MMA careers with other work.
Will this ever change in the future? One can only hope. But it’s not foreseeable.
With the monopoly being the UFC and them setting the scale for fighter pay. Newcomers who are yet to make a name for themselves – or, in other words, those who are yet to make serious money for the UFC – hold very little power in contract negotiations.
In the end, a union could solve all these problems. We have seen this in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL and it gives the power to negotiate collective agreements with their respective owners.
Some data was taken from UFC Betting site Betway.