Joh Fitch just came out on the record to say how much he got paid, attempting to counter the arguments of Dana White saying that Jon is expensive.
Fitch did the math and claims he made $176,000 a year. 176k probably seems like good money to regular dudes like you and me and at the same time seems likes peanuts to sports stars from other popular sports. The notion of being overpaid/underpaid is relative. *Football, Basketball, Hockey and BaseBall pay out around 50% of their total revenue in salary to the players. Major league soccer pays about 25% and the **MMA ~17%.
What he said about being in the mid to upper echelon of UFC pay jives with what I see from the salary data I got directly from the Nevada athletic commission. His thoughts about PPV data were interesting and more or less in-line with what I estimated. However, his comments open up more questions. Did he ever get cuts of the PPV? Where exactly did he get his PPV numbers from? His paystubs? Friends? Magic? Kinda fun to think about.
Moving on to bonus money, as someone mentioned in the comment section to my previous MMA salary analysis post, fighters do get paid undisclosed bonuses. How much? At least for Jon, he made 300k in bonuses, 2 for fight of the night performances. The two FOTN bonuses were 70k and 60k, leaving 170 grand in undisclosed bonuses over 16 fights. We don’t know the distribution of the bonuses, but that’s an average of $11,000 in bonus money per fight … which is pretty mild. From an overall perspective, this money added about 30% to winnings.
Again, from my data (nearly 3k salaries from 2001-12) fighters across the board averaged about $23,500 a fight (to-show and to-win payments) and if we use the Jon Fitch undisclosed bonus factor of 30%, a statistically average fighter makes $91,212 a year (with 3x fights a year) from their employer. There are a lot of non-trivial assumptions at play here, but I think its fun speculation.
In any case, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any juicy bits of insider knowledge about the PPV revenues of the UFC or fighter pay? Or do you think Jon Fitch is overpaid? Or did you just find out about an amazing male enhancement supplement you just can’t try to sell us?
Let me know in the comments below.
*See: Monks, James, Twomey, John (2011). Monopsony and salary suppression: The case of major league soccer in the United States.
** From my amateur research. I’m not a professional economist and my numbers could be flawed, but I feel they are pretty close. Even so, 17% is really low.
A lot of guys have a problem not keeping it up, but only a few do it on purpose.
Robert Whittaker, under direction from brilliant coach Firas Zahabi, employed the gambit successfully against Colton Smith: right hand glued to the jaw, left hand on the thigh. In the post fight interviews, Whittaker said himself that it was a specific tactic to this fight and basically “suicide” against real striker. Against a fairly one-dimensional wrestler, it shut down most of the incoming takedown attempts with only minor setbacks in the striking department.
I find the whole thing fairly intriguing, including Whittaker’s three comments about it.
1. Right-hand strikes are dangerous for the stance (Overhand Right/Straight Right)
2. You get an automatic underhook for single/double leg takedown with the low hand
3. The unusual stance is distracting and it can split the visual focus between high body and low body
I think its clever and agree that a natural striker would be able to take advantage of it. The low lead hand is seen in boxing, mostly with defensive counter punchers and displayed directly via a guard stance called the Philly shell (or sometimes the crab). It’s a different animal in boxing and the “version” used by Whittaker is a less sound defense in MMA.
In boxing you see guys like James Toney and Floyd Maywhether using the Philly shell, both using the real deal pretty successfully. The problem is that one of the serious tools of the boxing stance is lost in the version we saw at UFC 160; the shoulder roll. Another problem is that the sideways boxing stance is vital to the head movement and evasion of attacks; such a stance would get brutalized by leg kicks and takedowns are easier to grab.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Tags: boxing, Robert Whittaker, stance, UFC 160
Yep, that’s the title of my master’s project, which I have recently defended (successfully). I’ll spare you 40 pages and give you the quick and dirty.
1. MMA salaries are efficient, meaning that the more you pay out in salary per fight card, the more revenue you are likely to make. This is a no-brainer that I’ve proved with the data; the higher quality fighters get (demand?) higher salaries and consumers pay more for higher quality.
2. If a fighter gets ~200k show and 0 to win, that fighter is likely getting a cut of PPV.
3. The system of PPV revenue sharing works; giving guys a cut of PPV sales drives up PPV buys.
4. The art of matchmaking matters. From a salary perspective, you’d think that compelling match-ups would consist of taking the top quality (paid) guys and matching them up against each other. However, there is no “balanced ticket effect” – salary fairness/equality between fighters doesn’t boost PPV sales or Live Gate numbers (attendance). Fans may bemoan Joe Silva’s match making, claiming XYZ fighter needs to fight ABC fighter, but from a revenue standpoint, they are doing things right: the UFC is making money.
5. MMA fighters are underpaid, and I can prove it. (Monopoly/Monopsony market effects on salary, inter-sport comparisons, etc)
There is a lot I still don’t know, and plenty more research to be done. However, I’m happy to field questions about any of these points or various MMA salary issues in general. I’d love to hear your thoughts and theories of MMA salary!
Tags: analysis, fighter salary, money
It sucked. I was going to review it, but couldn’t help myself from sleuthing into the details. Basically, Dave or Kevin Howell or Tim Ferris (of 4-hour fame) paid for something, very very dirty.
And by that I mean paying for positive reviews on the book to help it sell. And not prostitutes. Although that would be an even spicier story.
Before I dive right into a rant about how I can nearly 100% prove this allegation, let me say that I think Dave Camarillo is an amazing instructor. I hope that he had nothing to do with the dubious promotion of a book I think he had actually little to do with in the first place. I give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m not here to bash him, nor the book (seriously). I have a fascination with publishing, Tim Ferris, and other shenanigans Basically, I just wanted to look into it.
So onto the meat.
Read the rest of this entry »
Just found out that two MMA Brits have ridiculously low resting heart rates.
And of course when I found out, I thought of you.
Tags: Bisping, heart rate