MMA fighter pay has been a serious issue over the short history of MMA. Since the UFC has gone officially mainstream with its FOX deal and became more refined with Reebok-branded uniforms, MMA fighters have been striving for bigger paychecks than the meager earnings they’ve been making over the years. This is perfectly illustrated by Rory MacDonald’s recent exit to Bellator, after making a mere $50,000 to show in his PPV title fights against Robbie Lawler, he went to the highest bidder.
We’re also seeing former champions like Luke Rockhold (who is still employed by the UFC), taking modeling gigs to make money on the side. Who knew walking the runway would make more money for someone than getting punched in the face.
But a few men at the top are finally making some massive cash — Conor McGregor and whoever he’s fighting. Ronda Rousey, GSP, Chuck Liddell and a few other breakthrough stars have made big bucks, but no one is making the disclosed paydays on top of the PPV cuts that McGregor is getting.
Some would think that this would lead to some healthy schadenfreude from fighters who have been in the Octagon longer and bled more than Conor, but it doesn’t seem like the case. This collection of vets are all about McGregor. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.