UFC 148 Paydays: Chael Sonnen only got $50,000

July 9, 2012 – 10:14 pm by McD

Anderson Silva’s victory over Chael Sonnen in Saturday’s UFC middleweight title fight was the most anticipated MMA fight of 2012. This was due in large part to the fact that the challenger, Sonnen, spent most of the last two years calling out Silva and promoting the fight. Sonnen even won the “Smack-off” on Jim Rome’s radio show, furthering his near-constant presence in the media leading up to the fight. His hilariousness is too extensive to summarize here whilst trying to stay on-topic.

Even the normally stoic Silva got into the act a little, saying before the fight that he was going to break Sonnen’s arms and legs. Silva even gave Sonnen a shoulder to the chin during their stare-down at the weigh-in the day before the fight.

Sonnen’s promo work leading up to the fight far surpassed what Silva did. Though Silva saying much of anything before a fight is quasi-miraculous.

According to MMA Junkie, Silva was paid a flat fee of $200,000 for the fight. Meanwhile, Sonnen reportedly only made $50,000. Bit of a disparity there even if Silva is the champion and the bigger name.

What’s crazier is that those two fighters – who headlined the main event and only title fight of the evening – weren’t the highest-paid fighters on the card. Tito Ortiz ($250,000) and Forrest Griffin ($275,000, including a $150,000 win bonus) were. Cung Le’s $150,000 payment was also higher than Sonnen’s, in case you’re not so good at the maths.

I have no idea how that happened, but if accurate, Sonnen needs a new negotiator. Either that, or he’s still paying the price for his performance-enhancing drug suspension from 2010. That guy busted his tail promoting the fight and talking crazy about Anderson Silva and pretty much everything else. He has become the most outspoken fighter in all of mixed martial arts. And he only got $50,000. That’s pretty insane.

Hell, Anderson Silva only got $200,000. I know, I know, only. But he wasn’t even the highest paid fighter on the card. His $200,000 payday is what Nick Diaz got for headlining UFC 143. Nick freaking Diaz got paid the same as amount as the greatest martial arts fighter in history.

Obviously, no one knows the full paydays for the fighters as these numbers were only the ones disclosed to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. But a little scrutiny on how fighters are paid would probably add some transparency to the UFC, which has no competition in the arena of mixed martial arts and can pretty much do what it wants in that area.

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  1. 7 Responses to “UFC 148 Paydays: Chael Sonnen only got $50,000”

  2. This is base pay. Main event fighters get a cut of Pay-Per-View Sales, not to mention sponsors and bonuses based on sales. In one ear and out the other, when is the media(or jackạsses from Bleacherr eport) going to do some actual fụcking research into the numbers? We read the same figures ding dongs, you don’t need to report something that is already god dạmn reported.

    By WhenWillYouLearn on Jul 10, 2012

  3. Base pay, flat fee. It means the same thing. The article says this is the pay disclose to the athletic commission. Guaranteed payment.
    The problem is the guaranteed payment for a headliner is $50,000. It’s insulting to not trust your fighters would not perform or sell well enough for the fight.

    By Mikey on Jul 10, 2012

  4. Well, I guess if you come in on the supportive side of acting like a middle school bully, then Chael may have some more pay coming. As for me, I very sincerly wish he would go to the WWE and leave MMA for good. I HATE the BS trash talking when it is taken completely over the top like Chael always does. Goodbye and good riddance to a complete piece of crap when Chael leaves the UFC.

    By ScottInKy on Jul 10, 2012

  5. The UFC has stated numerous times that ‘locker room payments’ occur, on top of the standard fee reported to the relevant athletic commission, plus PPV cuts, plus endorsements etc.

    Chael would have done well.

    By Steve on Jul 10, 2012

  6. mayweather made 32 million for his last fight. dayna white needs to pay his freaking fighters. this is bull.

    By eatadickufc on Jul 10, 2012

  7. both guys made around 7-10 million dollars for the fight. the disclosed figures are never accurate and never near accurate. dont ignorantly comment on them.

    By milk on Jul 10, 2012

  8. Milk,
    I have no idea where you got that $7-$10 million figure but you are WAY off. It was nothing even remotely close to that.

    And to all the people saying UFC fighters all make a ton of dough, no, they don’t. They get money from sponsors and they have a contract with the organization, but that’s it.

    Yes, Silva gets paid a ton from sponsors, because he has people like Burger King representing him. Other guys have random clothing lines, etc. So they don’t see that kind of dough.

    By Ryan Phillips on Jul 10, 2012

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