Let me start by saying I don't post much but I have been a loyal bloodyelbow reader for a couple of years now and an MMA fan for much longer. Having said that I was extremely disappointed to see the article on the front page last night. I don't want to get carried away but at a minimum it is misleading. I think the overall intent was to show how far the UFC has to go in order to establish itself as the dominant sport in the world. If that were the aim of the article however why would we use fighter pay? Wouldn't we want something like a revenue trending pattern, i.e. what was the UFC revenue 15, 10, 5, and 1 year marks. This would give the best indication of the kind of revenue they might be able to generate in the future.
If the point of the article was truly to compare the disparity in UFC fighter pay to other professional sports then the article becomes an even more gross distortion of reality. The reality is that the UFC is a 1 billion dollar company give or take, which what most people don't understand is that does NOT mean they make 1 billion in revenue or profit in any given year. If Forbes values them at 1 billion they are estimating what they are worth in the market which is usually calculated with an EBITDA multiplier of somewhere between 5X and 15x. However besides that the other the problem is that you can name 10-20 TEAMS in the major sports that are worth more right now than the UFC. Yankees, Red Sox, Dallas Cowboys, LA Lakers etc. So if you want to compare athlete pay it would have to be in terms of the over all VALUE percentage. If the UFC has 18 millionaires at an average of 2 mill(no statistical data, though it has been stated that Tito and Randy have both made several million a year) then the UFC would be paying 36 million to its top fighters which is .36 percent of overall company VALUE (since we don't actually know revenue or profit). So let’s compare that to the LA Lakers, they are worth a reported 7.6 Billion and their top starting 5 earn a total of 65.5 million a year. Meaning that LA Lakers only pay out .09 percent, not an error let me reiterate POINT ZERO NINE PERCENT. Even if you took their entire roster which makes 90 million you come out to roughly .13 percent. Still less than half of what the UFC pays in terms of overall company value to the fighters.
Having said all of that I am all for MMA fighters making more but we have come a long way and the people that jump all over the UFC for not paying fighters simply don't understand what they are talking about. I understand that this type of stuff could be debated forever with a million different points of view but I had to vent as I felt this was a VERY irresponsible article but like I said in the beginning I am a loyal reader and will continue to be.