Last night at the UFC 170 post fight scrum with president Dana White, the topic of performance bonuses came up and how this new approach was replacing the former Knockout and Submission of the night bonuses. Of note Dana White made the following bold claim:
"There's a 10 million dollar pot this year. 10 million bucks. We want every dime of that 10 million to go out to the fighters. I don't want there to be a situation where there was no submission, there was no this, there was no that ... this set-up it's impossible not for a bonus to go out. Unless the fight sucks so bad one night ...
... as I started playing with this thing, and started to realise how much money -- 'cause now we're doing so many fights -- how much money it was, it's almost 10 million bucks. It's like 9.8 million. I want 9.8 million of that to go out the door, every dime of it."
No more KO or Sub OTN bonuses, Perfomance instead
Today the UFC announced a significant change to how they give out fight night bonuses.
In 2013 the UFC put on 33 events and according to data I've collected paid out $6.8 million US in 'of the night' bonuses, meaning if White's words hold true $3 million US extra will go to fighters. For most of 2013 the bonuses were in the form of $50,000 for Submission of the night, Knockout of the night, and to each fighter in the Fight of the night. There were a few variances most notably in the final event of the year featuring the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman at UFC 168, co-headlined by the rematch between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate where the bonuses came in $75,000 sums. It was also a pay per view that saw a hike in price to $59.95 for a High Definition broadcast, and $49.95 for Standard Definition.
If the average of $50,000 in bonus payouts remains true, as well as the average of 4 fighters receiving these bonuses per event (2 performance bonuses, and 1 fight of the night bonus to the two respective fighters giving a $200,000 total payout in bonuses) the UFC will need to put on 49 events in 2014 in order to pay out every last dime of their $9.8 million US bonus pot. There are currently 21 main UFC cards forecast for 2014 with 6 already having taken place. The finales of the expected 6 seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in 2014 brings the current total up to 27.
If the total of UFC events for 2014 is similar to or slightly greater than last year's 33 (hypothetically lets say 36 when all is said and done) the mean average bonus will have to rise to just over $68,000 in order for every dime of UFC's performance bonus pot to be paid out, or between 5 and 6 bonuses of $50,000 will need to be paid out each event on average.
With $1.2 million having been paid out in performance bonuses by the UFC in 2014 so far, there's still a lot more bonus money UFC fighters will expect to be doled out this year.
Here's a breakdown of the performance bonus payout of 2013. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow as we keep track of the 2014 performance bonus payout.
|2013 Event||Fighter Bonuses||Value|
|UFC on FX 7 - Belfort vs. Bisping, Jan 19||Alcantara SOTN||$50,000|
|Sarafian / Dolloway FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fox 6 - Johnson vs. Dodson, Jan 26||Bader SOTN||$50,000|
|Johnson / Dodson FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 156 - Aldo vs. Edgar, Feb 02||Green SOTN||$50,000|
|Aldo / Edgar FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fuel TV 7 - Barao vs. McDonald, Feb 16||Barao SOTN||$50,000|
|Watson / Nedkov FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 157 - Rousey vs. Carmouche, Feb 23||Robertson SOTN||$50,000|
|Bermudez / Grice FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fuel TV 8 - Silva vs. Stann, Mar 03||Hunt KOTN||$50,000|
|Silva / Stann FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 158 - St. Pierre vs. Diaz, Mar 16||Ellenberger KOTN||$50,000|
|Condit / Hendricks FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fuel TV 9 - Mousasi vs. Latifi, Apr 06||Madadi SOTN||$60,000|
|Pickett / Easton FOTN||$120,000|
|UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale, Apr 13||Pineda SOTN||$50,000|
|Tate / Zingano FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fox 7 - Henderson vs. Melendez, Apr 20||Thomson KOTN||$50,000|
|Brown / Mein FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 159 - Jones vs. Sonnen, Apr 27||(Healy) Caraway SOTN||$65,000|
|(Healy) / Miller FOTN||$130,000|
|UFC on FX 8 - Belfort vs. Rockhold, May 18||Souza SOTN||$50,000|
|Martins / Larsen FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 160 - Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2, May 25||Teixeira SOTN||$50,000|
|dos Santos / Hunt FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fuel TV 10 - Nogueira vs. Werdum, Jun 08||E. Silva SOTN||$50,000|
|T. Silva KOTN||$50,000|
|T. Silva / Feijao FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 161 - Evans vs. Henderson, Jun 15||Krause SOTN||$50,000|
|Krause / Stout FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 162 - Silva vs. Weidman, Jul 06||Weidman KOTN||$50,000|
|Edgar / Oliveira FOTN||$100,000|
|Swanson / Siver FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fox 8 - Johnson vs. Moraga, Jul 27||Johnson SOTN||$50,000|
|Herman / Smith FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 163 - Aldo vs. Korean Zombie, Aug 03||Moraes SOTN||$50,000|
|McCall / Santos FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 26 - Shogun vs. Sonnen, Aug 17||Sonnen SOTN||$50,000|
|McDonald / Pickett FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 27 - Condit vs. Kampmann 2, Aug 28||Cummings SOTN||$50,000|
|Condit / Kampmann FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 164 - Henderson vs. Pettis 2, Aug 31||Pettis SOTN||$50,000|
|Krauss / Gyu Lim FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 28 - Teixeira vs. Bader, Sep 04||Hallman SOTN||$50,000|
|Natal / Troeng FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 165 - Jones vs. Gustafsson, Sep 21||Gagnon SOTN||$50,000|
|Jones / Gustafsson||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 29 - Maia vs. Shields, Oct 09||Hyun Kim KOTN||$50,000|
|Assuncao / Dillashaw FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 166 - Velasquez vs. dos Santos 3, Oct 19||Ferguson SOTN||$60,000|
|Melendez / Sanchez FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 30 - Machida vs. Munoz, Oct 26||Musoke SOTN||$50,000|
|Barnatt / Craig FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 31 - Fight for the Troops 3, Nov 06||Chiesa SOTN||$50,000|
|Khabilov / Masvidal FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 32 - Belfort vs. Henderson, Nov 09||Martins SOTN||$50,000|
|Akhmedov / Perpetuo||$100,000|
|UFC 167 - St. Pierre vs. Hendricks, Nov 16||Cerrone SOTN||$50,000|
|St. Pierre / Hendricks FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC - The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale, Nov 30||Holdsworth SOTN||$50,000|
|(Sampo) / Benoit FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC Fight Night 33 - Hunt vs. Bigfoot, Dec 07||Rua KOTN||$50,000|
|Hunt / Silva FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC on Fox 9 - Johnson vs. Benavidez 2, Dec 14||Faber SOTN||$50,000|
|Barboza / Castillo FOTN||$100,000|
|UFC 168 - Weidman vs. Silva 2, Dec 28||Rousey SOTN||$75,000|
|Rousey / Tate FOTN||$150,000|
|Event Total: 33||Bonus Total :||$6,820,000|
Data was taken from reports in articles from UFC.com, BloodyElbow.com and MMAMania.com. For a full list of urls linking to this information, click here.
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