Oscar De La Hoya is venturing into MMA promotion, with his first show set for Saturday, November 24th at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The main event is the trilogy bout between MMA legends and longtime UFC rivals Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, both of whom will get career paydays if we’re to believe De La Hoya. It was only a few months ago that Oscar himself said that MMA fighter pay structure “gets me sick to my stomach.”
Liddell and Ortiz are the runaway top earners, per the California State Athletic Commission. Chuck is getting $250,000, while Tito gets $200,000, and neither one receives a win bonus. They will however get a cut of the pay-per-view revenue, merchandising sales, gate revenue, etc. as many top boxers do.
For reference, Liddell got a $500,000 disclosed purse for his most recent fight, a 2010 KO loss to Rich Franklin at UFC 115. Meanwhile, Ortiz got $300,000 disclosed when he beat Chael Sonnen at Bellator 170 early last year.
The rest of the card features a smattering of prospects and former UFC fighters, and the contracted money (so not counting the win bonuses) for the other pro bouts on this card don’t even total up to $100,000. Tom Lawlor is the next highest earner at $25,000, lower than the $28,000/$28,000 for his 2016 UFC fight against Corey Anderson. A veteran like Gleison Tibau, whose most recent disclosed salary was $50,000/$50,000 in the UFC, is on $10,000/$10,000. The prelims aren’t being televised so the rest of the card is unsurprisingly very low, but only Lawlor, Escudero, and Tibau are even assured of a five-figure purse on the PPV undercard.
From a business sense, there’s no particularly good reason to pay above UFC market for an undercard littered with unranked fighters, as it may prove to be an even bigger financial disaster than it might turn out to be (see: Affliction), but this is pretty bad.
Here are the reported payouts for the entire card (except the amateur bouts), via MMA Fighting:
- Chuck Liddell: $250,000 (no win bonus)
- Tito Ortiz: $200,000 (no win bonus)
- Tom Lawlor: $25,000 (no win bonus)
- Deron Winn: $5,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
- Efrain Escudero: $10,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
- Gleison Tibau: $10,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
- Walel Watson: $5,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
- Ricardo Palacios: $5,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
- Albert Morales: $2,500 ($2,500 win bonus)
- James Barnes: $2,500 ($2,500 win bonus)
- Oscar Cota: $5,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
- Jay Silva: $5,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
- Fernie Garcia: $1,500 ($1,500 win bonus)
- Joe Roye: $1,250 ($1,250 win bonus)
- Jose Huerta: $1,250 ($1,250 win bonus)
- Francisco Estrada: $1,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
- Keith Berry: $3,000 ($3,000 win bonus)
- Joseph Henle: $3,000 ($3,000 win bonus)
- Craig Wilkerson: $1,500 ($1,500 win bonus)
- Joshua Jones: $1,500 ($1,500 win bonus)
- Johnny Cisneros: $2,000 ($2,000 win bonus)
- Dave Terrel: $2,500 ($2,500 win bonus)