Daniel Cormier didn’t plan on fighting at UFC 230 late last year as he was still dealing with some nagging injuries at the time. The event was booked for Madison Square Garden in New York, and as they were scrambling to find a suitable main event, UFC officials gave the heavyweight champion a good offer to save their card.
“I didn’t think I was going to fight on this card, but the deal I got was so good,” Cormier said last October. “There was no way I could say no, honestly.”
That number that made him want to compete at less than a hundred percent has since been made public. According to a report from Dave Meltzer, Cormier got a $4 million payday that night.
Cormier also noted that during camp, he “sneezed” and had a freak back injury that made him consider pulling out. The heavyweight champion had four million reasons to stay on the card despite being further compromised, but he was still able to successfully submit Derrick Lewis in the second round.
New York doesn’t publicly release salaries, but Cormier’s last disclosed pay from the Stipe Miocic bout was $500,000 plus a cut of the pay-per-view.
UFC 230 had a $2,841,718 live gate and reportedly sold 250,000 pay-per-views at $55-65 each. It’s definitely not the highest selling event, but it still pulled in a lot of revenue from those two sources alone for the company.