Some fighters are reportedly happy, while others are pissed with how the UFC handled payouts for the now-cancelled UFC London event.
The promotion tried to press forward with their planned March 21st event at the initial peak of government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, they were forced to nix the card and rush fighters out of England as the country moved towards lockdown. Fighters, fans and the media have wondered how the UFC would care for the fighters who trained for a card that never happened.
Each fighter on the UFC London card was reportedly paid “no more than $20,000,” according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. This conflicts with a previous report that fighters would receive their “base pay.” That payout allegedly had the fighters divided.
“I’m told the fighters who were slated to compete on the ill-fated London card on March 21 received no more than $20,000,” Helwani reported. “As you can imagine, some of the higher earners aren’t too pleased with that amount, while others were happy to get something for nothing.”
One can imagine that short-notice fighters, less notable athletes and perhaps those local to the U.K. probably got value out of the deal. Some may have had shorter, less-expensive training camps, or less expensive travel and accommodations. At the very least, $20,000 is more than some of the openers would have likely earned in a losing effort. Those higher-up on the card, like former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, and other fighters outside of Europe may not feel adequately compensated at $20,000.
The UFC have been forced to cancel or postpone a number of cards due to the novel coronavirus crisis, but are gearing up for a May 9 return with UFC 249.