twitter google

Huerta speaks out against the UFC

In recent months we’ve heard a lot of speculation that certain high-level fighters in the UFC weren’t happy with their contractual status within the promotion. However, despite all these rumblings and rumors, there was absolutely no hard evidence to back up all the talk. It was hard to decipher whether there were truth to the reports, or if there was simply a campaign of misinformation taking place.

Well, FIGHT!’s Neal Talfinger has finally gotten a UFC fighter to go on the record about his unhappiness with the UFC. And the first fighter outside of Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture to speak out is a fighter that has been branded by some pundits as a “golden boy” of the UFC, Roger Huerta.

The following is an excerpt from the current issue of FIGHT!, which is available on newsstands now:

Huerta is one of a growing number of Zuffa-contracted fighter who feel that there is a disconnection between the company’s success and the way fighters are compensated. Huerta’s disillusionment with the UFC began when he did press tours for his employer in Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and London and received a $50 per diem for his troubles. It sounds like a a good deal until you factor in time away from training, friends, and family, days often stretch twelve hours or more, and an exchange rate of one UK pound for two American dollars. “Why do you think I don’t do PR for the UFC any more?” he asks.

He’s also unhappy with the terms of his current contract, but to Huerta, the press tours underscore a larger point: by and the large, Zuffa does not treat its contracted fighters with sufficient loyalty or respect. He argues that many UFC fighters barely make enough to cover their training expenses. He brings up teammate Keith Jardine repeatedly, incensed that a main event fighter is working for ten and ten- $10k to show and 10k to win – while his opponent regularly makes ten times as much.

Huerta’s expression hardens and becomes more animated as talk turns to endorsements. The common counter-argument for complaints about fighter pay is that fighters often make more from endorsements and sponsorships than they do for competing. But Huerta has soured on the system after receiving lowball offers from companies who expect fighters to jump at the chance to endorse products. He rails against a Fortune 500 company for offering a deal to build him as a spokesman that included unpaid work. “Are you serious?” Huerta ask. “I know Dale Earnhardt Jr isn’t doing appearances for free.”

“The truth is, I don’t really care if I fight in the UFC or somewhere else,” Huerta says. The fighter says he understands that Zuffa has to keep an eye on the bottom line, but he wants to work, “For a company that is as loyal to me as I am to them.”

Huerta has two fights remaining on his current UFC deal, according to the article. He took a major risk by speaking out because he could be subject to reprisal. In the UFC, often you have to get along in order to go along.

MMAPayout.com also raises a valid point that after Huerta fights Kenny Florian in August, he will have one fight remaining on his current contract and could be subject to the same “Zuffa Freeze-out” experienced by both Andrei Arlovski and Brandon Vera when they had one fight remaining on their contracts.

Let’s see; speaking out against the UFC when you’re about to have one fight left on your existing contract? Wow, sounds like UFC 87 could be the last time we see Huerta fight for awhile. The good news is that he has a backup plan, which is to re-enroll in college and work towards completing a degree in business.

(HT: MMAPayout.com)

57 COMMENTS
  • Nolan says:

    Wow, big balls sack on mr Huerta, I have a lot more respect for him.

    Maybe he just doesnt wanna fight BJ, and thinks he can go elsewhere and be a big fish in a smaller pond though.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • matt says:

    As I said on Sherdog, this guy is batshit crazy for speaking out when he himself is a Zuffa produced fighter. He is only being marketed as heavily as he is because he’s a good looking guy and also hispanic…oh and it just so happens that the UFC is trying to break into the hispanic market. So he gets fed: Jason Dent
    John Halverson
    An undersized Leonard Garcia
    Doug Evans
    Alberto Crane
    And Clay Guida, a fight he was losing until a knee.

    If there is ever a fighter who should not complain it’s Roger Huerta. And again, if you think that Jardine is just making 10/10 for fighting in main events you’re out of your mind. There is a very likely chance he’s getting taken care of very well. Just as you know that James Irvin was taken care of for taking a fight with Anderson Silva on short notice.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • JoHn says:

    WOW!!! Roger Huerta would be a huge loss to the UFC, he better beat Florian and then Penn if he wants the big contract, and then he will see the numbers, and yes i agree Jardine has to be getting paid a hell of alot more

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • steak_knife says:

    I don’t think UFC fighters are getting short-changed, I just think that other promotions are over-paying. $800K to Sylvia, $200K to Bigfoot Silva? Those other promotions WILL be done.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jeff L says:

    T. Ortiz Version 2.0. Super.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nolan says:

    I dont think they are over paying at all.

    Its their face and limbs on the line, they should get the lion’s share.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Smokes says:

    Its a shame because after he beats Florian they will feed him to Penn to discredit him maybe even Sherk and then they’ll drop him. I really hope that doesn’t happen but then I’d like to see him go to DREAM.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ryan says:

    hahaah
    this is what i have been saying on this website for a long time even last week people were getting crazy on me for saying that the ufc is bad for the sport in the sense that they treat there fighters like shit except for a few that they have taken on as “their guys”
    now i usderstand that i don’t personally know this situation but for a long time you have been able to see the trend. fighters unhappy with the ufc!
    fighters not signing with the ufc! look at there payouts for the ppv, huerta is right i almost shit myself when i see guys on a ppv card making $1,500 or $3000. that is just fucked up.
    IF the ufc puts a guy on the ppv and thinks he is worth for us to pay to watch then he has to be worth of the ufc to pay!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ryan says:

    also MATT is right that huerta has not really done shit
    but the ufc hyped him like he was the next big thing after a fight with garcia
    so if there going to use him as a marketing tool then pay him for it.
    instead they act like a two bit pimp and the fighters are there working girls to spit on and fuck as they please!!!!!!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • tricky dicky says:

    I think he’s spot on and the UFC should hardly be surprised by his sentiments. They have been laughing all the way to the bank.

    Anyone who can’t see that alot of the fighters are underpaid is a mongoloid.

    a 50 dollar perdiem for appearances, and no pay? Nothing like losing money while the UFC gets rich..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nick says:

    Roger is smart, he would not have spoken out unless he wanted to entertain a release from the UFC. His prospects aren’t very good inside the company anymore anyway. He will most likely lose to Florian, which will be his first loss in the promotion. After that its a long climb back up to the top, one he is probably not very interested in doing. And if he manages to beat Florian, he is facing a BJ Penn matchup that he will most likely lose. And after he loses to Penn, its an even longer climb back. I think he is banking on a release in hopes of jumping on the Affliction gravy train. And that is a huge mistake, because there are no promises that they will make it over the long hall. I enjoy Roger, he is intelligent and an exciting fighter to boot. But this was not a smart move on his part.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jason says:

    That Matt guy that is the second post….Huerta trains with Jardine and says he got 10K so you are saying you know better? I also like his use of the phrase”There is a very likely chance that he is being taken care of very well” That is good enough for me… a very likely chance? You will defend the UFC to the end and rationalize and justify their stanglehold on the sport in any way that you can.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • TQP says:

    Can you imagine Roger Huerta on a DREAM card for years to come? That would be amazing. Roger vs Eddie Alvarez

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • matt says:

    Jason, I’m saying that it’s very easy for a fighter to use a Athletic commission released number to justify his argument. It’s like saying that Chuck is headlining PPV and only making 200k and he deserves more. If you really believe that Chuck is only taking in 200k from PPV (not including his ppv percentage) then you’re really naive. Huerta is using Jardine’s released numbers to build his argument that he himself is deserving of more money.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Nolan says:

    Maybe he was approached by affliction to anchor their lightweight division? If he beats Ken it wouldnt be a bad idea for affliction.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • paddiosf says:

    Wow, I shocked to be honest but its’ the truth..The UFC fighters need a Fighters UNION I’ve said it before and until that happens we’ll continue to see
    fighters not paid properly..There is far to much money that the UFC is making for that to not happen…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Timmy D says:

    OK – I am on the fence here about the UFC. I love the UFC, I love their events, and I think they are the best promotion out there so far for the fans. That being said, I agree that the fighter pay is very disparate. Some fighters are making a shit ton of money and may be undeserving (Tim Sylvia for instance whose fights are always without exception boring until he gets his ass kicked) and some are making crap, like Jardine. OK I don’t really think Jardine is that great of a fighter BUT LETS BE HONEST he beat Chuck Liddel… that ALONE should make him worth a hell of a lot more money.

    OK so the argument goes

    A.) Fighters dont make a lot of money. Just look at the released arguments!

    B.) No, thats not true! They are taken care of via sponsorship and “bonuses”

    A.) Not really, they get lowballed and aren’t taken care of.

    OK so what is really true? I wish we could see what the actual numbers look like, for a successful fighter AND some lower tiered fighters. I know we all got some insight when “Handy” Couture released his numbers, but I for one would love to see what some of these sponsorship deals really look like and what the total payout vs expenses look like for several different tiers of fighters.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Michael says:

    If they dont like what they do they should get other jobs and they will realize very fast that they do fine. The ufc is a business, if they gave each individual what they thought THEY deserved they would go broke. The 50 dollar per diem is a bit low but Huerta is promoting himself along wiht the ufc, he will reap the benifits of doing those apperances too.

    A union would ruin the ufc and mma, just liek they do in everything. Union’s are destructive…

    bottom line, they dont like getting paid what they get paid they should find another occupation…w/o the ufc they wouldnt ever be making that fighting…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • efknutrition says:

    How does sponsorship money matter??
    Do we factor in how much the lakers pay kobe based off his deal with nike?
    The ufc probably pays more than is reported but until we some some tax returns or something we will really never know what each fighter really makes from the ufc.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jeremy says:

    For the record: Jardine makes more than 10k. Keith has commented on making extra money, in the past.

    If what I have heard, from a couple of difference sources, is correct, Keith’s pay for the Silva fight was a little under 100k.

    While Roger may be training with Keith, I don’t know that Keith is opening up his financial records to Roger. I think Roger is simply using Keith’s public pay as an example.

    If Roger wants a fat contract, then he better make sure he beats Florian in convincing fashion.

    I like Roger, but he is hardly a major name or top tier fighter.

    It is also worth keeping in mind that Roger is not simply complaining about the UFC, but about sponsors as well.

    Roger made 53k for his last fight. To me, that does not seem like an unfair amount.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • darkmetal says:

    (intercom) “Mr. Huerta to Dana White’s office please….”

    I also agree with Matt on Huerta being marketed as “Mr Mexico” to all the Luchadore’ fans, a good number of them being illegal immigrants. I guess if the perception that illegals can buy a case of beer a night they should be good for a PPV or seat.

    I think a lot of these guys don’t understand that there are guys out there who would kill to be in his place fighting in the UFC. I think quite a few of these fighters are getting full of themselves and will one day wish they had kept their mouths shut.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ranger1071 says:

    I’ve always believed the UFC underpaid but $50 per diem and thats it? What a joke! When I was on active duty in the military we usually got more than $50 a day per diem when we were on temporary duty to other places, and that was in 2004. The last time I had to do something for the National Guard I got right around $50 when I was in BFE, Georgia. Huerta was in London, the 3rd most expensive city in the world. That’s a total joke and if I was Huerta I’d have been upset too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • platypus says:

    if i were given a choice who to believe, based on limited facts, fighter or organization, id have to go with the fighter for many reasons.

    i believe what huerta is saying, but at the same time he IS using someone else as an example to justify deserving to get paid more.

    unlike some ppl clamoring for a union, im not sure that would solve everything, and it unless the entire union employees consisted of former fighters, i dont see it helping too much and theres always a chance of corruption.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • HexRei says:

    @matt: A UFC produced fighter? what about those 20+ fights before the UFC, vs opponents such as Melvin Guillard, Matt Wiman, Ryan Schultz, and Jake Short? He is not a “ufc produced fighter” by ANY means, and he’s just saying what most UFC fighters are thinking.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • HexRei says:

    @Jeremy:

    Keith Jardin made 10k for fighting Wandy UFC 84:

    http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messages/chrono/8561250

    Whoever you heard from was wrong- the guy who gets KO’ed doesn’t get any $$ for KO of the night, either.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • DamonO says:

    I am a huge fan of Roger’s and seeing that he is not happy with the UFC is very discouraging. I have met him twice and he really doesn’t seem like the type of person who is money hungry and would lie about this sort of thing. He’s a really nice down to earth guy. I agree that he hasn’t had the best competition standing across from him in the ring but let’s be real here, he beat them all in good fashion. I am happy that Guida gave him some better competition. He was losing that fight. That doesn’t matter though. Bottom line, he won. He’s exciting. He’s got heart. Forget Sports Illustrated. He is a star just from his fighting alone. He is one of the first guys that people can level with. We’ve heard his life story and we’ve seen him win every single fight in the UFC. Not to mention he has 28 total fights with 25 wins, one loss, one draw and one “no contest”. He deserves a title shot and he deserves to be paid well in this sport.

    Affliction paid their fighters those amounts for marketing purposes. They are marketing to the fighters of the world. They are saying “Hey, come over here and we will pay you well.” It’s a trap if the promotion is unsuccessful. If they are successful, I do see the UFC raising the bar and paying their fighters better if they haven’t already.

    Either way you look at it, the money issues are starting to surface. I know you can’t please everyone in every organization but when you have a star amongst you, you should compensate them as a star.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Luckyme says:

    I could never imagin that there are so many of you defending Dana and Zuffa. Dana has always talked about how UFC is bigger than boxing. How come he’s not paying his fighters like boxers get paid? Dana and all the other big wigs are sitting around with there pockets filling up while they use these B and C fighters. We all hate Mayweather but he makes 20 mil a fight. Whats the difference between him for boxing and Anderson for UFC?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • G-DUB says:

    It always cracks me up when people use the argument that “there are hundreds of other fighters who would KILL to take his place in the UFC” … what a load of manure. The simple fact is that fighters like Huerta have made it to the UFC and he has proven time and time again that he belongs there (despite his argueably lesser level of competition thus far). He is a major name in the UFC …. the major leagues of MMA competition … he should be compensated as such. So should any other fighter that makes it to the major leagues be rewarded appropriately.
    By the way, how much money is the UFC making off of Huerta’s name and image? How many times have you seen his fights played and replayed on Unleashed? Is he getting royalties for any of these evergreen properties?
    I just don’t see how anyone can make a legitimate argument for most UFC fighters getting paid their fair share. Dana & Lorenzo …. loosen up your money clips a bit or you’ll eventually get burned.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Trust Doesn't Rust says:

    I saw a collection of UFC fights on TV Azteca a couple of months ago in a hotel that was pretty much all Huerta all the time– his fight against Leonard Garcia, a lengthy interview exclusive to the program. The only thing that wasn’t him was the Gonzaga-Cro Cop fight. I had no idea this show existed, but it’s pretty clear that the UFC is confident they can market Huerta to the Mexican audience.

    He’s right to speak up in this regard, in my opinion. If the UFC’s going to use him as an ambassador to an entire market, a market that is pretty much singlehandedly keeping boxing alive right now, then they should damn well pay him like it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Imbecile says:

    My favorite line from the interview is where Huerta said he doesn’t care if he fights for the UFC or for someone else, then goes on to talk about how he wants to fight for an organization that has as much loyalty to him as he does to them.

    Nice job Roger! Openly say you have no particular loyalty to an organization, and then say you wanted to be treated with equal loyalty to what you give them. Since you say you could care less about the organization, by your own logic, they should care less about you and your career.

    The UFC gave him an easy road coming up, and helped build him into a mini-star. I hope now they show him the real road champions have to walk, and keep feeding him real competition. I think Florian will beat him, then they should have him fight Sherk, and then maybe Stevenson or Gray Maynard. I think Huerta would lose all of those, and then the UFC can send him packing to whatever other org will pick him up. Then he can find out whether or not he does care where he fights.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Kuch says:

    Fighters have managers/representatives who can argue pay and whatnot when they negotiate and resign their contracts. If they don’t like the pay offered in the contract, they are free to not sign with the UFC.

    There are no victims employed by the UFC. Each and every fighter agreed to their contract.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sporadic says:

    Huerta made $38k for his last fight, plus another $15k bonus for fight-of-the-night. So, if he wins 3 fights a year at $38k a fight, that’s $114k…. before any bonuses or sponsors. And that’s his current contract and I’m sure he’ll go to $30k+$30k per fight in his new contract. That would put him in the $180k for winning 3 fights, before any bonuses… With a decent manager, he should easily double that figure in sponsors.

    So, How much do you people think would be ‘fair’ money?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mike says:

    This passage reads more like the author wanted to go off on an anti-UFC rant and found a quote to match, rather than Huerta legimately being angry. Each pargraph quoted features several sentences of the author going off on tangents unrelated to Roger’s actual words.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Redravi7 says:

    I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with Huerta, but his timing is bad. Florian will pick him apart and then where will he be? Do the Japanese promotions pay that much better? Elite and Affliction don’t have a substantive enough lightweight roster to make it worth bringing him over.

    His best chance is if Tito Ortiz, Golden Boy and him get together on their own promotion.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ultmma says:

    I gained alot of respect for the guy actually. $50 bucks for a PR tour are your freaking kidding me?

    This is suppose to be the big bad UFC and all they give their guys per diem is 50 bucks.

    D white and the F bro I thought you guys you were suppose to be the next NASCAR??

    people never bother to question that many of these sponsors from MMA barands may not be offering up the big dollars that some make it seem to be.

    Do you believe that all these MMA clothing companies are not in the red? The market is only so big.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • racinjb says:

    this is like when randy said he made only 700,000 something for his fights under his new contract but then we all found out he had made like 2.9 or 3 million with pay per view.i like roger and am a big fan of his heart but you negotiate your pay.im not gonna go ask my boss for a raise from busting my ass just after being hired
    fulfill your contract and then after kicking some ass renegotiate your new one…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • NealTaflinger says:

    @Mike: You’re wrong, but I’m not mad because you’re reading excerpts taken out of the context of the larger story. I have the transcripts and audio to prove I didn’t misrepresent anything Roger said. Thanks for reading.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • NealTaflinger says:

    Also, it’s called paraphrasing, and writers use it to create a narrative.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • yuushi says:

    For the last time . . . if you don’t like the contract, don’t sign.

    Simple huh? If you don’t like your current contract, do well and renegociate on your contract renewal.

    Not quite so simple, but will help you a lot more in the long run than badmouthing your employers while still employed by them. I’d like to see anyone go and complain publicly about the company you work for and see how much longer you have a job.

    Of course, I want to see fighters make more money, but it isn’t as simple as you think it is.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Eric says:

    Huerta should be the last guy complaining about pay in the UFC, they have pretty much made him a star by pushing him to the media like crazy. Between this and his disrespect of Kenny, I really hope that Florian stomps him and the UFC freezes him out for the remainder of his contract. I’m tired of guys letting their managers get in their ear about pay, especially considering he’s done nothing to be running his mouth about what a joke.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • batman says:

    I always think that you should stand up for yourself and I am proud of huerta. More power to him he’s a great fighter and it will be sad to see florian lose.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Davey D says:

    It used to be if you weren’t happy with the UFC then go to Pride FC. Now, you hear from “some” that Pride didn’t pay all that well. So who knows?

    The best thing would be to get yourself into the UFC and find out. I don’t see that as an option for me so all I can do is read about thing’s like this along with the rest and try to understand it all. Another would be to speak to the fighter’s off the record and decide what to make of it. That’s a lot of people to speak with.

    I say, to each his own. If Roger feel’s the need to speak, let him. The writing is on the wall. I’m sure he want’s to stay with the UFC and get paid handsomely for everything from here on out. If he doesn’t, he’ll attend college (which is good) and wait it out to see what comes after his contract is up.

    We’ve all seen Tito go, Randy is a Champion without a place to go, Vera is getting PAID nicley, GSP is rumored to be dis-statisfied with his earning’s in someway or another but not going pubilc like Roger has. To each his own.

    The commission’s report the fighters’ earning’s for when they win, lose, KO of the night, etc. This site and a lot of other’s have that little caption at the bottom of each report that says the fighter’s also earned additional fund’s but not a reported figure due to undisclosed reasons. Whatever that “figure” is is up to the fighter’s to tell us, if they can or not, I don’t know?

    That said, I’d like to see the fighter’s make the most possible. You have to earn the better pay as you go along. In the end, it should be fair to all parties involved. The UFC makes a lot of cash, every day. Some day’s more than other’s. Thing’s should smooth for Fighter A, B and C if they have done a good job, in and out of the Octagon. Again, you have to earn it. That’s the best I can come up with.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • tallsforeverybody says:

    Florian will bust Huertas ass.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ACK! says:

    Where are all those people who try and tell us that UFC fighters are fairly compensated and that all of us people railing against fighter pay are just sensationalist internet turds? Huh?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Eric says:

    Why don’t you guys who are criticizing Huerta for speaking out against the company that you’re so stupidly loyal toward jump in the cage and fight for the money the UFC is paying. Let’s see how long you can survive.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Tony Fennen says:

    UFC is like the modern day version of employer slavery.

    What are they going to do when all the guys only make $50 (PER DAY) spending cash figure out that you can make more working for a T-Shirt Guy???

    Yeah UFC is the big dog but like they say… every dog has its day.

    Remember back when guys in the NFL were making $100K a year it was not that long ago. FREE AGENCY!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • darkmetal says:

    Another thing that people aren’t talking about is that if Huerta wants to buy Champagne and eat Caviar, he can certainly use his own money and buy it. Does the guy know he can write it all off on his taxes? Every minute he is on the road is considered part of doing business, which he can write off as a business expense….duh.

    I think that Dana White should help Huerta out and send him to Mexico to promote the UFC, where $50 per diem should buy him just about anything he wants, right? And according to Huerta, its much better to be Mexican than be American anyway…so he should be happy to do it.

    I was watching “Ultimate Iceman” last night, and it was pretty impressive how Liddell pretty much promoted the UFC through the lean early years of Zuffa without nary a complaint. Now these guys are making 200k a year and are complaining that they can’t buy Crystal on the UFC’s dime.

    As some others noted, if you don’t like the contract, don’t sign it. If you signed it and don’t like it, bite your lip until it is renegotiated and then ask for more.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jeremy says:

    The latest I have heard is that Huerta is looking for a deal that would make him one of the highest LWs in the UFC.

    Dave Meltzer also reported that negotiations have not gone well and that both sides are far apart on numbers.

    Is Huerta currently worth 40+40 or more? I don’t see it right now. If he decisively beats Florian, maybe.

    But to pay him more than Kos, Sanchez and others seems a bit much.

    Tony,
    Perhaps you did not hear the Affliction VP just say that fighters will have to work with him and that they should not look at him as a cash cow.

    Hex,
    Yes, Jardine’s disclosed purse was 10k. Dana was asked if Jardine made 10k and he said no. I know full well what the disclose pay was for that card. I also know that most of the main card fighters made a lot more.

    I know, for a fact, that Sherk made a hell of a lot more than 35k for UFC 84, so did BJ, Wandy and others.

    Speaking to somebody from New Mexico, I was told that Keith ended up making “between 70-90k” for the fight. Jardine made well over 100k for his win over Liddell.

    The UFC has to disclose the contracted pay, but quite often pays bonuses to fighters in the main bouts. By paying bonuses instead of simply signing huge contracts, they can pay less for less successful shows.

    Couple of examples: After beating Josh Burkeman, Karo openly said that Dana gave him a very nice check, even though Karo did not get fight of the night.

    Kalib Starnes said that he got an extra 25k for beating Leben. This was outside of his other bonuses.

    Leonard Garcia was paid a bonus check when he lost to Huerta.

    Randy Couture, in his new bio, talked about getting a very large check after losing to Chuck the second time.

    Of course the problem with these bonuses is that you can’t count on getting them.

    Roger needs to do what is best for him. But he is hardly getting screwed. As I said in another post, he made a reported 53k for his win over Guida. His reported pay for his last three bouts is a total of $111k.

    Again, he deserves whatever he can get somebody to pay him, but I am not worried about him paying the bills.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ranger1071 says:

    Jeremy when you start talking about UFC 84 and the under the table or “locker room bonuses” that is THE problem here, it’s all in the dark and at the UFC’s whim. Fighters can’t count on that money, not only that they never know if it’s coming. It’s not contracted, it’s not visible, and it’s not standardized. That means that there is a lot of potential for some shady things to go on and it also brings all of these questions up and causes the problem for those of us on the outside looking in.

    Furthermore, and this is something that rarely comes up, these guys have a lot of overhead when they fight. Managers, lawyers, promotional and license fees all add up. I’m not saying we should feel too bad for them, and let me be clear even with that they make a very solid living, but that living comes at a very high price financial and also the physical toll they put on their bodies. Combine that with relatively low up front and assured money and the lack of steady definite fights and that all adds up a very solid case for the average fighter in the UFC to make.

    There needs to be more open accounting practices going on with the UFC but until we see a real challenger to their reign as top dog I doubt we will see that any time soon. Which is unfortunate.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Truth says:

    Good for Huerta. Business isn’t about blind loyalty, it’s about looking out for #1 because nobody else is going to truly look out for your interests. Hopefully, more fighters are wise enough to see that they have to play the game as hard as it’s being played against them or else they’re going to be taken advantage of.

    It’s bad that he likely tanked any chance he had at fighting BJ after the Florian fight. On the bright side, BJ is the only top-notch lightweight that the UFC has, so other than a shot at BJ, Huerta has plenty of great opportunities elsewhere if he leaves.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jeremy says:

    Ranger,

    If you were to ask ten fighters exactly how much they make, I am sure most would decline to answer.

    Should Zuffa, Affliction and others have to report every penny the fighters make?

    Anderson Silva currently gets a percentage of the ppvs. I don’t hear him telling reporters what he got.

    While Roger is talking about money, he is not actually talking about what he makes or what he wants to make. He wants more money, but I don’t think he wants everyone to know what he makes. If he did, he would have been specific.

    I may be wrong, but from what I understand, Roger is looking for money that would put him in the same place as Lyoto Machida, far more than top ten fighters like Kos, Sanchez and Fitch.

    None of this has been discussed because neither Zuffa nor Roger have chosen to be specific.

    Zuffa is not the only company to pay undisclosed money. Pride did it for both of it’s U.S. shows. Elite does not disclose anything on shows that don’t require it.

    Affliction has some contracts that contain undisclosed bonus money. It has come out that Fedor’s deal paid a lot up front and contains several clauses that pay him extra money.

    At no point will fighter pay be completely disclosed and, honestly, I don’t think Chuck Liddell wants Brandon Vera knowing his total earnings.

    I would like to see the UFC pay out a small percentage of ppv revenue to fighters. That way, guys would get extra money based on how the show did.
    The top guys (Liddell, Franklin, Silva, GSP) all get a ppv cut right now.

    Maybe have 5% go to the fighters as bonuses. For a card like UFC 86 which is believed to have done around 525k buys, it would be another 500-600k for the fighters.

    I also don’t have a problem with companies paying extra money to guys that had great fights. Keith Jardine did make a lot of extra money for his win over Chuck.

    GSP picked up a very nice six figure bonus when he beat Serra.

    Right now, fighter pay is regularly going up. For UFC 84, only four of twenty-two fighters made less than ten. Eleven made 20k or more.

    There are more MMA companies (Strikeforce, Elite, Affliction, WVR, Dream) out there today than ever before. Because of this, fighters will get more because the market demands it.

    Roger deserves every penny he can get, but he is hardly at the bottom of the MMA food chain. 2007 saw him take home a disclosed 131k, not including endorsement money. Unless his manager is a total clown, Roger made over 200k (likely over 250k) last year.

    Does this mean he has no right to complain? No, but it is worth keeping in mind that he is hardly working for peanuts.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Juelz says:

    I’m so tired of people defending the UFC. I don’t know about you but i don’t watch the UFC cause of their UFC logo i watch them for their fights. The fighters is the one making the money for the UFC so i think the only fair thing would be to give the fighters the wages they deserve and stop fucking them up the ass.

    The UFC is 1 BILLION $ company i’m pretty sure they can afford paying their fighters alot more.
    Sure they still get decent pay you can argue but the UFC is the one who’s making the big bucks here not the fighters. And what the hell Jeremy you say the fighters hardly working for peanuts??? They are in the gym every single day working their ass off, These guys are proffessional athlethes it’s not like some regular dude who never trained in his life could step in that cage and put a good show on. Show the fighters some damn respect.

    I think that there are alot of other fighters that are unhappy with their contracts but if they speak up they could just be released from the UFC and they have to pay their bills like everyone else. I don’t like Tito but he’s right in what he’s saying and i think there will be more fighters to join Roger,Tito and Randy in speaking up against the UFC.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • yuushi says:

    ACK said:

    Where are all those people who try and tell us that UFC fighters are fairly compensated and that all of us people railing against fighter pay are just sensationalist internet turds? Huh?

    Yeah, because for every UFC fighter who complains about their pay there are about more than 10 who aren’t.

    Like I said before, don’t like the contract, don’t sign. Don’t like your current contract, fulfill your current contract and renegotiate or don’t re-sign.

    That’s how Liddell and Franklin did it and they’re getting paid well. Why don’t fighters learn by example?

    Eric said:

    Why don’t you guys who are criticizing Huerta for speaking out against the company that you’re so stupidly loyal toward jump in the cage and fight for the money the UFC is paying. Let’s see how long you can survive.

    Why don’t you go and publicly bash the company you work for and see how long you still have a job?

    It isn’t about loyalty (hell, I want Affliction to succeed because competition is good for the sport), it’s about handling situations like this the proper way. The Tito Ortiz way doesn’t work.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • smokeweedson says:

    screw ufc boxing did good
    who seen miguel cotto vs antonio margarito

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Jeremy says:

    Juelz
    The UFC is a billion dollar company is theory only. If you think they are making billions, you are way off. They had to be considered a billion dollar company when the IFL was considered an 800 million dollar company.

    As far as working for Peanuts goes: Roger Huerta, not including sponsor money, made 131k in 2007. Please tell me you think that is poverty money. And knowing what some fighters make in endorsements (and this comes from fighters who know I respect them), it is very likely that Huerta ended up with close to 250k for the year.

    Furthermore, I do show fighters RESPECT. Find me one time that I have ever belitted a fighter.

    My point is, and I will say it again so you actually understand it, is that Roger Huerta is making a decent living. I also said that Roger deserves every penny he can get.

    Turn down the hysteria a notch and read what it written.

    Zuffa is hardly an evil empire that makes hundreds of millions per card. Could more be done? Sure, but then most other companies could pay more.

    A ppv that does 500k and sells out at 3 million gives the UFC 12 million total. That is before all expenses. Is the UFC making millions? Sure, but they are also employing around 100 people (not including the fighters) and paying them as well.

    The UFC’s profit margin is likely not all that far off from what many successful companies are at.

    Roger and Zuffa will continue to negotiate. If they can’t come to terms, Roger will have the oppurtunity to test his worth in the free market.

    I hope he re-signs, but if not, there certainly are a fair amount of options between Japan and the U.S. If he does not sign, I will not think less of him. He needs to do what is best for him.

    One last note: If you believe everything Tito is saying, you are being misled. This is a guy that said, on Howard Stern, that he only made 225k in his last fight (Not true since his contract gives him the same ppv percentage as Randy and Chuck and thus will end up with at least 700k) and that his opponent only made 25k. It is a matter of public record that Machida made 100k.

    Tito spins things to his own benefit. Is he wrong in everything? No, but he has say untrue things MANY times.

    It would be nice if much of this could be talked about without the hysterics (both for and against a fighter) that often arise.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • cain91077 says:

    The only problem I have is that these so called locker bonuses are not gauranteed.If Dana didnt “take care of”Jardine then he did indeed only make 10k.Btw you get more per diem in the military when traveling than Huerta did.I think whats happened is is that the UFC lost so much money in the early years that now that they have such a exsplosion of the sport they have failed to update the salaries to match the huge numbers they make on shows.Instead relying on ,relatively speaking,smaller backroom bonuses to keep fighters happy.Unfortunantly for the fighters the only way to truly settle this is standardizing pay and what u publish is what you pay which more than likely means huge paycuts for the stars and increases for the no-names.Huerta better be careful what he asks for cause he just might get it.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • [...] in August, Roger Huerta revealed to FIGHT! Magazine that he was unhappy with his current situation in the UFC. Among other things, Huerta was [...]

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

LEAVE A COMMENT!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Follow 5OZ