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Matt Hughes, Anderson Silva each crack a quarter-million in salary for UFC 117 performances

Shortly after submitting BJJ blackbelt Ricardo Almeida for the first time in his MMA career at UFC 117, welterweight icon Matt Hughes mentioned his intent to enjoy a bit of hunting during his time off between fights. If the former UFC champion’s pay for the event is any indication, it appears Hughes will be able to afford more than a few shiny new guns and camouflaged outfits for his upcoming endeavors.

According to figures released by the CSAC and later reported by MMAFighting, Hughes made $200,000 for his win over Almeida (as well as $60,000 for earning “Submission of the Night”). He was only topped by current UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in terms of take-home pay.

Also making six-figures for a win at the event was Jon Fitch. In addition to earning a shot at the UFC welterweight title by beating Thiago Alves the American Kickboxing Academy staple also earned $108,000 in pay for the unanimous decision victory.

Here is a complete rundown of “UFC 117” payment information made available including event-specific bonuses:

Dennis Hallman: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Ben Saunders: $12,000
Stefan Struve: $90,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus, $60,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus) def. Christian Morecraft: $6,000
Tim Boetsch: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus) def. Todd Brown: $6,000
Johny Hendricks: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus) def. Charlie Brenneman: $8,000
Phil Davis: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus) def. Rodney Wallace: $6,000
Rick Story: $22,000 (includes $11,000 win bonus) def. Dustin Hazelett: $18,000
Junior dos Santos: $80,000 (includes $40,000 win bonus) def. Roy Nelson: $15,000
Matt Hughes: $260,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus, $60,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus) def. Ricardo Almeida: $35,000
Clay Guida: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus) def. Rafael Dos Anjos: $12,000
Jon Fitch: $108,000 (includes $54,000 win bonus) def. Thiago Alves: $48,000*
Anderson Silva: $320,000 (includes $60,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus, $60,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus) def. Chael Sonnen: $95,000 (includes $60,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)

* – Alves’ original salary was $60,000 but took a 20% hit for not making weight against Fitch

14 COMMENTS
  • MCM says:

    Holy Crap! Nelson only makes 15K per fight! I’m not normally one of those guys that complains about fighter salaries, but Nelson is a former IFL HW champ and winner of TUF that came into the UFC with name recognition. You’d think he’d be making more than Stefan Struve or Tim Boetsch.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 31 Thumb down 4

  • moosebaby02 says:

    i too am not one to complain about what the fighters are making but that was the first thing i was thinking when i saw that MCM.
    thats some bullshit

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    Let this be a lesson to all fighters out there…Get a professional to handle your Contracts!

    Well-Done. Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  • qat says:

    im sure he is additionally getting all the bk-coupons collected by all zuffa-employees. ;)

    Well-Done. Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    “Let this be a lesson to all fighters out there…Get a professional to handle your Contracts!”
    -MCM

    Yes, but make damn sure it’s not M1!!! LOL.

    Way to go Struve. The way his lip was looking he deserved that cash. I bet that thing took 30 stitches to fix.

    I totally forgot that Tim Boetsch was even fighting that night. He’s a little slow with his strikes, but I still like to watch him fight. He puts basic Muay Thai skills to work effectively. Did they show the undercard fights on Spike this time? I was at a bar waiting on the main card so I have no idea.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • Guthookd says:

    Hey qat….that would be funny actually, if Roy landed a sponsorship from Burger King. I think it would be brilliant on their part really. They fight a hard fast-food war against McD’s and a fighter sponsorship would be a cool tactic to try out. I hate their garbage burgers, but if they put some money in Roy’s pocket I’d go eat one of those dog shit sandwiches just out of pure principle. In ‘n Out would much better though, of course.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  • danw84 says:

    I’m pretty sure around $15,000 is the standard TUF winner salary per fight. Wikipedia has a little bit of info on how the TUF winner’s contract works too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Jak says:

    That’s classic.

    Every season the Ultimate Fighter winner gets the same basic contract, and every season people go “OMG… he only makes 15/15…”

    Ha, ha…

    How is that people still don’t get that the released base amount isn’t everything a fighter earns…

    How many times does it need to be said…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    I know he’s getting extra pay other than what is stated Jak. But in this particular instance, I figured Big Country would get more than the usual TUF winner base pay. Roy Nelson was a marquee fighter before he entered TUF. When he said “Big Country vs Kimbo is a PPV headliner” he was right. I just figured that because of his name and record he would get a higher base pay than if say Schaub had won.
    If Roy didn’t have the record and experience he did when he won TUF, I wouldn’t be saying anything. I just feel he should be an exception.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    This was from a couple of seasons ago…maybe it will help understanding Big Country’s payscale…

    In the first year of their three-year contracts, the TUF winners get three fights, and for each fight they get paid $12,000 to fight and $12,000 to win. So, their total fight salary for the year would be somewhere between $36,000 and $72,000, depending on their win/loss record.
    In the second year of their three-year contracts, the TUF winners get three fights, and for each fight they get paid $16,000 to fight and $16,000 to win. So, their total fight salary for the year would be somewhere between $48,000 and $96,000, depending on their win/loss record.

    In the third year of their three-year contracts, the TUF winners get three fights, and for each fight they get paid $22,000 to fight and $22,000 to win. So, their total fight salary for the year would be somewhere between $66,000 and $132,000, depending on their win/loss record.

    If you add up those numbers, you’ll find that the legit salary that the TUF winners are actually paid by the UFC is somewhere between $150,000 and $300,000 over the course of three years.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • cutman says:

    True but once you take taxes( 28 % is the least) and expenses out they don’t make a whole lot, and it is not like you can dictate to the ufc guys. But that is the fighter choice…Lets take Nelsons 15k subtract 4500 taxes and then lets say just 2k for trainers/conermen another 1k for food , licensing, testing, I am sure there are others, he came away with an average of about 2 k a month for the 3 months of work that it takes for a fight, guys that’s an average of 24k a year ????? Not to mention the Dr. bills after the fight… They really need better payouts for a company that makes about 3 to 4 hundred million a year. Fame does not pay the bills or for a retirement plan.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Makington says:

    None of it includes money they get from sponsors too cutman. Fighting in the ufc, it’s not really hard at all for fighters to get a couple halfway decent sponsors. Most fighters don’t try to live off fighting too and have full-time jobs outside of their fight-life.

    If Roy Nelson had skipped tuf and tried to get signed by Dana straight up he probably would have gotten more than 15 000 just to show. Yeah it does suck and it is unfair to these guys who put everything on the line but I still feel more strongly about the wec pay scale than anything in the ufc.

    It is getting better though, it’s just an unbelievably slow process.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • qat says:

    “If Roy Nelson had skipped tuf and tried to get signed by Dana straight up he probably would have gotten more than 15 000 just to show.”

    maybe, but roy nelson was not very widely known, and not an ideal fighter to sponsor from a business point of view. but now.. he has a big name, he is popular, and on top of that he is a special character.
    i think doing tuf worked out quite well for him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    If Roy Nelson had skipped tuf and tried to get signed by Dana straight up he probably would have gotten more than 15 000 just to show.

    You’re probably right, but I really don’t think Dana would have signed Big Country without him going through TUF unless he went on a tear in another organization. Dana really seemed to hate that Roy was even in the competition during the TUF:10 taping, I don’t remember him saying anything positive about the guy until after he won.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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