For some reason, UFC 116 pay figures were released BEFORE the event even happened, but I like waiting till afterwards so we can all judge pay vs performance for maximum mockery potential. So without further ado, here’s the official payout numbers listed from highest paid to lowest:
- Brock Lesnar: $475,000 (no win bonus + $75,000 SOTN)
- Chris Leben: $161,000 ($43,000 show + $43,000 win + $75,000 FOTN)
- Stephan Bonnar: $125,000 ($25,000 show + $25,000 win + $75,000 FOTN)
- Yoshihiro Akiyama: $120,000 (45,000 show + $75,000 FOTN)
- Gerald Harris: $95,000 ($10,000 show + $10,000 win + $75,000 KOTN)
- Krzysztof Soszynski: $85,000 (10,000 show + 75,000 FOTN)
- Chris Lytle: $52,000 ($26,000 win bonus)
- Kendall Grove: $50,000 ($25,000 win bonus)
- Shane Carwin: $40,000
- Kurt Pellegrino: $25,000
- George Sotiropoulos: $24,000 ($12,000 win bonus)
- Brendan Schuab: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
- Jon Madsen: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
- Ricardo Romero: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
- Chris Tuchscherer: $12,000
- Daniel Roberts: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)
- Seth Petruzelli: $10,000
- Matt Brown: $10,000
- Karlos Vemola: $8,000
- David Branch: $6,000
- Forrest Petz: $6,000
- Goran Reljic: $5,000
Now let’s dissect the numbers:
Estimating the real Brock number: Using our Randy PPV Equation – an estimate of PPV revenue based on what Randy Couture used to make before his last contract dispute, the only officially known meter stick for fighter PPV cuts – Brock Lesnar is set to make at least 2.3 million off his PPV cut if the event sold a million buys. So add that to his nearly half mil official pay plus whatever amount giddy Zuffa execs decided to throw out in the hopes that it will encourage him to come back to the cage in 2010 and you’ve got … A LOT OF MONEY.
Carwin not so big on the payday list: 9th place on the official payday list is pretty lame but don’t feel too bad for Carwin – he made oodles and oodles of money off sponsorships plus there’s the standard locker room money that gets thrown around. While he’s listed as making a sad looking 40k, I’d be amazed if he walked away from this fight with less than half a million bucks in his pocket.
Reaping the rewards: Chris Leben went from being a mid-card fighter on a meh TUF finale to lead in for the biggest main event of the year so far and banked hard on it: $95 grand for the TUF show, $161 for this show, and a sudden resurge in legitimacy. I’m sure the money and the legitimacy won’t last long.
The Jackpot Award: Goes to Gerald Harris, who went from being near the bottom of the pay pile to the top with his KO of the night. With his boring fight making the Spike prelim and being sent to ESPN for inclusion in their play of the day list, it wouldn’t surprise me if he also got even more cash from Zuffa.
The Needs a New Contract Award: This one’s a tie between Shane Carwin (you don’t wanna rely on Zuffa goodwill especially when you mention pay publicly like Shane did leading up to this fight) and George Sotiropoulos, who made less off his win over Kurt Pellegrino than Kurt Pellegrino made losing.
The Not Worth a Red Cent Award: Chris Tuchscherer. Go away, fatty.
The Coasting on Fumes Award: Goran Reljic’s only decent payday in the UFC was two years ago when he won FOTN over Wilson Gouveia. Since then: injuries, and now two loses at 5 grand a pop. He probably lost a nice chunk of sponsorship change when his guaranteed spot on SpikeTV got bumped due to Kendall Grove saying stupid shit. I hope he’s been smart with his money.
Fun Fact: One Brock is worth 79.2 Forrest Petzes. Factor in Lesnar’s min PPV cut as well and you could afford 462 performances from Petz.