ESPN’s Outside the Lines put out a horrible piece today staring Ken Shamrock saying that the UFC doesn’t pay enough, yes the same Ken Shamrock that the UFC made a Millionaire. They’re clearly dicks right? I watched as Rico Rodriguez of Celebrity Rehab fame complained about how he’s out of the UFC because personal reasons with Dana White. This guy is/was a drug addict and can’t hold his own in the big leagues that’s why he’s out. ESPN showed a total lack of professionalism by reporting on a topic where they had very little information to go off of and have had 6 months since they did the interview with Lorenzo Fertitta. ESPN made a case by comparing UFC with NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB.
Now I’m going to give some easy numbers to show why this comparison alone is ridiculous. MLB founded in 1869, NHL founded in 1917, NFL founded in 1920, NBA founded in 1946, UFC founded in 1993 but wasn’t owned by the Fertitta’s until 2001. At the very least we’re comparing sports that have increased the level of pay their athletes receive over the course of 66 years compared to the meager 11 years that Zuffa has owned UFC.
What they also fail to mention in the piece is that the base model for a starting contract of $6,000, $8,000, $10,000 for showing up to their first three fights and double if they win is a small portion of their true earnings. I have not seen one fighter without a sponsor in the UFC, besides Cro Cop and he’s a already plenty rich and opts to not have sponsors. These guys can very easily fight 3 times a year and if they win bring home $48,000 in reported salary; that means the amount the UFC discloses to the commission, not any bonus or any sponsors. With just one fight night award bonus that figure goes above $100,000 plain and simple. This also comes with extensive medical care which no other MMA organization offers. Keep in mind a typical training camp is 8 weeks long so this is all for 24 weeks of work, that leaves 28 weeks to keep in shape and learn more while not training full time, this also leads to opportunities to help another fighter in his training, ask Grey Maynard it’s worth the money.
These stories depicted today on Outside the Lines by these two men who were let go for their inability to be sober or win fights should be taken with a grain of salt. If they don’t like the pay in MMA and more specifically UFC, I believe the WWE pays well right Ken?