money-picOver the years I have tried my best to figure out how the UFC decide on a suitable amount to pay a fighter. I guess there are lots of things that need to be taken into consideration like a fighters popularity, their fighting style, ability, star potential, how many people they will attract to watch an event and much more. However, a lot of the time it can come down to how good of a negotiator a fighters manager is.

At the end of the day every single one of these guys put their bodies on the line and in my opinion they all deserve to be paid more. That said, the UFC is a business and they have a certain financial structure in place that works for them. Whether we think it is right or wrong, it seems to have worked for them so far, so why change it?

Whilst looking at the list of salaries from UFC 173, which took place this past weekend, I wouldn’t help but notice something odd…

Out of the ten fighters who competed on the main card T.J. Dillashaw was no.7 in the list of highest main card earners. Robbie Lawler, Daniel Cormier, Dan Henderson, Renan Barao, Jake Ellenberger and Takeya Mizugaki all earned more than the new UFC bantamweight champion.

In fact, preliminary card fighters Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa both eared $4k more than Dillashaw in salaries, which seems odd considering T.J. was headlining. However, I do understand that the 28-year-old Team Alpha Male fighter is still young and would have been considered a heavy underdog coming into the fight. Hopefully now he will be able renegotiate his contract and start earning the big bucks.

When you take into account Dillashaw’s performance bonuses, which totaled $100k, it wasn’t a bad payday overall, but he definitely needs to ask for a higher basic salary in my opinion.

The full list of UFC 173 salaries is below:

Main Card

TJ Dillashaw: $36,000 ($18,000 to show, $18,000 to win)
Defeated Renan Barão: $74,000

Daniel Cormier: $170,000 ($85,000 to show, $85,000 to win)
Defeated Dan Henderson: $100,000

Robbie Lawler: $200,000 ($100,000 to show, $100,000 to win)
Defeated Jake Ellenberger: $68,000

Takeya Mizugaki: $58,000 ($29,000 to show, $29,000 to win)
Defeated Francisco Rivera: $15,000

James Krause: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Defeated Jamie Varner: $17,000

Preliminary Card

Michael Chiesa: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Defeated Francisco Trinaldo: $12,000

Tony Ferguson: $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Defeated Katsunori Kikuno: $10,000

Chris Holdsworth: $30,000 ($15,000 to show, $15,000 to win)
Defeated Chico Camus: $12,000

Vinc Pichel: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Defeated Anthony Njokuani: $20,000

Sam Sicilia: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Defeated Aaron Phillips: $8,000

Mitch Clarke: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Defeated Al Iaquinta: $14,000

Jingliang Li: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Defeated David Michaud: $8,000

Source: 5thRound

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2 thoughts on “WTF!? Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa earn higher salaries than TJ Dillashaw”
  1. Do you really think that Dillashaw made less than either of those two last night, bonuses aside?

  2. Lol…I’m aware that fighters can be paid additional bonuses, sponsorship money and money to promote a fight etc. However, this post is about the list of disclosed paydays from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, not the figures we don’t have access to. I took a look at T.J.’s disclosed $36k payout and made a comparison to some of the other fighters on the card.

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