It’s no secret that contestants on the UFC’s first season of their The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show were not paid well. The company was in a bad way financially and the legend goes that the company laid all of its hopes on the success of TUF. Luckily for all of us the main event of Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar became a legendary war that put both competitors in the UFC hall of fame and drew in solid numbers. It was a milestone moment for the company.
Contract money for the show’s competitors was very low back then compared to today. The MMA Hour had first season coach Randy Couture on and he gave his take on just how bad the money was and how badly the fighters wanted to get in the UFC’s doors and desperately signed them.
It doesn’t even compare to one they are making these guys sign for The Ultimate Fighter. Obviously, I was involved in the first four seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, and several of my athletes, Nate Quarry, Chris Leben, and others that signed those contracts. You want to see a horrible contract, a one-sided mess, take a look at one of those contracts, it’s pretty horrible. We want to fight, this is what we love to do.
What did you think of the initial contracts?