How Much Money Do MMA Fighters Make? How does it compare to other professional sports?
MMA's a great sport. It's part beauty, part brutality, and it's started to make stars out of some of its fighters. While there are only a few household names in the sport, that doesn't mean that true fans don't spend their days following a rather wider roster of fighters. Given the growing popularity of MMA, many may wonder - how much money do MMA fighters make? How does it compare to other professional sports? Even long time MMA fans might be surprised to find out how much - or how little - some of these incredible athletes make.
One of the first things to understand about MMA pay is that the vast majority of fighters are paid per fight - they're not on a year-long contract like other pro athletes, and paydays only come after they fight. If a new fighter makes it into a major promotion, they could expect to pull in somewhere between six and ten thousand dollars per fight. That might sound great, but the numbers are skewed when considering that an average new fighter in a major promotion is only going to see action once or twice a year.
People may see a top fighter winning and making tons of money, and think that it is an easy way to make a living, but the reality is that it is not. A fighters life is a tough life, its not an easy sport, it involves long hours of training with a high risk of injury, and a short window of earning opportunity. The average salary for a relatively new, MMA fighter probably averages around twenty-thousand dollars per year.
That's not to say that money can't be made in MMA - UFC headliners can make millions, especially after bonues and PPV revenues are distributed. Georges St. Pierre, for example, recently commented that he made about four and a half million dollars per fight. When compared to the top five or ten fighters against other athletes, they're actually paid very well on a per-bout basis. Sponsorship deals for top fighters can also be very lucrative. When Brock Lesnar, for example, was with the UFC, he reportedly made around five million dollars off of his sponsorship deal with Jimmy John's. It's the lower part of the card that tends to suffer. Unfortunately, for some, being an MMA fighter can be a very high risk, low reward financial proposition, however, its not always just about the money. It's hard to argue the fact that doing what you love, has its own rewards.
It's March Madness in the mixed martial arts world. This month is filled with title fights and other intriguing matchups everywhere you look. A mix of familiar names and promising contenders are eager to prove their worth. Don't dare miss these must see fights in March:
Anthony Pettis vs Rafael dos Anjos
Pettis, the reigning lightweight champion, has rarely fought in the last few years due to injury. That's a shame because when he's healthy, he puts on a great show and dominates his opponents. Rafael dos Anjos isn't as flashy but he gets the job done through sheer grit. Will Pettis add another knockout to his already long highlight reel or will dos Anjos shock everyone with a win? Find out in UFC185.
Carla Esparza vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
Ronda Rousey has raised the profile of women in the MMA and now others are following in her footsteps. Carla Esparza was a former Invicta FC champion, TUF20 final winner, and current holder of the UFC strawweight belt. On March 14, she is set to defend her title against the hardy Joanna Jedrzejczyk who had just won against Claudia Gadelha.
Johny Hendricks vs. Matt Brown
Hendricks has tangled with Robbie Lawler is his past two fights with both ending in close decisions. A trilogy would be fitting but fans will have to wait a little longer as Lawler is unavailable. Still, all Hendricks matches are filled with fireworks and worth watching no matter who is at the opposite side of the ring. In this case, the opponent is Matt Brown, another fighter who likes to go all-out on the Octagon.
Alistair Overeem vs. Roy Nelson
Overeem and Nelson are two veterans who have faced significant setbacks in their career. "Big Country" Nelson may not have an intimidating physique but he is capable of devastating knockouts, while Overeem has impressive strike and takedown accuracy. Both are on the path towards redemption and will try to score a big win to show that they still belong in the UFC.
Justin Gaethje vs. Luis Palomino
WSOF19 is set to entertain fans on March 28 with a lightweight title bout as the main event. The young and undefeated belt-holder Gaethje has already beaten respectable veterans like Nick Newell and Melvin Guillard. Palomino has more experience winning 23 matches in his career but he has also lost 9. The champion is expected to win but he will have to work for it against a game challenger.
Joe Warren vs. Marcos Galvao
Bellator MMA is showcasing the bantamweight title defense of Joe Warren on March 27. Warren is coming off a great win over Eduardo Dantas and is looking to cement his legacy as a great MMA fighter. Galvao is a familiar opponent as the two have already tangled back in 2011 and the Brazilian is eager to avenge his loss.
Adriano Moraes vs. Asuka Mikami
One FC is set to ignite Kuala Lumpur on March 13 with a full card headlined by a flyweight title defense. Adriano Moraes is a BJJ black belt while Asuka Mikami is an underground fighter. The clash of styles alone makes this an intriguing fight.
In this product review, we put a new pair of Boon training gloves through its paces, but first, allow us to wax poetic on automobiles: In the do-or-die world of super high performance cars, the humble Corvette, with its old school approach, is still hanging in there with incendiary European exotics that boast enough technology to send a man to the moon (and a price tag that reflects this). I know, I know; you’re wondering what the hell supercars have to do with Muay Thai gear—bear with me for a moment, I’m making a point! What I’m getting at is, sometimes, the simple things just work. Regarding Muay Thai gear, Boon Sport is a company whose equipment just plain works, and that is clearly displayed in their 16oz training gloves that I recently tested, which you can see right here.
As far as aesthetics go, the Boon training gloves, as with most of Boon’s gear, definitely appear to have been designed with a minimalist approach in mind. If you’re expecting a “JUST BLEED” style glove, festooned with skulls, pitbulls, and flaming chains, you’re going to be disappointed. All you’re going to see here is the Boon logo displayed on the back of the hand and on the Velcro closure strap…and that’s just fine for me! Boon actually prides themselves on their visually minimalist designs; they would rather spend their resources on making the best Muay Thai equipment possible, as opposed to the most aesthetically stimulating. The 16oz gloves are available in black, brown, white, or blue. The 14oz and 12oz gloves are available in these colors, as well as pink and red. The pair of Boon training gloves I demoed were black… just the way I like my training gear.
When I eagerly grabbed the Boon training gloves to do the obligatory “pull them on, slam them together a few times, and then shadowbox a bit” routine, I immediately noticed how soft the leather on the impact surface of the glove was. Boon uses different leather for different applications, which makes total sense. The leather that covers the impact zone of a Thai pad performs a different function, and is subjected to different forces than the leather that covers a sparring glove. This is why the leather on the gloves surprised me with its velvety-smooth, supple texture. Don’t worry, though; this attention to comfort isn’t wasted on your sparring partners’ faces. The hand compartment is nice and snug fitting, with a luxuriously soft-textured liner that does a pretty decent job at keeping your hands dry. Granted, it’s not a true “breathable” design, but it’s not bad at all. The softness of the foam and the inner lining lent a form-fitting feel to the hand compartment. The gloves really snugged up nicely. The profile is a little wider than some more narrow designs, but not in any way intrusive or cumbersome. Looking over the entire glove, there wasn’t a single stitch out of place or uneven. Overall, the comfort, fit, and finish were all as expected from a company like Boon, which is to say “awesome.”
I wore my Boon training gloves to a typical Muay Thai class, which consisted of glove, bag, and pad drills with light sparring at the end. During intense drills, I quickly appreciated the heavy Velcro lined closure strap. It was really easy to grab with your teeth to strap on or strap off (sure, it’s not the right way to tighten or to remove your gloves, but we all do it). The thickness and density of the Velcro makes me confident that this part of the glove would last a long time. I’ve had gloves from other manufacturers that held up just fine, except for the second rate Velcro closure. A glove that no longer tightens properly is useless. The density of the foam sat nicely in the middle; not “puncher’s glove” light like a Cleto Reyes, but not overly firm either. It protected my hands well, and the few punches I actually landed on my sparring partners didn’t leave them in bloody heaps. I’ve used softer “puncher’s gloves” on Thai pads before and actually hurt my hands; that was definitely not the case with these Boon training gloves.
If you’re looking for a new set of Muay Thai training gloves that are up to the task of bagwork, padwork, and even sparring, it’s hard to ignore the awesome Boon training gloves. Their no-frills, all-function design is the perfect paint brush with which you can paint your tapestry of violence. There is a plethora of options when it comes to Muay Thai training gloves, but these Boon training gloves I tested are exactly what I need when it comes to quality made, dependable training gear. MMA Industries gets all of the best Muay Thai gear straight from Thailand, so make sure you check out MMA Industries for your Boon Sport needs!
When it comes to fight gear, many athletes tend to be traditionalists, and for good reason; why change something that works? With the exception of construction materials, most of the objects that fill up a fighter’s gym bag have remained largely unchanged for the past several decades. Look at a pair of boxing gloves from the 70’s and compare them to a pair from today; you won’t see a tremendous amount of significant, design-altering differences. I am very much a purist when it comes to fighting and training gear (I don’t even wear colored Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi’s!), which is why I stared with more than a little bit of skepticism at the brand spanking new pair of Fairtex Twister shin guards that greeted me on my desk a couple days ago. Now, don’t get me wrong, these things aren’t ugly by any means—they’re actually pretty slick looking—but they’re different. Surely though, if Fairtex, a company steeped in the rich tradition of Muay Thai, has decided to make such radical changes to an integral piece of protective equipment, it must be for the best…right? For you curious folk, check them out here at MMA Industries. They can be had in the traditional Fairtex trio of colors—black, red, or blue.
At first glance, I couldn’t help but notice the increased protection around the ankle and instep region. This is a welcomed sight, as taking a shin off the instep due to a mistimed or misplaced check can literally smash the bones in your foot. Misjudging distance when throwing a kick can also lead to you landing with your foot. Someone blocks that with their shin or elbow, and you might be on the bench for a bit while your foot puts itself back together. Speaking of instep protection, the foot piece on the Twister is completely removable. If you’re the type of person who hates the feeling of instep protection on your foot, you can take the damn things off. The instep piece and the shin piece can be adjusted to a custom fit, which is something I love, having the awkwardly long shins of a blue guy from “Avatar.” One of my favorite design features is the mobility of the instep piece. It can move 90 degrees up, down, left and right, so there is absolutely no impediment on your movement whatsoever. It’s easy to see that Fairtex put a huge amount of research and development in the juncture between instep and shin pad, which is a crucial point in any Muay Thai/kickboxing/MMA shin guard. Also, there seemed to be more protection around the sides of the shins and the calf, which also helps to protect the wearer from taking excessive damage. I also noticed right off the bat that there are no metal fixtures or rough edges on the pieces whatsoever. This is an absolutely brilliant move made by Fairtex. Really, if you’re working with a Velcro or hook and loop closure, what sense does it make having any metal on the pad at all? All it does is corrode from constant exposure to sweat, and, even worse, it creates a dangerously sharp impact point that can damage your training partner and your expensive Thai pads. No metal=good, in my eyes. All of the points where sections of material are joined have been smoothed over to ensure that you’re not going to cut your sparring partners up when you’re throwing your kicks. But enough of what I saw, on to what I felt when I actually wore them.
I wore them to a basic Muay Thai class. I was already pretty shot from a heavy duty grappling session immediately before, but, in the name of research, I gutted it out to get a sense of these fancy pants new shin guards from Fairtex. Right off the bat, I noticed the comfort as I strapped them on. I took a closer look and realized that Fairtex has actually padded the straps that hold the shin guards in place! I later found out that they use the same strap system on these as they do with their popular KPLC2 Thai pads. I also noticed, with a barely contained squeal of delight, that I could, with small adjustment, guarantee that I wouldn’t get the blister-inducing top of the toe rub that I get with my regular, more traditionally designed shin guards. At this point, I’m wondering if these shin guards are too good to be true. I mean, protective gear shouldn’t be this comfortable, and if it is, then SURELY it won’t protect you as well, right? I was wrong! I actually had a friend fire leg kicks into my shin guards while I was checking them just to see if they let any more impact through than my traditional pair. They passed with flying colors, and had nary a scratch to show for it. I expect these shin guards to last a long time through many grueling sessions, as does all of my Fairtex gear. Really, in the end, I hardly noticed the Twister shin guards, which is a great, great thing. If you’re constantly being reminded of the fact that you’re wearing shin guards, then they can be made better. The ultimate goal of any protective gear is to essentially “disappear” until you need it, and that’s exactly what the Twister shin guards did for me. My take-home on the Fairtex Twister shin guards is that they’re essentially at the top of the heap. I have yet to try another pair of shin guards that offer the same levels of comfort and protection as these, plus they’re Fairtex, so you know you’re getting a quality, handmade in Thailand piece of gear that is meant to last. Coming to this realization was a big moment for me. Maybe change can be a good thing. If change means this much of an improvement in both the comfort and functionality of a piece of gear, then bring on the change! Make sure you mosey on over to www.mmaindustries.com and give the Fairtex Twister shin guards a serious look if you’re in the market for a new set.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a contact sport that requires special MMA gear in order to help prevent serious injuries. The gear must not only provide protection, but also comfort allowing the fighters to move freely. This is the reason why you should take your time when selecting this gear to ensure that you have the best. If you are starting out in the sport, then you need to get the basic protection gear, so you do not get harmed before you gain experience. Here is some of the essential gear that you should get.
- MMA shorts – You should look for shorts that allow you the best movement. The sport requires you to move very fast in order to defeat your opponent. Get shorts that have the best features in terms of fitting, and durability.
- MMA gloves – You need these specially designed gloves in order to compete in the sport. The gloves should allow you to get enough grip, while grasping your opponent, and also protect your knuckles from injury in a fight. They come in various calibers depending on your level of competition. There are fight gloves, as well as sparring gloves, and you need to get a pair of each.
- Mouth guard – being a contact sport that involves blows to the head, you should use a mouth guard to protect your teeth from being knocked out. Get a set that allows you to breathe freely whilst still fighting to elevate your cardio fitness during a fight.
- Shin guards – MMA involves a lot of kicking and sometimes the fighters feet will collide at the shin. It is prudent that you get a pair of shin guard to avoid injury to your leg. The best have gel-lined padding which acts as a shock absorber.
- Protective cup – Getting hit in the gonads is a very painful and debilitating experience, not to mention the damage that may occur if the contact is extremely hard. This is the reason why you should get a cup that protects you well. Some shorts come with a compression cup inside, s you may consider these first.
- MMA shirts – although the fighters do not wear any shorts in the ring, they need them when approaching the fight and for training. It is also prestigious and traditional that you have an MMA T-shirt if you want to participate in the sport.
- MMA gear bag – You need a strong durable bag to carry all your gear. Get these military standard bags which allow you to carry you gear with ease.
Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Famer and former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell recently commented on Inside MMA what he believed to be the biggest problem in the sport of MMA: Playing it safe.
"I understand it from a coach's standpoint and a manager's standpoint. I understand why you'd want to play it safe and win every fight. I get it. But do I want to watch a guy go beat a guy for four rounds and then ride him the fifth round not doing anything? You want to be worth more? Go out and fight. Have fun. Knock people out. Submit them. Beat them. I don't care. Just go try to finish a fight." - Said Liddell
Its common to see fighters adopt a game plan that may not seem "exciting" to some fans. Performances that incorporate mostly wrestling for control on the ground may be effective in getting the win, but may not be what many MMA fans want to see. It is an interesting topic that hopefully more more MMA athletes and commentators discuss. MMA athletes have to consider salary's and endorsements that come from having winning records. However, just as Liddell commented, an exciting fighter can make more money, even if it means that not all fights end up in the win column.
Below are the current salaries from UFC 162 published by the Nevada Athletic Commission:
Chris Weidman: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Anderson Silva: $600,000
*Silva’s win bonus would have been $200,000
Frankie Edgar: $240,000 (includes $120,000 win bonus)
def. Charles Oliveira: $21,000
Tim Kennedy: $90,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Gracie: $50,000
Mark Munoz: $84,000 (includes $42,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Boetsch: $37,000
Cub Swanson: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Dennis Siver: $33,000
Andrew Craig: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Leben: $51,000
Norman Parke: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Kazuki Tokudome: $8,000
Gabriel Gonzaga: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Dave Herman: $23,000
Edson Barboza: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. Rafaello Oliveira: $14,000
Brian Melancon: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Seth Baczynski: $16,000
Mike Pierce: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. David Mitchell: $10,000
To the novice, watching an MMA fight, the shorts worn by the combatants may seem to be like any ordinary pair of gym shorts. However, this is not so since the shorts have to be specially made to withstand the rigors of the contest. MMA Shorts must provide comfort, while maintaining their structure. The shorts should also be able to stretch to provide unrestricted movement to the combatants. The following is a description of the design elements of these special shorts.
All MMA Shorts have a stretch panel on the inside of the leg. This panel is made of spandex, a special material that can stretch and conform to the contours of the body. The spandex allows the combatants to fight without having to worry about tearing the shorts.
Split seams are added to allow unrestricted movement around the seams of the shorts. The size of the seam varies from one brand to another and the size of the shorts. In MMA, unrestricted movement is very important to allow the fighters to grapple, kick, and shift with ease. Since it is a full contact sport, movement determines how fast one gets out of the way of a kick, or how fast one can move in on an opponent. Not all shorts have this feature, with some opting to give the fighters a wider thigh size.
Dual Velcro fastening
Although some brands include the standard drawstring for fastening, most MMA shorts have dual Velcro fastening to ensure that the shorts stay in place throughout the fight. The shorts have one Velcro fastening that goes horizontally across the front of the waistband, and another that goes vertically. The Velcro conceals the drawstring and provides secure fastening. Without the dual Velcro fastening, the shorts could come loose and the fighters could, literally, be caught with their pants down.
Fast-drying, lightweight material
MMA shorts are made from a light polyester composite material, which has the properties of drying very fast. This feature is important since it allows the shorts to quickly absorb sweat from the combatants. Similarly, the material does not stick to the skin, thereby allowing fighter, once again, to achieve maximum flexibility in the movements.
Rubber waist band
The high end MMA shorts have a rubberized inner waistband surface. The rubber was added so as to provide traction on the skin, thereby stopping the shorts from moving around the waist. Without this band the shorts would shift to one side and impede the movement of the fighters. In this fast-paced sport, a split second, spent adjusting the shorts, could cause a fighter to lose.
Many fights, as recent as UFC 159, that have had fight stoppages due to eye pokes. It's frustrating for both fighters and fans. (Belchers eye poke is a hard image to forget) Fighters, fans and commentators have all expressed the need for new rules or better mma gloves to reduce eye pokes.
Seems easy right? Well not so fast. Its a hot topic with many different opinions, and to top it off, any new glove design would have to have thorough testing, and get the ok from not only fighters, but also get approved by the athletic commission.
Fighters like Cub Swanson have weighed in on the matter expressing their frustrations on how MMA gloves are too square, and impossible to properly break in because they are issued new just hours before a fight.
Some say that the gloves aren't the issue, pointing the finger (pun intended) at the fighters for excessive pawing or reaching with an open hand. Would eye pokes be reduced if fighters were fined or penalized? Some think so, and others suggest that eye pokes can never really be eliminated, and it is simply a risk that fighters have to learn to deal with.
UFC president Dana White hinted that the UFC is working on a U shaped glove that keeps the fingers curled which would still have enough flex for grappling, but reduce the chance of an eye poke when the hand is at rest, or not clenched.
Finally there are the "just bleed" type fans that feel that more glove regulations, and maybe even using gloves at all reduces the purity of the sport and eliminates the brutal action that made the sport so popular in the first place.
No matter your opinion, there is no question that its a problem, and we're interested to see what new designs are announce in the coming year.
There is a tremendous increase in the popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) all around the world. The sport has taken the world by storm as fans flock to see the best fighters in the world test their skills and resolve.
Fans show their support by purchasing clothing and equipment that is used by top athletes in the sport. Today you will find the clothing being used at the gym for training, or on the street, as casual wear.
Top-name clothing manufacturers balance the performance needs of true fighters, and the comfort needs of everyday fans. As a result, today we are seeing better materials being offered for the fighters, and more comfort for fans. This trend has led to the development of clothing for both men and women, and some family-themed styles too. This means that even the youngest of aspiring MMA athletes can show off their favorite MMA clothing brand.
You can get MMA fighter shirts, which are signature shirts showing that you not only love the sport, but you are a fan of a particular fighter. Fighters can sometimes get royalties from the sale of these shirts. Almost every sport has a signature hat, and the same can be said for MMA. You can also get hats ranging from baseball-style caps, to winter beanie-hats. The hooded sweat shirts are popular during the cold months, and never go out of style, even when adorned during the warmer months. The T-shirts are the most popular item in the MMA apparel department. At MMA Industries you will find over 30 different brand names, and all styles and sizes; you're sure to find one that you will love.
The design of MMA apparel is such that is gives the wearer a feeling of absolute comfort, yet allows the fighters protection and flexibility. So if you are looking for MMA clothing or apparel that is both durable and comfortable, look no further than MMA Industries. We feature all the top brand manufacturers and offer fair prices.
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