The Money Fight – The one that everyone wants but few respect…

Stack_of_money_MMA_UFC_MMAGateway_Money_Fight_Future Sport OverviewSo something which has been a huge topic in the world of MMA in the past few years and especially in the fallout of Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather, something that keeps coming up more and more is – Whats the next Money Fight?

So MMA fighters, their managers, the promotions that these fighters compete within, they all want to make as much money as possible, which is the same in any industry  in life – everyone wants to get the biggest piece of pie that they can, which completely makes sense.

I personally want to see all these parties make as much money as possible, because ultimately as a life long martial artists and lifelong fan of MMA, I know the mental and physical pain that fighters go through just to express the maximum potential of martial arts movements and for our entertainment as fans.

The problem for so long is due to the inequality of revenue share from the owners of the UFC and various MMA promotions to what the fighters actually get paid – in pro football for example there is around a 50/50 revenue share for athletes to owners, but in the UFC and MMA in general owners keep between 80-90% of the revenue and fighters only make a tiny 10-20% of that.

This has understandably caused resentment among many fighters, some of which for example when all costs/taxes are factored in really make a net figure less then $50-75,000 a year.

Read this post to get a better grasp on whats been going on in the sport, and what needs to change for the better.

Also listen to the first 20 minutes of the MMA Beat where Ariel Helwani, Danny Segura, Chuck Mindenhall, and Jeff Wagenheim open up the topic of money fights –

It just makes business sense

Now when you look at a guy like Conor McGregor, not only is he a great martial artist, he also has great charisma on the microphone which is great for building fights, he is business savvy keeping a professional relationship with the UFC owners to maximise his bargaining power, also he is beloved in his home nation of Ireland and from day one in his career he has been attracting hordes of Irish fans to events all around the world.mma gateway ufc 205 madison square garden conor mcgregor

Ultimately its a combination of these 4 things as to why Conor gets paid so much more money then most UFC fighters, and its the combination of these 4 things that makes the UFC want to continue putting there marketing weight behind Conor.

Now unfortunately for most fighters they don’t have a all of those 4 things that Conor has, yet some of them could be more effective martial artists then Conor, but as we are discussing in this post, there is much more then just fighting skill that goes into making the big bucks in the fight game.

I understand when fighters get really annoyed about the situation in the sport of MMA currently, but what I suggest is don’t take it personally – the more personally you take it, then the harder negotiations will get with the UFC owners and the more difficult it will be for you to perform at your optimum in the cage.

Don’t ask the UFC to promote you when your name has no traffic connected to it – build your own brand, build your own traffic, make the UFC owners want to spend on your, want to put you in front of the camera.

So If some guy is ranked below you but he gets a title shot before you, don’t whine and moan about it, do your thing, focus on you, while also perfecting your MMA craft – your time to show the world you are the best will come from an assured confidence of yourself,  a knowing of your capabilities and a voice that can shake people to their core.

Ultimately as a fighter you must understand that the promoters only want to promote fights that are going to make good money, its nothing personal it just makes business sense.

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Wheres the honour?

This is the issue many MMA fighters have right now, its not that they don’t understand how the UFC works nowadays, and that with many main card fights it can be a bit of a popularity contest –

UFC_75_weigh-in_Henderson_vs_Jackson_face-offjamie.lovelock_MMA_UFC_MMAGateway Money Fight Future Sport OverviewIt’s that many fighters are true martial artists and so struggle with the lack of honour, respect and dignity that is involved in the entertainment side of MMA promotion.

These fighters want to respect themselves and their opponents at all times, which is exactly my principles because I agree that their is no honour in disrespecting your opponent and whore yourself to the public to get views.

But if your going to compete in professional MMA, then you must look at it as a business transaction, because never forget that this is prize fighting – this is not a martial arts tournament from thousands of years ago in the ancient days of human history, where honour and respect was usually the highest prize.

Keep the honour to inside the cage, and behind closed doors with your opponent – because in front of the camera, you must hype the fight, you must talk shit about your opponents flaws, you must say what your going to do, you must bring your star to bear, you must make people want to tune in to see you win or lose.

If you know Conor McGregor personally, then you will know how good Conor is at putting on a fight character leading up to a fight – but it does not mean you have to be defined by this character that you play in front of camera, remember that.

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 The best way forward is to make a blend

If the UFC keep focusing more and more on money fights, then while the popularity of the sport will grow, the credibility of the sport will begin to significantly decline and before you know it many people will look at the UFC the same way they do WWE – Scripted.

Also if the best skilled fighters continue to get underpaid because of their lack of ability to promote, and the annoyance in fighters continues to grow, then we could face a horrible situation for MMA fans where all the best fighters retire in unified strike, and instead focus on some kind of union association to demand changes.Handshake_(3575000735)_Aidan Jones_MMA_UFC_MMAGateway_Money_Fight Future Sport Overview

Meanwhile the UFC would only have their best fighters at promoting fights on the roster, and all the best fighters will have left – some people will start to joke about renaming the UFC to Ultimate Promoting Championships.

Now while I do want to see a fighters association in place to attempt to protect fighters rights, I certainly do not want to see the best fighters leave MMA because of bitterness of how the sport is being run.

Lets come to a resolution between fighters and owners – fighters must step the promotional game up, and the UFC owners must find inventive ways to pay their fighters better. I know that their profit margins for some shows can be very small, but when you have a big event like Conor vs Floyd, Jones vs DC, St-Pierre return etc.

Handshake_(3575000735)_Aidan Jones_MMA_UFC_MMAGateway_Money_Fight_Future_Sport OverviewWhen you have these events you as the owners need to realise that all the UFC fighters should make a percentage from those fights as well, they are just as responsible for the UFC being where it is today.

For instance if you as a company make $100 Million on a “special fight” then would it really hurt you that much to break off $2-5 million to share among your UFC athletes? Seriously you will still be making an amazing profit, but think of it like a morale booster for all fighters on the roaster, which will significantly reduce the amount of boring fights we see also.

Dana White and WME/IMG – I guarantee you if you do something like a profit share system, then the amount of stress you get from annoyed fighters will reduce massively, meaning you can focus on putting the best events together instead of managing fighters annoyance so often.

Anyway that’s it for today, I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have any questions, comments or feedback to make about the subject of Money Fights and what a Money fight means to you then post something below.

See you soon!

Marley Dawkins


  1. Hi Marley just read your page regarding the money fight! I did learn some things I didn’t know about, being I am not a martial artist and not the biggest fan either! The thing that suprised me the most was the fact that mainly MMA fighters be earning only 10% of the money traffic behind their fight, I see it as spitting in the plate you eat for those that do big revenues on somebodies else hard life work. You stated well also the fact that it depends on how well one builds his own name/character before dealing with the business behind the sport! McGregor surely knows his thing on that side of the medal, built his brand wisely and that I think as you said is the reason people be moaning about it. Jealousy will always bring the not so clever people to a moaning phase, while the smart ones acts on it, learns from it and gets inspired by cleverer characters. Very interesting reading I did on your page! Thank you!!

    • Hey Thomas, nice to see you here! A new face taking an interest in the world of MMA is always welcome here 🙂 but yeah your right the amount of money majority of MMA fighters make is still appalling in comparison to other sports, but hey this is we me, other MMA writers, media members, fans, fighters and managers are all working to raise awareness on the problems, and work towards a better sport.

      McGregor is a rare perfect storm which happens every now and then in the fight game, some smart business moves on his part, but also things outside of his control that worked in his favour like how beloved he is in Ireland. But like you say jealousy is a weak tendency for a person to have, and Conor gets more of it then anyone, when really his story is an inspiration to us all.

      You should get this book to understand more about Conors story, its a great read even if your not into martial arts!

       Thanks for your fresh feedback bro!

  2. This website tells me the inside story of fighters. For me it is a known sport that I have watched yet I really don’t know the background of the fighters as it was portrayed in this story. These athletes have a very extreme passion for the sport. Lets look at one of the main differences, such as they are not on a team salary, they get so much less than a ball player and the only way to try and survive is to win enough opponents. Look at how much less they have of protection than a football player. These fighters rely on reading their opponent in the moment. To close my comment as much as it looks like they hurt each other the respect for one another is the bond.

    • Hi Mark, yeah this post and at the MMAGateway in general you will learn everything about how MMA works in today’s world. Like you say MMA fighters have extreme passion to do what they do, but the money in the sport needs to be better equalised around the fighters, but everyone is busy clambering for the money fight at the moment.

      I prefer the Tony Ferguson way, the old school way of just working hard and getting results that way.

      This post will also give you a great insight into more about how MMA works

      See you again!

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