Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, but after back-to-back, insanely brutal wars to cap off a night of PPV UFC action, it’s still disappointing to see the participants in UFC 236’s pair of interim title fights fail to even crack half-million dollar disclosed purses. The high water mark, of $350,000, was hit by Max Holloway and Israel Adesanya. While Dustin Poirier ended the night with a disclosed payday of $250,000 and Kelvin Gastelum go $150,000.
All told, the UFC paid out $1,972,000 in disclosed salaries. For comparison, the UFC paid out a reported $3,334,000 for their recent UFC 235 card, also headlined by two title fights. If recent reports are to be believed, ESPN is guaranteeing the promotion something like half-a-million buys per-PPV event in revenue. That’d likely put them in the $10s of millions before tickets and merchandise are even accounted for.
As for PPV points? Max Holloway’s featherweight belt may have got him something. But, given Dana White’s recent clarification on interim title fights, it seems like even that may be unlikely.
“When you win the interim title belt, you’re looked at as the titleholder,” Dana White said, in response to Eddie Alvarez’s recent claims that the UFC was using interim belts to under-pay talent. “So when you go into a title [unification] fight, both guys share in the pay-per-view revenue. If you’re a contender without the interim title, you don’t. So, there’s nothing bad about holding an interim belt going into a title fight.”
It sounds like that means that title challengers don’t get PPV points, and everyone in the main and co-main events of UFC 236 was technically challenging for their respective interim titles. Unless the promotion handed out some hefty locker-room bonuses, what fans see on paper may just be what fighters walked away with.
Here’s the complete breakdown of UFC 236 disclosed salaries (as reported by MMA Fighting):
Dustin Poirier – $250,000 (no win bonus)*
Max Holloway – $350,000*
Israel Adesanya – $350,000 (no win bonus)*
Kelvin Gastelum – $150,000*
Khalil Rountree – $70,000 ($35,000 + $35,000 win & show)
Eryk Anders – $50,000
Dwight Grant – $24,000 ($12,000 + $12,000 win & show)
Alan Jouban – $43,000
Nikita Krylov – $160,000 ($80,000 + $80,000 win & show)
Ovince Saint Preux – $86,000
Matt Frevola – $20,000 ($10,000 + $10,000 win & show)
Jalin Turner – $12,000
Alexandre Pantoja – $36,000 ($18,000 + $18,000 win & show)
Wilson Reis – $34,000
Max Griffin – $40,000 ($20,000 + $20,000 win & show)
Zelim Imadaev – $10,000
Khalid Taha – $20,000 ($10,000 + $10,000 win & show)
Boston Salmon – $10,000
Belal Muhammad – $70,000 ($35,000 + $35,000 win & show)
Curtis Millender – $31,000
Montel Jackson – $24,000 ($12,000 + $12,000 win & show)
Andre Soukhamthath – $22,000
Poliana Botelho – $50,000 ($25,000 + $25,000 win & show)
Lauren Mueller – $12,000
Brandon Davis – $36,000 ($18,000 + $18,000 win & show)
Randy Costa – $12,000
As always, the numbers above don’t include an discretionary (locker-room) bonuses, possible PPV points, sponsorship payments, taxes, or coaching/gym/managerial fees. These are just the basic, raw numbers as reported to the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.
*These fighters also received a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus in addition to their disclosed salaries.