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Here’s an un-scientific breakdown of why fighters need a fucking union

Here’s an un-scientific breakdown of why fighters need a fucking union

Let’s break this down for a second. Even with the reported $10k to show $10k to win increase in first time UFC fighters, let’s just fucking break this down. 

An average UFC fighter MIGHT get three fights a year, despite the fact that there are more shows then ever. let’s say this hypothetical UFC fighter goes 3-0 during this time with no bonuses, because bonuses a lot of the times are like awards (Academy/Emmy) and are given not so much on what was performed in the cage, but on who you are (not all the time, but enough of the time to bring it up).

So he wins all three of his fights with the new pay scale, and makes $2500 a fight because the Reebok deal sucks.

Gross pay, without any outside sponsors, fighter is making $67,500.

Then let’s do a 10% coaching fee. Let’s just call that $6,000. UFC only flies out one person for your corner, and you’ve got to feed those guys, so let’s just call that another say, $4k because you’re technically one of the best fighters in the word fighting in the biggest fighting organization, the Super Bowl of MMA, and you just took Spirit Airlines. 

$57,500.

Maybe Reebok will send you some gear. Maybe? But let’s just say you actually have to pay for some of your equipment, gas in your car to get to your gym, replace those car tires, oil… You know. Life stuff. Let’s just call that (which should be written off your taxes but isn’t because you get punched in the head for a living for next to nothing) and additional $2K a year. 

$55,500. 

Oh yeah, you live somewhere where you can get the best training possible. Even then, your one bedroom apartment is still running you $800-1000 a month. Plus apartment insurance, oh yeah car insurance, heat, electric etc etc.

Let’s call that $13K.

$42,500.

Normal cost of living? Food. Water, etc. Let’s just make that relatively low despite the fact you’re a world-class and hungry athlete. Call that $6K a year. 

$36,500.

Now, for taxes, the average for federal, Social security and Medicare withholding is 23%. Then there’s state and local. And oh yeah, you fought in Brazil with a higher tax rate, and you also fought in Nevada and California, both with different tax rates and you probably should hire someone to do all this paperwork… Let’s call that 50% of your $36,500.

$18,250.

That’s a fucking hand of blackjack for Dana White. But you probably still have more expenses. You know, you’re only PUTTING AWAY (at best) like $1,400 a month, and that doesn’t even factor in potential emergencies, or if you have a kid and you know, have to pay for it etc etc etc. As Ian Malcolm said, “life finds a way.” The cost to any good business is a low overhead so you can actually save. 

If a UFC fighter who fights NINE TIMES in the UFC is looking at a relatively alright-case scenario of only having 40-50 grand saved in the bank (if they save and do nothing but) after what is likely a 3-4 year stint in the Super Bowl of MMA. And that’s a fighter that is doing nothing but winning. What about the guy that wins 6 out of 10? These guys that are killing themselves so Dana can play that aforementioned hand of blackjack. That’s not to downplay all the hard work and traveling he’s done on his private jet to grow the business, but that’s blood money at this point. Churning out the meat until it gets just too expensive to not play one more hand of blackjack. 

Then you’re cut. Then you can start a gym and die.

Yes, you should get a raise, but even former champ Andrei Arlovski only made 40/40 and he’s a legit star. Shit, man.

A lot better fighters in boxing and even MMA have made more money and lost it all very easily. Look at TJ Grant. Out for years. You’re fucking with your brain and you’re making shit money to do it. 

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