Nate Diaz Was on a 20k/20k UFC Contract Going into His 21st Fight with the Promotion

Previously undisclosed fight purses for Diaz and a slew of UFC top stars have been revealed

Nate Diaz
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Ex-UFC star Nate Diaz was still on a $20,000/$20,000 contract nearly 10 years into his run with the promotion.

Per a recent report from Anton Tabuena of Bloody Elbow, multiple previously undisclosed payouts made to the ‘Stockton Samurai’ were revealed as part of unsealed documents related to the UFC’s $1.6 billion class action lawsuit. 

According to the report, Diaz received a $16,000 disclosed payout for his UFC on FOX 13 bout with former lightweight world champion Rafael dos Anjos. He also received an undisclosed payment of $40,000 associated with the fight, bringing his total to $56,000. 

In his fight before that, Diaz pocketed between $125,000 and $180,000 for his win over Gray Maynard, though only $80,000 was disclosed at the time, which included a $15,000 purse, a $15,000 win bonus, and a $50,000 performance bonus. 

It was also revealed that Nate Diaz had a LOA, or Letter of Agreement, with the promotion that guaranteed him an additional $40,000 that would not be disclosed to the athletic commissions or the public. 

Following his 21st fight with the promotion, which came against Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17, Diaz had back-to-back fights with Conor McGregor that saw him make seven figures for the first time in his combat sports career. For their first meeting at UFC 196, Diaz reportedly pocketed $2.8 million. Their sequel at UFC 202 earned him $4.3 million, only half of which was disclosed. 

Payments to UFC Debutants Have Largely Remained the Same for the Last Decade

Other notable payouts according to the report went to ‘The American Gangster’ Chael Sonnen who bagged over $1 million for his second fight with Anderson Silva and his light heavyweight title tilt against Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. 

Holly Holm made $1.1 million for her shocking knockout of Ronda Rousey at UFC 293 and nearly $3 million for her bantamweight title fight with Miesha Tate four months later. 

According to the Bloody Elbow report, “The top 20% highest paid UFC fighters were paid 76.2% of the total fighter compensation, while the bottom 80% received only 23.8% of the total pay between 2011 and 2016.” 

In 2011, one unnamed fighter on their third bout with the promotion earned a mere $4,000, the lowest listed payout during the five-year span. That same year, three UFC debutants were paid $6,000 while 21 other debuting fighters received payouts of $9,000. 

In 2023, the most common minimum purse for debutants is $10,000, for the dozens of Contender Series signings. UFC signed 45 fighters from the 49 bouts on the latest DWCS season alone. 

In short, not much has changed over the last dozen years when it comes to what UFC debutants make. Upon earning their contract, many of them are immediately placed on a 12×12 contract guaranteeing them $12,000 to show and doubling to $24,000 with a win. 

Published on November 27, 2023 at 7:24 pm
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