UFC Investors Making Bank Unlike Fighters
Unlike the fighters, investors and shareholders of the UFC have reportedly made bank.
According to the New York Post, the Las Vegas-based promotion has approved a $300 million dividend to be paid out to its investors. Notable figures include UFC president Dana White, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell, all of whom will pocket more than $3 million.
Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, will receive roughly half of the dividend. Other celebrity investors such as Mark Wahlberg and Gisele Bundchen will earn $500,000 and $145,000 respectively.
This payout is the first time the UFC has issued a dividend payment since Endeavor bought a 50 percent stake back in 2016.
In contrast, fighters are not earning close to those amounts given the risks they are taking while competing. The Post adds that the entire UFC roster cost less than $150 million in 2019 — under 16 percent of its $900 million in revenue. For comparison, leagues such as the MLB, NBA and NFL all share between 48 and 50 percent of revenue with their players.
“It’s different league by league,” Endeavor president Mark Shapiro said. “We pay our fighters significantly more than any other MMA organization. They deserve it. Fighter compensation has gone up commensurately with the success of UFC.”
Unless a proper mixed martial arts fighter’s union is created, it looks like the UFC will continue to underpay its fighters, despite claims from the higher-ups.