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Tito Ortiz Makes a Fair Proposal: UFC Should Pay Fighters 30% of Revenues


As he prepares for what is being advertised as his last fight in the organization at UFC 84, Tito Ortiz is, as he so often has, talking about his belief that UFC fighters should make more money.

Ortiz told MMA Mania that he thinks fighters should make about 30% of revenues, and Michael Rome of Bloody Elbow crunches some numbers and says that would be a significant pay raise from where they are now.

But while it would be significantly more than they make now, it would be nowhere near as much as athletes in other sports make. Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports that baseball players make 51% to 55% of MLB revenues, football players make 59% of NFL revenues, basketball players make 57% of NBA revenues and hockey players make 55.6% of NHL revenues.


That's not an apples-to-apples comparison, though, because UFC pays a lot more of its own costs for things like TV broadcasts than other sports leagues do. No one would suggest that UFC should pay more than half of its revenue to its fighters.

So what would be fair? Ultimately, as MMA continues to grow as a sport, fighters and promoters will figure out what constitutes fair pay. And I think Ortiz's proposal of 30% of revenues will turn out to be about right.