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UFC 132 Fighter Salaries: Tito Ortiz Saves Job, Earns $450,000

The Nevada State Athletic Commission on Tuesday released the salary figures for UFC 132, which took place Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz led all fighters with a $450,000 pay day for his first-round upset submission of Ryan Bader. UFC president Dana White said leading up to the fight that a loss from Ortiz, who hadn't won in nearly five years, would mean a quick exit from the UFC.

Wanderlei Silva made $200,000 for his 27-second knockout loss to Chris Leben, who made $92,000 – or more than $3,400 per second of fight time. Ortiz and Silva's combined salaries made up more than half of the disclosed $1.277 million purse total for the card.

Main event bantamweights Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber may have proved they can carry a pay-per-view, but their salaries might have some catching up to do. Cruz made $40,000 to retain his title, including a $20,000 win bonus; Faber, the former WEC featherweight champ, made $32,000 in the loss.

Ortiz's check is the largest disclosed UFC payday since boxer James Toney made $500,000 last August in a first-round loss at UFC 118 to Randy Couture, who made $250,000. (Not all athletic commissions release salary figures following fights.) At UFC 121 in October 2010, then-heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar made $400,000 in a loss to Cain Velasquez. Lesnar also made $400,000 – with no win bonus – in his previous two fights. When he beat Couture to win the heavyweight title at UFC 91, he made $450,000, including a $200,000 win bonus.

Ortiz told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani in a pre-fight interview last week that he hoped a win would return him to the bigger pay days he had grown accustomed to. But in fact, his $450,000 purse for UFC 132 is his largest disclosed paycheck to date. He made $250,000 in losses to Matt Hamill at UFC 121 and Forrest Griffin at UFC 106, and $210,000 in losses to Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell, and a draw with Rashad Evans, during his five-fight winless streak.

In addition to the contracted fight purse amounts, four fighters were given $75,000 bonuses by White for their performances – including Ortiz for Submission of the Night. Carlos Condit made $68,000 for his knockout of Dong Hyun Kim and pocketed an additional $75,000 for Knockout of the Night. And main event fighters Cruz and Faber each made more with their $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus than they did in contracted fight purse.

The purses (show money/win bonus) are listed below. They do not include post-fight bonus totals, non-disclosed "locker room" bonuses or any sponsorship monies.

Dominick Cruz: $20,000 ($20,000 win bonus) def. Urijah Faber: $32,000
Chris Leben: $46,000 ($46,000 win bonus) def. Wanderlei Silva: $200,000
Dennis Siver: $25,000 ($25,000 win bonus) def. Matt Wiman: $18,000
Tito Ortiz: $450,000 (no win bonus) def. Ryan Bader: $20,000
Carlos Condit: $34,000 ($34,000 win bonus) def. Dong Hyun Kim: $41,000
Melvin Guillard: $32,000 ($32,000 win bonus) def. Shane Roller: $21,000
Rafael dos Anjos: $14,000 ($14,000 win bonus) def. George Sotiropoulos: $15,000
Brian Bowles: $17,000 ($17,000 win bonus) def. Takeya Mizugaki: $12,000
Aaron Simpson: $17,000 ($17,000 win bonus) def. Brad Tavares: $10,000
Anthony Njokuani: $8,000 ($8,000 win bonus) def. Andre Winner: $14,000
Jeff Hougland: $6,000 ($6,000 win bonus) def. Donny Walker: $6,000

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