MMA legend Aldo makes $21,000 in possible farewell fight

Professional mixed martial artists who competed at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday earned a combined $280,000 in payouts from the UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance Program.

This pay system, which replaced the previous athlete apparel policy, provides fighters with earnings based on their experience and duration with the promotion. The payouts are funded by the UFC’s multi-year sponsorship deal with athletic apparel company Venum.

At UFC 301, which took place at the Rio Arena, the main card aired on pay-per-view after the prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The full payout breakdown for the event is as follows:

Alexandre Pantoja: $42,000 (for successful title defense)

Steve Erceg: $32,000 (as title challenger)

  • Jose Aldo: $21,000
  • Jonathan Martinez: $11,000
  • Anthony Smith: $21,000
  • Vitor Petrino: $4,500
  • Michel Pereira: $11,000
  • Ihor Potieria: $6,000
  • Caio Borralho: $6,000
  • Paul Craig: $16,000
  • Joanderson Brito: $6,000
  • Jack Shore: $6,000
  • Iasmin Lucindo: $4,500
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz: $16,000
  • Myktybek Orolbai: $4,000
  • Brener Elves: $4,500
  • Drakkar Klose: $11,000
  • Joaquim Silva: $11,000
  • Mauricio Rua: $4,000
  • Jamie Mullarkey: $11,000
  • Dione Barbosa: $4,000
  • Ernest Kareckaite: $4,000
  • Ismael Bonfim: $4,000
  • Vince Pichel: $11,000
  • Alessandro Costa: $4,500
  • Kevin Borjas: $4,000

Funded by the UFC’s multi-year sponsorship deal with sportswear brand Venum, the lucrative program replaced the previous Athlete Dress Code to ensure fighters were properly compensated beyond their contractual purse winnings from each event.

UFC 301 took place at the Rio Arena with a pay-per-view main card following a series of thrilling prelims airing on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The full payday breakdown for the 24 fighters of this major event is as follows:

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In the main event, the champion weighs in Alexandre Pantoja he took home a $42,000 bonus for his successful title defense against Australian challenger Steve Erceg, who earned $32,000.

The tiered pay scale is determined by each athlete’s total number of UFC fights, including those participating in WEC or Strikeforce events under the former Zuffa banner.

Rookies with 1-3 UFC matches earn a standard salary of $4,000, while seasoned veterans with 21 or more games receive the top base number of $21,000.

In addition, champions earn an extra $42,000, while title challengers receive $32,000, helping the sport’s elite stars compensate for their marquee fights. That was reflected in the tournament-high $42,000 Pantoja received as the defending flyweight king.

But apart from their nightly paychecks, everything UFC athletes earn significant residual income through the Promotional Guidelines royalty system. Fighters continue to receive 20-30% of UFC merchandise sales with their name, likeness or logo in perpetuity.

So while the $280,000 total payout from UFC 301 is already an impressive number, long-term merchandise royalties will ensure that this diverse group of international athletes will continue to benefit from their epic performances for years to come.

The UFC continues to make athlete compensation a top priority through innovative programs like this one. Year-to-date, 2024 Promotional Guidelines payouts totaled $2.92 million across 16 events worldwide, following the $8.19 million paid out for all of 2023.

As the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion stages even more spectacles throughout the rest of the year, these significant payouts aim to properly compensate and motivate the brave men and women who put it all on the line inside the famous Octagon. From established champions and superstars to up-and-coming contenders, the UFC makes sure its athletes reap their fair share of windfalls.

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