MMA Fighter Reveals How It’s Almost Impossible To Make Money In The UFC, Even If You Win


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Not everyone is cashing those Kimbo-size checks. 

Myles Jury is a damn fine fighter. He went on a 6-0 run in the UFC before taking his first career loss to Cowboy Cerrone on January 3rd, 2015. He’s beaten an assortment of quality opponents including Takanori Gomi, Diego Sanchez, Michael Johnson and Mike Ricci.


Even with a 15-1 record and being ranked top 10 in his division, it’s not easy to make a buck in the UFC.


Myles Jury recently broke down the typical expenses for an MMA fighter and put it into perspective with what a fighter gets paid. For guys who are on a 10/10 contract (They get paid a guaranteed $10000 for showing up, and another $10000 if they win), they’re almost definitely forced to pay for the privilege of fighting in the world’s premiere MMA organization, and MIGHT break even when it’s all said and done.


If you don’t think that it’s kind of messed up that professional athletes in a premiere organization are paying out of pocket to compete, just imagine if you had to write your boss a bigger check than he writes you and you’ll start to understand.

Here’s a breakdown of what fighters are paid, and how much they have to pay to participate: 

These figures are based on a fighter earning 10k to show, and 10k to win.

Gym Fees: 5-10% of purse, per fight camp.

  • At 10%, that’s 2k with a win and 1k with a loss.

Management Fees: Industry standard is 20%.

  • That’s 4k with a win, 2k with a loss.

Taxes: UFC fighters are sub-contractors so they’re responsible for making sure they have enough left over for the tax man. 30% is a good rule of thumb.

  • That’s 6k with a win, 3k with a loss.

Medicals: Fighters need to pay for their own medical tests in order to get licensed by each commission. According to Jury, it’s typically $500-$1000.

  • We’ll call it an even $500 to be conservative.

Coaching Fees: Basic coaching is included in gym fees, but many fighters need to bring in specialists from around the world and it can really add up. Jury says private training is anywhere from $50-$150 per hour. Let’s use an 8 week fight camp for our example, with 2 hours a day of private coaching at a reasonable $75/hr.

  • That’s a whopping $8400, but it’s mainly top-tier fighters who can afford such luxuries. Jury went with $1000 for his calculations, so we’ll do the same.

Misc: There are a lot of other costs, including travel expenses for coaches, supplements, flying in training partners, nutritionists, clean eating, sports massages and chiros, etc. Jury says this is roughly $1000-$2000 on the low end.

  • Let’s call it a very conservative $1000.


Want to see how that all totals up?

Continued on the next page: 

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