Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The UFC: A Case Study of Why Monopolies are Bad

from WCK at 100percentinjuryrate

Mixed martial arts is a pretty rough sport. You've gotta train hard for months on end and all that hard work can vanish in one quick bloody mess.

But you get paid reasonably well if you're appearing in big events and facing top-tier competition, right? Right?

Wrong. As it turns out, most MMA fighters - even those on the pay-per-view card - get paid practically nothing for fighting in what are incredibly lucrative events, even if they win.

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On July 4, I commented on how the UFC is quickly becoming a monopoly in mixed martial arts fighting. The UFC recently purchased competitors PRIDE and WEC. While this consolidation of talent will allow fans to watch the best fighters go head to head with each other, it also gives the combatants less and less options.

UFC 73 seemed to prove this point. In the marquee matchup, Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans fought to a draw. While Ortiz earned a somewhat respectable $210,000, Evans earned only $16,000. Considering UFC brought in about $1.5 million in gate receipts and another $10 million in pay per view profits for the night, $16,000 for a headline fight is pathetic. As corrupt as boxing has become in recent years, even undercard boxers make more than this.

In another main card bout in UFC 73, Kenny Florian defeated Alvin Robinson. Florian earned $16,000 while Robinson earned a measly $3,000. Unfortunately for them, as the UFC gobbles up more and more of it's competition, these fighters have less and less options to turn to.