**Republished with permission from CombatSportsLaw
One issue that separates MMA from other mainstream sports is the accessibility of athlete pay information. The public has ready access to salaries paid to athletes in the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB. Even individual sports such as golf and tennis have publicly announced purses. In the world of MMA fighter pay is far less clear.
Not all Athletic Commissions report fight purses. Those that can do not include discretionary numbers such as income from PPV points and discretionary bonuses. Litigation, however, has a way of shedding light on topics which are otherwise confidential. Much like the Eddie Alvarez litigation provided insight into an otherwise confidential contract (Alvarez/Zuffa contract) , Ronda Rousey’s dispute with Fight Tribe Management has resulted in publicly available reasons for judgement which provide insight into her compensation from MMA.
CSAC’s arbitration decision centers around a “Service Agreement” which calls for manager Darin Harvey to receive “10% of all or Rousey’s professional compensation, including compensation from her professional fights“. Although the Agreement in question was signed on January 29, 2013 the reasons for judgement reveal that Harvey acted as Rousey’s manager since 2010 and further that he collected “income” from Rousey from January 1, 2010- January 31, 2014 as follows:
- Income From Fights – $25,608
- Income From Pay Per View Fights – $23,180
- Income For Sponsorship – $20,830
Assuming that Harvey’s compensation during this time frame was the same 10% as set out in the disputed “Service Agreement”, then some quick math Reveals that Rousey’s earnings from January 1, 2010 – January 31, 2014 from her “professional fights” was as follows:
- Income From Fights – $256,080
- Income From Pay Per View Fights – $231,800
- Income From Sponsorship – $208,300
- Total – $696,180