In Terms of Dollars and Sense, Solidarity Amongst UFC Stars Remains Elusive

In a courtroom in downtown Las Vegas late last month, internal investor documents filed as part of the antitrust lawsuit against the Ultimate Fighting Championship vindicated what a small number of journalists had been claiming for years: The UFC only pays around 20 percent of revenue to fighters, and has actively ensured investors that it would preserve that figure moving forward. Whereas individual fighter data has been largely redacted from public documents, reporting by Bloody Elbow’s John Nash has expertly drilled into the contours of that 20/80 split, including in relation to what the highest-paid fighters have made in aggregate over the years (hint: it’s not as much as many expected), the economics of the UFC’s events and detailed information on the promotion’s historical revenue/expenses.

Two weeks after the antitrust hearings wrapped up, at a fan event held during the week of UFC Fight Night 158 in Vancouver, British Columbia, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley appeared on stage for a Q&A. Woodley — whose title reign at 170 pounds was marred by frequent criticism from UFC President Dana White for declining fights (code for attempting to negotiate more beneficial conditions for himself) — was asked about longtime nemesis and onetime interim champion Colby Covington.

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