One of the fun things about fighting for the UFC is how up in the air money can be. Athletes are constantly trying to land $50,000 performance bonuses. Increasingly elusive locker room bonuses still get handed out to team players. And if your fight falls through last minute — even by no fault of your own — it’s a bit of a crap shoot as to if you’ll get paid in part, in full, or at all.
That’s kinda strange considering UFC pay is often explicitly split up into show and pay money. If you show up and your opponent doesn’t, you should get your show money. You shouldn’t even have to ask to be paid your show money. But that’s not always how things go.
Fortunately, it sounds like middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum will be paid a nice sum after his fight with champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 234 was cancelled last minute. Whittaker was wheeled into emergency surgery on his bowel the morning of the event, which must have been a bitter pill for Gastelum to swallow. But a six figure payday may help with that aftertaste.
According to Kelvin Gastelum's agent Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00), the UFC has "taken care of" Gastelum for his canceled title fight. Wouldn't disclose exact figure, but confirmed it is a six-figure amount. Hoping to re-book the fight this summer. https://t.co/EU5LDoVSjr— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 12, 2019
”According to Kelvin Gastelum’s agent Ali Abdelaziz, the UFC has ‘taken care of’ Gastelum for his canceled title fight,” ESPN’s Brett Okamoto wrote on Twitter. “Wouldn’t disclose exact figure, but confirmed it is a six-figure amount. Hoping to re-book the fight this summer.”
Just one day ago, Gastelum was still waiting to see what he’d be offered as consolation pay.
”We didn’t talk numbers, but I’m sure I’m not getting the full pay as if I fought,” he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “Pretty sure I’m not getting the full pay, but I’m getting something. We didn’t talk numbers, but I’m getting something. And hopefully it’s enough to cover my expenses.”
”Hell yeah, definitely,” he said when asked if he should get full pay. “I made the trip 8000 miles to Australia. Was there two weeks. Did all the right things, showed up for work, showed up on weight ready to go to work.”
Gastelum’s last disclosed paycheck dates back to UFC 200 in July of 2016. At the time he was making $33,000 to show and $33,000 to win ... five fights and three main events later, who knows what kind of juice he’s squeezing now. But six figures to show sounds all right, especially considering the promotion isn’t always that generous.
Now we just have to wait and see if the UFC gave Israel Adesanya those pay-per-view points.