Frank Mir is the latest former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion to realize he probably should have been getting paid way more for some of the bigger fights under the flagship mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
Mir is a “brand ambassador” for the fledgling UFL promotion, and he’s set to have his retirement fight on one of its cards in August alongside his daughter, Bella Mir. While hyping up the event, he was asked if he thought he’d been fairly compensated for his rematch against Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.
He didn’t hesitate to say, “No.”
“Not at all,” he said in an interview with TalkSPORT. “For example, I saw a boxing match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder – their second fight – I think we actually beat their pay-per-view buys. Both those guys made multiple millions of dollars, I never hit seven figures. That made me realize, ‘Oh, wow! I was the main event of that card, and I didn’t get seven figures and these guys got eight figures.’”
Fury vs. Wilder 2 reportedly sold roughly 850,000 pay-per-view (PPV) units. UFC 100 — headlined by Lesnar vs. Mir, Georges St-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves and Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping — reportedly sold 1.6 million.
“It blew my mind,” Mir continued. “And that was probably my first opening to go, ‘This card generated $50 million, who made the money?’ So, that’s one of the things that I want to fix about our sport, when a card makes $25 million the company can keep $10 million but the rest is divided by the fighters.”
UFL has an ambitious pay structure, which includes “lucrative monthly pay, medical insurance, four fights per year, and a diet plan.” UFL President, Harrison Rogers, plans to support this with side hustles selling products like energy drinks and protein bars.
We’ll see whether or not UFL manages to make enough money to follow through on its promises. Mir believes it’ll be able to because the company isn’t looking to take the majority of the revenue off the backs of its fighters.
“When you see an MMA fighter who is struggling after his career, people don’t really say, ‘Oh, he didn’t manage his money well,’” Mir told TalkSPORT. “It’s, ‘Well, they are not compensated for what they generate.’ We are not going to become millionaires off the back of the fighters. The show has to make money so we can continue to have a show but at the same time the fighters themselves are the most compensated.”
Mir had previously stated he came “within a couple hundred grand” of the $1 million mark for his second fight with Lesnar. In comparison, he stated his 2021 Triller Triad boxing fight against Kubrat Pulev would put him closer to $1 million than he’d ever been before (watch highlights).