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Home / Sports / Evidence in Cung Le's case against UFC shows that the company paid 20 percent of the revenue to fighters

Evidence in Cung Le's case against UFC shows that the company paid 20 percent of the revenue to fighters



The question of how much the UFC pays exactly to their fighters was answered on Monday in Las Vegas in court hearings.

The figures were revealed in the hearing of Judge Franklin Boulware on the lawsuit filed by Cung Le and other former UFC fighters. The company claimed that UFC acts as a monopoly promotion that uses its power and market control to wages to keep the fighter low.

This is a key week as Boulware is expected to make a decision after the hearings that would have a significant impact. The process should continue.

UFC fighters achieved 26 percent of the company's gross revenue in 2007, a figure that steadily declined to 201

1, ranging from 19 percent to 20 percent. The figure is slightly higher than the 13 to 14 percent estimated at the time of the company's sale in 2016, and much higher than many media speculations from six to eight percent of people who had used the advertised salary data. Few commissions free them as a basis for their calculation.

The percentage constant would mean relatively constant growth, since UFC revenues have increased significantly since 2011 in most years. Fixed revenues from the ESPN TV and streaming rights and pay-per-view contracts are likely to have increased significantly this year.

Overall, the UFC paid $ 626 million to its fighters between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2017, hovering nearly 20 percent each year. In addition, there was evidence that the UFC projected $ 980 million in revenue for 2020 and estimated the compensation of fighters at $ 196 million or 20 percent.

It has always been argued that the major league sports like NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL are paid closer to 50 percent. In these sports, however, there were also decades of unions and collective bargaining, and before that, players did not receive much of a percentage.

The hearings also found that Strikeforce paid fighters 63.0 percent of sales, while Bellator Dies 44.7 percent.

However, since the UFC's total revenues are outweighed by other promotions for the main competitor – the Strikeforce, and Bellator is still – they must pay a higher percentage to attract senior talent. In reality, Strikeforce did not survive and did not sell to the UFC with the extent of economic obligations to fighters.

The hearing was about the certification of the class of fighters. Boulware said in court that he does not see how the case can go on if he does not do it at the end of the hearing.

"I can not see how this case will go on," said Boulware, if he does not. decide in favor of the applicants and certify the class by means of a Forbes article. The article noted that the UFC had called in eight lawyers, Le's page twelve lawyers, Bellator two and two other lawyers on the phone who stand for top-rank promotions, as part of the plaintiff's argument That competition in the field of boxing has led to such In an environment where the top fighters in this sport are paid significantly higher than the UFC top fighters.

The competition, which is not as fierce as the top stars like boxing, a sport that Zuffa is about to break into, is certainly part of that equation, but business is very different. For the public is boxing boxes, while for the public MMA is not MMA, but UFC and non-UFC, a big distinction. Even in the dark age of 2001, when the Fertittas and Dana White entered the store for the first time, they did not start by themselves and instead paid $ 2 million for what Lorenzo Fertitta said back then, three letters: UFC. Since then, a letter soup of companies has come and gone, and nobody has ever really challenged the UFC for economic supremacy.

The boxing mindset has not worked out because the old mentality was the one that controlled The real heavyweight champion has the power. It resulted in Fedor Emelianenko completing business after business as he was considered the world's top heavyweight, but while he became a big star selling tickets and gaining television viewers to the extent that he was the best He was never a guy Who could make a company competitive with UFC?

It's a harsh argument for the claimants, as the current landscape offers clearly competitive advertising with television and streaming deals that make them known – Bellator with Paramount and a $ 33 million deal with DAZN, Combate Americas on Univision and DAZN, the Professional Fighters League on ESPN 2 and ESPN + and ONE Championship on TNT and Bleacher Report.

Paramount's ownership and the DAZN deal have solidified Bellator, but almost all promotions in the past have confirmed this, such as Bodog, Elite XC, IFL, Pride, Strikeforce, and Affliction drowning in significant supporters drowned in A sea of ​​red ink or wanted to be sold and the UFC made it. The goal is to pick them up and remove them from the field as a competition.

Also, Bellator and ONE bid for UFC fighters when they became free agents and signed them. The strategy of UFC seems completely different when Gilbert Melendez was a free agent and Bellator was interested. As a legitimate contender for the lightweight title, the UFC agreed with the offer and did not let go. With the lawsuit in the game, the UFC did not try to match offers for greats like Ryan Bader, a top light heavyweight who ended up as a two-part dominant champion in Bellator. They also made a deal that led to the departure of Demetrious Johnson to ONE. Johnson was one of the greatest champions in UFC history. In a close decision he lost his flyweight title. Had he stayed, his rematch with Henry Cejudo would have been the biggest flyweight fight in the company's history.

The plaintiff expert Dr. Hal Singer argued that UFC would be competitive in a truly competitive environment paying 47.3 percent of its revenue to fighters. Under that standard, UFC would have had to pay fighters $ 1,471,000,000 over the six-year period.


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