Paddy Pimblett made headlines across the MMA world when he revealed that he was paid $12,000 to show and $12,000 to win at UFC London. On the The MMA Hour, journalist Ariel Helwani took the time to address Pimblett’s underwhelming purse.
Even though Paddy Pimblett only has 2 bouts in the organizations, he is already one of their biggest stars. The entire O2 arena was chanting his name throughout the card regardless of if he was in the octagon.
MMA journalist Ariel Helwani is one of the biggest critics of UFC contracts. Helwani stated that the UFC raked in nearly $1 billion in revenue just in 2021, and their ESPN deal brings them close to $500 million in fixed revenue annually; not counting other sources of income like sponsorships
Helwani compared Pimblett’s situation to that of Conor McGregor back in 2012. McGregor was also a Cage Warriors champion coming into the UFC:
“If he [Pimblett] lost that fight, he was only getting $12,000, incredible number for a name like him,” Ariel told his audience during an episode of The MMA Hour.
“for a guy who’s making that kind of buzz, when you go back to Conor’s second fight back in 2013 against Max Holloway… Conor made $12K and $12K.”
“What that tells me is – all this talk from all these executives at the UFC is hogwash. Nothing’s evolved, nothing’s changed… nothing has changed in 9 years. It has to change!”
Helwani then criticized Pimblett’s manager, Graham Boylan, for not getting a better deal. Boylan is also the president of the British MMA organization “Cage Warriors”, and has signed multiple UFC stars like Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping.
Helwani condemned Boylan’s deal with the UFC:
“Why are you OK with a $12K and $12K deal for a guy as big as Paddy Pimblett?… Does it have anything to do with the fact that you’ve got a great streaming deal with Fight Pass?… you don’t want to rock the boat because of one person and so the question I would wonder is, are you looking out for my best interest or you’re looking out for the best interest of your relationship with the UFC?”
Helwani topped off his argument by stating that if he was Pimblett’s manager, he would have signed a 50k deal with Bellator. He also believes that given his popularity, Paddy should be making at least $500,000 per fight. Considering how
Fortunately for Pimblett’s expenses, the UFC is not his only source of income. The British star signed a six-figure deal with Barstool Sports, a digital media company that produces content focused on sports and pop culture.