Last year, former UFC star Uriah Hall made headlines when he wrote a scathing statement condemning the organization for the difficult financial situation in which it places its talent.
A number of UFC stars end up purusing regular jobs after long stints on top of the MMA profession yet they still struggle to make ends meet. Former UFC champion Johny Hendricks is a good example. Despite his tenure as a champion, he’s currently employed as a police officer and he’s not financially secure.
UFC octagon girl Luciana Andrade appeared on The MMA Hour last night.
She addressed the rumors surrounding the pay gap between octagon girls and athletes. Andrade was quick to dispel these rumors, stating that she does not earn as much as the talent.
“We have 14 girls across the globe and some girls work a few times a year because we don’t have international fights with the same frequency we have in the US. Let’s talk about the US girls, you work once, twice a month if you’re lucky. Do you really think we would be making more money than the fighters, than the broadcasters, than the commentators?”
“It’s just crazy to me that people still think that’s true. We get so much hate whenever a fighter says something like that. It’s kind of irresponsible sometimes when you do know it’s not true but you do use us as a scapegoat to create hype or clicks.”
“I have the most respect for fighters, it’s so entertaining for us to watch but it comes with a sacrifice for then. We never said we were more important than fighters but of all the people you could use you use us to complain about fighter pay!”
Despite Andrade’s assertions, many still believe that octagon girls make more. While MMA takes a huge toll on the body, there’s no such thing attached to the ring girl job so they’re free to ‘perform’ practically weekly. MMA talent, on the other hand, competes at most four times a year and even that is seriously stretching it. For the majority of UFC roster it’s between once and twice a year and the pay keeps getting tighter and tighter.
UFC’s parent company CEO previously bragged how he removed all the variability from the business.
A recent earnings call revealed UFC led sports properties of Endeavor made roughly $200 million more in 2022 than either 2021 or 2020. To boot, the spending on events is down.
Direct operating costs has gone down as a share of revenue. The likely reason: “The increase is due to the change in revenue described above partially offset by lower athlete costs for UFC.”