When Dan Hardy stepped into the octagon to face Georges St-Pierre (GSP) for the UFC welterweight title, it was a momentous occasion. However, what’s come to light is the disparity between the significance of the fight and Hardy’s actual earnings.
Prior to challenging GSP, Hardy had secured four consecutive victories in the UFC, defeating respected fighters like Akihiro Gono, Rory Markham, Marcus Davis, and Mike Swick. These wins propelled him to the coveted position of the No.1 UFC welterweight contender.
UFC veteran reveals how he cashed in just over $5000 for a title match against one of the all time GOATs pic.twitter.com/eqOZjveD7T
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UFC 111 in March 2010 marked the historic showdown between Hardy and GSP. Despite the anticipation and the fight’s billing as a title bout, the actual figures on Hardy’s payslip were startlingly low. The judges’ unanimous decision scoring the bout 50-43, 50-44, 50-45 in favor of GSP might have reflected the fight’s one-sided nature, but it didn’t mirror the financial aspects.
Hardy’s earnings for the title fight against GSP amounted to a mere $24,000. However, this sum dwindled significantly after deducting expenses and taxes, leaving him with only $5,400.
In a recent interview with The British Entrepreneur, Hardy shed light on the financial realities of professional MMA. He highlighted that the general perception of fighters’ earnings often doesn’t consider various deductions. A portion goes to the manager, typically around 10 percent, while coaches may receive 10 to 20 percent. Moreover, fighters bear additional expenses, such as team travel costs and accommodation.
Reflecting on his own experience, Hardy admitted that he didn’t excel at negotiating contracts and didn’t press for higher compensation. This decision ultimately resulted in his participation in the GSP fight for a relatively meager $24,000, with just $5,400 making its way into his bank account after all considerations.
“I mean as an idea, and I was never any good at negotiating contracts. I never asked for more money. Because I just wasn’t really interested in it and that was my mistake at the time I think.
“But, so I fought GSP for twenty-four thousand dollars. So the money I put in my bank account after that fight had happened was five thousand four hundred dollars. And that was a world title fight from 10-11 years ago.”
“But, the thing is he got four or five million because he was on pay-per-view points, as well as his purse,” Hardy added. “I mean, you know we’ve had this conversation. I’ve trained with GSP. He spent five times what I got paid on his training camp.”
In stark contrast, GSP’s earnings from the fight were significantly higher, ranging between $4 million to $5 million. GSP’s lucrative payday was partly due to his share of pay-per-view revenue in addition to his purse. Hardy noted that GSP’s training camp expenses alone far exceeded his entire purse.