UFC Contracts Explained | How Do UFC Contracts Work?

UFC Contracts have been a hot topic over the last few years. In this page, we'll cover all of the information regarding UFC contracts that has been made public including how they work and how much they pay.

ufc contract

Table of Contents

How Do UFC Contracts Work?

The UFC agrees to pay a fighter X amount of dollars per fight, for 40 months and/or until the fighter fights out the number of fights in their entire contract. The fighter is eligible to receive bonuses such as Fight of the Night Bonus, Performance of the Night bonus, Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night bonus.

ufc contract

The UFC is able to cut a fighter during their contract, and this normally happens after consecutive losses. The UFC is also able to renegotiate a fighter's contract, however this typically results in the contract being extended an extra amount of years and/or fights.

This means that if a fighter is making $50,000 per fight and has 2 fights left, the UFC can approach that fighter and give them a raise while extending their contract to having 6 fights left instead.

What this does is it gives a fighter an immediate bump in salary, while allowing the UFC to lock fighters in for a longer period of time.

When a Fighter Declines a Fight

The UFC is also contractually obligated to offer a fighter 3 fights a year. If a fighter declines a fight, the UFC has the option to extend that fighter an additional 6 months.

Recently the UFC has done this to ultra popular fighter Nate Diaz, as they've extended his contract once he declined the fight against Khamzat Chimaev.

Fighters Wanting New Contracts

What MMA fans have seen over the last few years is fighters speaking out against UFC contracts.

Famously Francis Ngannou has been involved in a dispute with the UFC. Ngannou is seeking a new contract, but has been unable to come to terms with the UFC for a renegotiation.

The result of that has been Ngannou's manager has explained that negotiations have stalled, to the point that they have not heard from the UFC in 6 months.

The most interesting part of this is that Ngannou has just defended his belt against Cyril Gane, and is now prepared to sit out for a year and/or be released by the company (despite being the champion).

"(It) is optional because it says if at the end of the contract, if you’re the champion, you’re extended for three fights or one year. So that all made me think it’s optional.”

Ngannou goes on to explain that there is a champion's clause in his contract, that

How Much Does a UFC Contract Pay?

UFC contracts vary greatly as far as contracts. It comes down to where you are being signed from.

Fighters from Dana White's Contender Series will be signed the least, to the point where it has been $5,000 to show and $5,000 to win.

On the other hand, seasoned fighters such as Michael Chandler who came from the rival promotion Bellator, earned $253,500 for his UFC debut against Dan Hooker.

Like any other negotiation, it comes down to what your market looks like. If you are a relatively unknown fighter, you will be at the bottom of the pay scale. If you are a known fighter, whose services are being bid on from multiple companies, you will be at the top of the pay scale.