When the UFC announced that sponsorships for fighters at UFC events were going to be traded in for Reebok uniforms and a payout schedule based on fighters’ rankings, there was uproar. After all, who determines the rankings but a bunch of media members whose subjective eye might have them ranking a Brazilian countryman above all others despite that fighter riding a losing streak? And of course there’s been instances of the UFC themselves removing fighters from the rankings because of contract disputes (Nate Diaz, anyone?). The system was inherently flawed.
But now it’s being fixed.
As per the Sports Business Journal:
When the UFC released the initial draft of its outfitting policy in January, it stipulated that fighters’ compensation for a given bout would be based on their rankings. But based on feedback collected during the information sessions, the UFC has opted instead to institute a tiered system based on tenure, or number of UFC bouts fought. Fighters also will be credited for bouts sanctioned by World Extreme Cage Fighting and Strikeforce, both of which were purchased and shuttered by UFC parent company Zuffa.
The new system places combatants into tiers of 1-5 fights, 6-10 fights, 11-15 fights, 16-20 fights and more than 21 fights. The only exception applies to title fights, as both title challengers and reigning champions will receive greater compensation. The UFC declined to share specific dollar figures for each class.
Obviously, this system has its flaws as well. For instance, what of those newly-signed free agents who already are considered among the elite in their division? Will Eddie Alvarez get screwed?
Clearly, no method will truly be perfect. But at least this tenure thing is better than relying on whack media.