Back in September of 2014, a rampaging Conor McGregor scored the biggest win of his career to that point when he knocked out Dustin Poirier in just 1 minute and 46 seconds at UFC 178.
In doing so, the Irishman added a $75,000 win bonus to his show money cheque to bring his total earnings for the evening to a cool $150,000(payout information courtesy of MMAJunkie).
Later, in the night’s main event, Demetrious Johnson scooped $183,000 for a successful defence of his UFC flyweight title against Chris Cariaso.
Fast-forward just 18 months and one fighter’s circumstances have changed a great deal.
For his UFC 196 bout with Nate Diaz, McGregor became the first fighter in the promotion’s history to earn a disclosed payout of $1,000,000, although he will have accumulated much more than that when all is said and done due to his cut of the Pay-per-view revenue.
Johnson’s disclosed earnings, however, have barely changed.
For his most recent fight, a 5-round decision win over John Dodson at UFC 191, the marvellous “Mighty Mouse” earned $191,000, win bonus included(via MMAMania).
Though he can’t claim to draw the same attention to the sport or the massive Pay-per-view numbers that McGregor garners, it is sad to see that a man who ranks so highly amidst the pound-for-pound elite of the sport is not being more handsomely and progressively rewarded in financial terms.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s addition of The MMA Hour, Johnson acknowledged the disparity between his earnings and those of the Dubliner. While the gracious champion praised McGregor for changing the face of the game, he added that his own sky-high skill level should be enough to warrant payouts approaching those of the trailblazing SBG star.
“First man, shout out to Conor McGregor for being the first fighter to make seven figures in the UFC,” said Johnson. “I honestly do believe I should be closer just for the skill set I bring into the Octagon. Obviously everybody can look back at UFC 191 and see what my disclosed pay was, that’s one of my goals is to inch closer to bigger paydays. Shout out to Nate Diaz, both of those guys for setting the pedestal for us guys to get paid more. We go out there and we work our assess off, and the UFC works their asses off with promoting the fight and try to sell tickets. I think that it’s great those guys are getting paid more, but I would absolutely love to see – Demetrious Johnson UFC 197 payout $500K, baby!”
Johnson will next see action on April 23rd at the aforementioned UFC 197 when he takes on undefeated Olympic gold medallist Henry Cejudo.