The fighters on the UFC 202 card were paid a collective $6.106 million. Of the $6 million paid out $5 million went to Diaz and McGregor. The remaining $1.106 million was paid out to the other eighteen fighters.
The full payouts from MMA Junkie:
Conor McGregor: $3 million (no win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $2 million
Anthony Johnson: $270,000 (includes $135,000 win bonus)
def. Glover Teixeira: $65,000
Donald Cerrone: $170,000 (includes $85,000 win bonus)
def. Rick Story: $41,000
Mike Perry: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Hyun Gyu Lim: $18,000
Tim Means: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Sabah Homasi: $12,000
Cody Garbrandt: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Takeya Mizugaki: $39,000
Raquel Pennington: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. Elizabeth Phillips: $12,000
Artem Lobov: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Avila: $10,000
Cortney Casey: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Randa Markos: $14,000
Lorenz Larkin: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Neil Magny: $47,000
Colby Covington: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. Max Griffin: $10,000
Marvin Vettori: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Alberto Uda: $10,000
Some fees are taken out such as insurance, licenses, and taxes. Extra payouts, what the UFC calls “shill money,” is also not included but is an extra bonus awarded to fighters based on performance.
The gap between the haves and have nots is exceptionally wide in combat sports. The “needle movers” are paid a significant amount of money. The disparity is wide even between the main event and the co-main event, with over $4.5 million separating the two premier fights on the program.
A union would benefit the bottom level fighters the most. While it may place a small cap on the amount of money people at the top can make it can greatly raise the minimum payments of the lower-level fighters. every top fighter starts out at the floor and raising the floor would allow more fighters to devote more time to fighting, thus raising the talent across the promotion.
Looking at the pay structure can tell you a lot about the fights. First off, the favorite always gets paid off more than the underdog but the discrepancy becomes even larger with the win bonus that typically doubles the base payment. This serves two purposes: it creates a bigger incentive to win and not just show up, but it also allows the UFC to provide arguably similar contracts to both fighters. The UFC obviously designs some of these fights for prospects to win and creating a win bonus allows the negotiations to have the understanding that both fighters will be paid similarly.
It should also be noted that Diaz-McGregor 2 was not a title fight. The personal brand of both fighters is what drove this PPV program. When it comes to drawing casual sports fans to buying a PPV program it is not the competition for the belt that drives their purchasing decision. The drama and story around the event has the biggest impact on the decision to buy.