At UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, lightweight champion Islam Makhachev will make his second defense of the belt – his opponent will again be Charles Oliveira.
How much will Islam Makhachev earn for this fight?
Islam Makhachev will fight for the fourth time in Abu Dhabi – many believe the fighters are due separate payments from the UAE’s governing body.
Makhachev last fought in February, when he won a split decision over UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski in Perth, Australia. The UFC announced a rematch with Oliveira only at the end of July, five months after he won the title.
The bout between Makhachev and Oliveira will take place in the main event of the October in Abu Dhabi. Makhachev has already topped the numbered UFC twice, but for the first time will enter the octagon as the main star of the event – before that he fought either in the status of a challenger for the belt, or on foreign territory.
Will the UFC venue affect Islam Makhachev’s fee? It is commonly believed that the UAE authorities spend huge sums of money on organizing tournaments in Abu Dhabi, which means that fighters there earn more. It seems that this is not true – according to Islam Makhachev, participants of tournaments are not entitled to separate payments from the UAE authorities.
He said this after his fight with Davi Ramos at UFC 242, one of the first big tournaments held in the UAE: “No, nothing like that. There was a fee, that’s all. And so – both in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai they created great conditions for us. UFC earned on it, and we did not receive any extra payments. In any case, I speak for myself”.
What do the promotion’s fighters’ fees consist of?
- Guaranteed money for entering the octagon – $500 thousand;
- Winning bonus – $100,000;
- Promotional money – $32,000;
- Best Performance Bonus – $50,000;
- Percentage of television sales (PPV).
For the rematch with Charles Oliveira, Islam Makhachev will come out as champion, but may earn less than his opponent. How is that possible?
Recently, the UFC has not disclosed data on sales of paid broadcasts – but they bring the company the main income. It is difficult to say how well the first tournament with the participation of Makhachev and Oliveira sold – not only the time difference between the UAE and the USA played against the UFC, but also the lack of popularity of Islam Makhachev in America.
UFC President Dana White assures that UFC 280 was one of the most successful tournaments in the last few years – some sources say half a million PPV buys allowed Makhachev to earn just over $1 million.
Makhachev came into the fight with Volkanovski already as champion. Despite the status of the fight (Volkanovski could become only the fifth double champion in UFC history), Makhachev’s fee did not increase much – his earnings totaled $1.1 million.
The main event of UFC 294 may become unique – there is a possibility that the challenger will earn even more than the champion. It’s all about the fact that under the terms of the new contract Oliveira receives $750,000 for just one appearance in the octagon, while the guaranteed payout to Makhachev is about half a million.
One thing is certain: both Makhachev and Oliveira can definitely count on a check exceeding $1 million. Much will depend on the sale of pay-per-view broadcasts – and two factors will play in favor of this UFC 294:
Firstly, during the year, Makhachev’s popularity has grown greatly: he has ceased to be considered an prospect and heir of Khabib Nurmagomedov and has turned into a full-fledged star.
Secondly, Khamzat Chimaev, one of the brightest fighters of the promotion, capable of leading big events on his own, will fight in the main event of the UFC. His presence will positively affect the attractiveness of UFC 294.