There’s no sugar coating it, CM Punk’s UFC debut was anything but a success.
The ex-WWE superstar showed a lot of heart to get inside the Octagon, but he was also massively incentivised with an incredible fee.
Despite not making it past the first round before tapping out, Punk walked away with a cool half a million dollars…
— BT Sport UFC (@btsportufc) September 11, 2016
Yep, Punk was paid $500,000 for his debut at UFC 203, an astronomical amount for someone with no previous MMA experience – meanwhile, winner Mickey Gall only took home $30,000 for his dominant performance.
As reported by MMA Fighting, the payments for the main card fighters were as follows:
Stipe Miocic ($600,000 + no win bonus = $600,000) def. Alistair Overeem ($800,000)
Fabricio Werdum ($250,000 + $125,000 = $375,000) def. Travis Browne ($120,000)
Mickey Gall ($15,000 + $15,000 = $30,000) def. CM Punk ($500,000)
Jimmie Rivera ($24,000 + $24,000 = $48,000) def. Urijah Faber ($160,000)
Jessica Andrade ($23,000 + $23,000 = $46,000) def. Joanne Calderwood ($25,000)
Punk won’t be getting the opportunity to make that much cash from the organisation again anytime soon though.
UFC President Dana White pretty much confirmed that to be the case with his review of the night’s bouts.
He probably shouldn’t have his next fight in the UFC. Just like I said with Brock, having your first fight in the UFC is tough and you [saw] tonight, even if it’s against a guy who is 2-0. This is a tough place to learn…
I don’t know if it was an experiment. I became friends with him. He’s a nice guy. I like him. I have a lot of respect for him and he wanted to give it a shot. I gave him his shot.
Punk’s post-fight interview suggests it was never about the money, but there’s no getting away from that figure. Clearly, it was a worthwhile beating to take…