I’m a former UFC champion who beat Brock Lesnar and sold more PPVs than Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder – but I’ve never had $1 million payday

[ad_1]

Frank Mir is feeling shortchanged at the end of his MMA career.

During his 23-year run in the sport, Mir has won two UFC titles and picked up high-profile wins over Brock Lesnar, Minotauro Nogueira, and Mirko Cro Cop.

Mir was the first man to beat Brock Lesnar in MMA

5

Mir was the first man to beat Brock Lesnar in MMACredit: Getty

The 44-year-old has also faced legends like Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Daniel Cormier, and Shane Carwin – he even fought boxers Kubrat Pulev and Steve Cunningham.

Most of his career was spent in MMA’s premier promotion where he headlined three pay-per-view cards, including UFC 100 which generated 1.6 million buys and is the third best-selling UFC event of all time.

Despite all his success, Mir has never enjoyed a seven-figure payday and it only recently occurred to him that he should’ve made so much more money for his rematch with Lesnar in 2009.

“Not at all,” he told talkSPORT in April 2023 when asked if he feels like he was fairly compensated for UFC 100.

“For example, I saw a boxing match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder – their second fight – I think we actually beat their pay-per-view buys.”

Fury vs Wilder 2 was the best-performing fight of the trilogy and it only sold around 800,000 PPVs – but that didn’t stop them from making more than $25 million each.

In fact it was so lucrative they added a third fight, which is said to have brought in around 600,000 buys.

The sheer gulf between the payout he got compared to elite-level boxers, despite outselling them, made Mir curious about the business of MMA.

Lesnar won one of the biggest rematches of all time at UFC 100

5

Lesnar won one of the biggest rematches of all time at UFC 100Credit: Getty
The heavyweight legend feels he's been underpaid throughout his career

5

The heavyweight legend feels he’s been underpaid throughout his careerCredit: Getty

He added: “Both those guys made multiple millions of dollars, I never hit seven figures.

“That made me realise, ‘Oh, wow! I was the main event of that card, and I didn’t get seven figures and these guys got eight figures.’

“It blew my mind and that was probably my first opening to go, ‘This card generated $50 million, who made the money?’

“So, that’s one of the things that I want to fix about our sport, when a card makes $25 million the company can keep $10 million but the rest is divided by the fighters.”

Mir is now working with UFL [United Fight League] and believes that by paying fighters their fair share, future legends will be able to live comfortably after retiring.

Mir sold more PPVs than ever fight in the Fury vs Wilder trilogy

5

Mir sold more PPVs than ever fight in the Fury vs Wilder trilogyCredit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Now he wants to help improve fighter pay for his MMA prospect daughter

5

Now he wants to help improve fighter pay for his MMA prospect daughter

He said: “When you see an MMA fighter who is struggling after his career, people don’t really say, ‘Oh, he didn’t manage his money well.’ It’s ‘Well, they are not compensated for what they generate.’”

“We are not going to become millionaires off the back of the fighters.

“The show has to make money so we can continue to have a show but at the same time the fighters themselves are the most compensated.”

Mir hasn’t called time on his MMA career yet, despite not competing in the sport since securing a unanimous decision win over Roy Nelson in Bellator five years ago.

The plan is to have two final fights with UFL before walking away from competition and taking up a coaching role as his daughter, Bella Mir, makes her way through the MMA ranks.

Hopefully, Mir will be able to help her secure the million-dollar payday he missed out on.

[ad_2]

Source

Leave a Comment