I Beat Brock Lesnar, Won UFC Belt And Sold More Pay-Per-Views Than Tyson Fury And Deontay Wilder – But I’Ve Never Had A $1Million Payday


Frank Mir is wondering why he’s never earned $1 million for a fight as he prepares to bring his legendary MMA career to an end.

The former UFC heavyweight champion is set to feature on a United Fighter League [UFL] card alongside his 3-0 prospect daughter, Bella Mir, on August 12.

During his 22-year run in the sport, Mir has won two UFC titles and beat fighters such as Brock Lesnar, Minotauro Nogueira, and Mirko Cro Cop.

The 43-year-old also faced off against legends 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 when asked if he’d been 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 them making more than $25 million each.

The sheer gulf between the payouts he got compared to elite-level boxers, despite outselling them, made the 32-fight veteran curious about the business of MMA.


Mir 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 and believes that by paying fighters their fair share, future legends will be able to live comfortably after retiring.

Right now, that’s not the case. Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia recently took up slap fighting at 47 years old, a decade after retiring from the MMA.

Mir is sad to see one of his old rivals taking unnecessary punishment to make ends meet and believes it’s time promotions stop making gross profits off their stars.

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.”


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