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Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone: Two ends of the spectrum

We take a closer look at Donald Cerrone's outburst during the post fight presser at UFC Fight Night 89.

Donald Cerrone defeated Patrick Cote at UFC Fight Night 89

“Treat yourself like a business and stop saying you'll fight for free” – Nate Diaz to Donald Cerrone

Nate Diaz might’ve officially replaced Conor McGregor as ‘Mystic Nate’. Last month, Nate was a guest on Helwani’s MMA Hour podcast, and had some wise words for Donald Cerrone. Nate, while talking about his contract negotiations with Dana White, told “Cowboy” to treat himself like a business.

A month later, Donald Cerrone finally understood what Nate meant.

Nate, much like Cerrone had the “anytime, anywhere” mentality. However, Cerrone for the first time spoke out against the UFC during his post fight press conference while talking about the money he made for his fight against Patrick Cote.

“God, that all sounds nice. According to my pay, I don't mean sh*t to the UFC. But we'll see. Maybe I'll talk to Dana after this and see if we can figure that out”, Cerrone said during the post-fight press conference.

Cerrone, who is generally considered to be a “company man”, lashed out at the UFC, and for a valid reason.

Let me do some number crunches and break down the reason for Cowboy lashing out. Since the Reebok deal came into effect, most of the fighters spoke out about losing out on their sponsorship money, which, for a mid – level fighter is equivalent to the purse he gets for showing up on fight night.

The payment structure of the UFC Athlete Outfitting program is as follows:

Based on the total number of fights under the UFC banner, as well as the Zuffa-era WEC fights and the Zuffa-era Strikeforce fights, fighters with 1 – 5 fights under their belt get $2,500 for showing up. Fighters with 6 – 10 fights get $5,000, while fighters with 11 – 15 fights under their belt get $10,000.

The upper tier fighters, with 16 – 20 fights get $15,000 per appearance, while fighters with 21 or more fights earn $20,000 for showing up on fight night.

It was reported that for his title fight against Rafael Dos Anjos in December, Cerrone collected a paycheck of $79,000. For his fight against Cote, Cerrone received $20,000 as per the Reebok – UFC deal, and $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, taking his total to $70,000.

Additionally, Cerrone gets to keep the royalty payments for any UFC merchandise sold that bears his likeness.

For argument’s sake, let us round off his earnings to $75,000, which isn’t a bad payday. However, one has to remember that Cerrone is a top tier fighter, and gets $20,000 because he has fought more than 21 times under the UFC/WEC banner.

Now imagine a fighter on the prelims card, who would earn only about $10,000 at most. Most fighters don’t even break even with their spending for a fight, let alone make a profit.

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