Daniel Cormier holds a legendary status in the world of MMA. The star was even inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last month in Las Vegas. Recently, Daniel revealed that he received a hefty bonus from UFC president Dana White after his first loss with the promotion in 2015.
After winning his first four fights under the UFC banner, Cormier’s first main event with the promotion was a title fight in Las Vegas against bitter rival Jon Jones. Cormier would lose his first bid for the UFC light heavyweight title, dropping a unanimous decision to Jones at UFC 182. While discussing the topic of fighter pay on The Pivot, Cormier revealed he was gifted a large sum the day after the fight.
The number is far beyond the additional $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus that was issued for the bout. Cormier said, “Back in 2015, I fought Jon Jones for the first time,” Cormier added, “We had this great build. And I was making $80,000 to show up and $80,000 to win,” He then said,
“I lost. So I left that arena thinking, ‘All that, and I made $80,000.’ And I made like $80,000 in sponsorship back when we could wear those patches on our shorts. So I was like, ‘Man, for all that, I’m gonna make $150,000. It’s crazy.”
Unlike today, back in 2015, the Nevada State Athletic Commission disclosed fight purse amounts. Cormier’s disclosed purse for the event was $90,000. With the FOTN, his disclosed total for the event was $140,000, but he says White added much more to his wallet, on top of other undisclosed amounts a fighter may receive from sponsorships or other discretionary bonuses. Cormier then went into more detail about what happened after the fight.
“Dana calls me two days later, ‘Hey, man, you all killed it. Numbers are out of this world.’ He goes, ‘We’re gonna send you a million dollars.’ (This is) 2015. Dude sent me a million-dollar check next day, just because he said I did a great job.”
Receiving over 11 times his base pay a day after the fight is certainly a generous gesture from the UFC boss. It was a different time for the promotion, before the $4 billion sale in 2016. Lorenzo Fertitta was still on board, and Cormier said the generosity with discretionary bonuses was frequent then. Cormier would go on to compete in nine championship bouts after his first meeting with Jones. The second meeting at UFC 214 has since been overturned to a no contest due to Jones’ failed drug tests. Stay tuned to Thirsty for further updates.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments.