Cat Zingano photo by Esther Lin for Invicta
by Dr. Octagon, J.D.
When President Obama talks about the wage gap (the concept that men are paid more than women for equal work) I usually just try to ignore him, because he’s a liar that pretends to be all chill, but in reality is spying on all of us.
So anyway, Barry puts the wage gap at 77% and because he’s a big fucking liar he’s using a number that’s different than the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which goes with 81% or 86% depending on how you calculate it. To make things even more hilarious, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is in the Labor Department, which is part of the Executive Branch (for those of you not following me here, the BLS is a bunch of guys who ultimately answer to the President and whose job it is to calculate shit like this.)
So basically, there is a wage gap between the sexes that liberals say is gigantic and due to persistent discrimination and conservatives say it is due to women taking themselves out of the workforce to make babies or going into jobs that require less of the particularly remunerative specializations such as maths and sciences that men statistically excel at. This esteemed publication tries not to be political, so we’re not going to tell you where our sympathies lie.
Like Barack Obama, UFC boss Dana White also is known spin the truth every now and again, most recently calling out the venerable MMA journalist Dave Meltzer for something that he did not say. Unlike Barack Obama, Dana White is not concerned with the wage gap whatsoever.
Manvel Gamburyan is a male fighter who is not currently ranked in the UFC’s Top 15 (but you could argue could be included in the top 10) and had the first fight of the night at UFC 178, which was not even broadcast on the televised undercard. The only way to see it was on UFC Fightpass. How much would you say he was paid to show (what he would have made if he did not win)?
He made $25,000. Now I am barely scraping the bottom of the barrel with this blogging gig (and rightly so, I really don’t work that much), but that doesn’t seem to be a lot of money to train for a fight and get into a cage with a man trying to punch my face in. You know, he has to have a full training camp, travel to the fight with all his coaches, pay his coaches, pay Mike Dolce, etc. In the interest of transparency, Manny also made an additional $25,000 because he won.
On the other hand we have Cat Zingano, who is the best female fighter in the UFC other than Ronda Rousey (according to the UFC’s rankings), who fought on the main card, that people paid around sixty bucks each to watch. How much do you think she made to show up? It must have been at least a little bit more than Manny Gamburyan, right? Nope. $9,000 to fight (another $9,000 to win). That’s right. Not exactly five figures, but almost there.
So Cat Zingano, who was on the Pay Per View Card and is the second-best female fighter in the entire UFC got paid 36% of the amount that Manny Gamburyan made to fight on teh internets. But let’s compare apples to apples. Dominick Cruz also fought on the Pay Per View card and is similarly ranked to Zingano. He got paid 50k to show up. He’s a former champ, so there’s that, but she’s still only making 18% of what he is.
This is pretty common for sports, due to things like the laws of supply and demand and the invisible hand of the market and shit like that, which is why Carmelo Anthony makes more money than the entire WNBA roster. But there aren’t a lot of other sports where men’s and women’s competitions are on the same show.
Also, it’s sort of hard to argue that there’s no demand to see Zingano fight, when the UFC is sticking her on the portion of the card that you have to pay for. You’d think the wage gap would be a little lower.
So there you go: MMA fighters aren’t making money. But female fighters in particular are getting screwed.