Original Story: Even if Ronda Rousey doesn't win her first title defense at UFC 157, she could still make more money than Ben Henderson and Dominick Cruz.
According to a rumor from MMA Interviews, Rousey is lined up for a $75,000/$75,000 salary via her upcoming main-event bout in Anaheim.
That's $75,000 to show up and $75,000 extra if she wins, for an assumed total of $150,000 in one night. As MMA Interviews points out, that's not even all of it—and challenger Liz Carmouche is reportedly making far less in comparison to the women's champion:
MMAinterviews was told from a source close to Liz Carmouche’s camp that Ronda Rousey will be earning $75,000 to show and $75,000 to win, plus a cut of pay per view when she defends her UFC title against Carmouche at UFC 157. Carmouche will only be earning $12,000 to show and $12,000 to win according to the source.
Rousey's manager Darin Harvey refuted the rumor, but wouldn't give any details about the terms of his fighter's contract with the UFC.
Harvey only stated that "Dana White takes very good care of his stars" and "you cannot go by commission numbers."
Historically, the UFC only releases a very conservative reported salary for fighters, which doesn't include sizable perks like post-fight bonus money, PPV percentages and in some cases, "locker room bonuses" for good performances in the Octagon.
If the rumor is indeed true, that automatically puts Rousey in the middle of the pack amongst current UFC champions.
For comparison' sake, this is a breakdown of each champion's most recently disclosed base pay or show/win salary from various commissions, not counting any bonuses or PPV deals:
• Cain Velasquez: $100,000/$100,000 (UFC 155)
• Junior dos Santos: $400,000 (UFC 155, Former Champion)
• Jon Jones: $400,000 (UFC 145)
• Anderson Silva: $200,000 (UFC 148)
• Georges St-Pierre: $200,000/$200,000 (UFC 100)
• Benson Henderson: $39,000/$39,000 (UFC on Fox 5)
• Frankie Edgar: $51,000/$51,000 (UFC 125, Former Champion)
• Jose Aldo: N/A
• Dominick Cruz: $20,000/$20,000 (UFC 132)
• Ronda Rousey: $75,000/$75,000 (Rumored, UFC 157)
• Renan Barao: N/A
• Demetrious Johnson: N/A
Interestingly, Aldo, Barao and Johnson have yet to fight in states and territories where the local athletic commission reports fighter salaries.
However, given the huge discrepancy between the heavier weight classes and the lighter weight divisions, it's fair to guess Rousey may walk out of UFC 157 as the promotion's fifth most well-paid champion. All "Rowdy" needs to do for that to happen is defeat challenger Liz Carmouche on Feb. 23 at the Anaheim Honda Center.