UFC COMPETITORS – THE ULTIMATE ALL AROUND ATHLETE
I consider myself fortunate that over my dozen or so years of BJJ training I have been able to attend 3 or 4 UFC events. I have seen great fights – and some not so great fights. Some venues were better than others. However, there was one common denominator shared by all events. The athleticism exhibited by the UFC fighters is awe inspiring. In my humble opinion, the athletic skills demanded by MMA, BJJ and UFC competitors supersedes that of any other sport whether it be an amateur or professional. I also feel – through my own experience – that UFC athletes display greater professionalism / interest in their fans and set a better example for kids than say a lot of players in the NFL – and other professional sports.
UFC AVERAGE PAY vs NFL PLAYER AVERAGE PAY
Before I am “called out” for being a “hater” of the NFL, let me acknowledge there are many pro football stars that truly exhibit good sportsmanship and a positive role model for kids. But to me, there are far too many professional athletes today in all pro sports that exhibit arrogance or are cry babies about being underpaid while still signing contacts worth tens of millions of dollars. They take their fans for granted to the point of dissing them or being downright rude. How much does the average UFC fighter make? The following top ten list was obtained from SHERDOG for year 2010 (note: these numbers do not include PPV or money made from sponsorships – etc)
Average $101,052 (NFL average for QB – 1.9 million from SI)
Here’s the salary top ten UFC fighters for 2010
1 Georges St-Pierre *$**** 900,000
2 Michael Bisping* *$**** 885,000
3 Brock Lesnar *$**** 875,000
4 Rashad Evans *$**** 785,000
5 Rampage Jackson* *$**** 750,000
6 B.J. Penn * *$**** 680,000
7 Matt Hughes* *$**** 560,000
8 Anderson Silva * *$**** 520,000
9 Chuck Liddell *$**** 500,000
10 James Toney *$**** 500,000
Although these salaries are not “chump change” – they pale in comparison to what professional athletes make in other sports.
UFC 100 – THE ULTIMATE EVENT TO ATTEND
Attending UFC 100 with my sensei Professor Tom Dinklage had a profound effect on me regarding how I perceived the majority of UFC fighters on a personal one to one basis. The venue for the fight was the Mandalay Bay with the added bonus of a UFC expo being held in the convention center. What I did not expect were the multitude of UFC fighters present at the EXPO and how available they made themselves to the fans for autographs and pictures. With all due respect, Professor Dinklage acted like a kid in a candy store. Just check out the PMA website for numerous pictures of Professor Dinklage with many big name UFC stars.
BRAZILIAN JIU JITUS INSTRUCTION AND UFC ATHLETES AS POSITIVE EXAMPLES OF ROLE MODELS FOR KIDS
Since I teach in public schools, what really impressed me is how these UFC athletes AT EXPO 100 interacted with kids taking time to talk to them and in many instances give them good advice on how to train. I never once saw someone act like a jerk. (Yes – there is always the exception like Lesnar in his post fight behavior after defeating Mir – but truly the exception) My highlight was getting to walk in the octagon that was on display. Although I have NO DOUBT that getting slammed to the octagon mat is not pleasant – for me – it was cushy enough to fall asleep on – which my sensei decided was the right thing for me to do as he applied a back choke on me while we were in the ring!!!!!
In this blog, I do not intend to denigrate all athletes in other professional sports. However, I do wish to compliment the vast majority of UFC stars who exhibit true professionalism in how they interact not only with their peers but their fans. The guys in the UFC are awesome athletes in every sense of the word.