UFC Ring Girl Makes More Than Fighters?
UFC 274 was headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje. However, neither athlete has been able to produce the net worth of UFC ring girl Brittney Palmer. Before I continue, let me make it clear. I am not saying that Brittney Palmer or any other UFC ring girl is overpaid. I hope they make as much money as they can. Rather, this is a great display of the current fighter pay issues in the UFC.
The Difference between Palmer, Oliveira, and Gaethje
Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje are two of the best fighters in the UFC. Oliveira is No. 4 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings and he would be the lightweight champion if he would have made weight at UFC 274. Gaethje has fought in two UFC championship fights and has won nine performance bonuses in the UFC. In terms of longevity, both fighters have been in the promotion for a long period of time. Oliveira has had 30 fights in the UFC while Gaethje has had ten.
Despite the success in the octagon for Oliveira and Gaethje, Palmer has been able to amass more money than both of them. In comparison, Palmer has an approximate net worth of five million dollars, while Gaethje sits at four million dollars. Oliveira is the lowest of the three at 2.5 million.
How Brittney Palmer Does It
Palmer has been a UFC ring girl since 2011 and has made quite the name for herself in the promotion. She has become one of the most famous and well-known ring girls in the sport. Outside of the UFC, she was on the cover of a Playboy magazine in 2012.
Palmer’s success does not stop at modeling. She has found success in the art and clothing industries. On her website, she sells her paintings and custom apparel.
Recently, Palmer has even dipped into Only Fans. Not only does she have her own account but she has a duo account with fellow UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste. This has certainly helped her add to her net worth. The idea of MMA fighters and personalities creating an Only Fans account has become increasingly popular as of late.
The Flaw In Oliveira and Gaethje’s Treatment
Fighter pay is one of the biggest issues in MMA. According to Forbes, UFC fighters get around a 20% revenue share. This is a stark difference to other sports leagues as most athletes get paid around 50% of the league’s revenue. In the case of Oliveira and Gaethje, they suffered dearly due to the UFC pay-per-view model. Domestically, UFC 274 was the highest-selling UFC pay-per-view of 2022 with approximately 400,000 buys.
Let’s do some math. With 400,000 buys at 75 dollars per buy, the UFC brought in about 30 million dollars in domestic pay-per-view buys at UFC 274. That’s a lot of money and that is only the revenue from the United States. This does not include the money made from the remainder of the world. At the end of the day, Oliveira and Gaethje should have each made far more than they walked away with considering the amount of money the UFC made from just the pay-per-view. If they would have gotten their fair share from the UFC, no UFC ring girl would be getting paid more than the best fighters in the world.
When will this change?
This issue affects more than just Oliveira and Gaethje. It affects every fighter from women’s strawweight to men’s heavyweight. Once again, UFC ring girls should be able to make as much money as possible, the problem is that fighters do not get that same opportunity. I know many people will say that fighters are millionaires and do not deserve more money. Tell that to the prelim fighter that is making $12,000 to show and $12,000 to win. Well in Paddy Pimblett’s case he was on the main card of UFC London.
When will fighter pay be fixed? Your guess is as good as mine. On one hand, the UFC is making more money than ever. On the other hand, they have been financially improving for years but the revenue share has stayed in the same range. Jake Paul has also worked to raise awareness of fighter pay issues. That may help. I am optimistic that the UFC will eventually pay fighters more but I understand why someone would disagree.