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The financial upside of Jon Fitch’s lay-and-pray style

I don’t blame Matt Mitrione for shit-canning his agent immediately after his UFC 119 bout on Saturday. A measly $5,000 in sponsorship earnings when you fight on national TV is pretty small potatoes.

But it’s really no surprise. Unless you’re a top-tier A-list fighter (Georges St. Pierre or Brock Lesnar, for example), you probably don’t cash too many big cheques. Jonathan Snowden over at Bloody Elbow has a breakdown of how fighters are paid. It’s enlightening stuff. Here’s an excerpt:

Fight shorts aren’t a commercial product that companies are able to sell to the general public. What they are is a billboard for advertising that could appear in front of a television audience for up to 25 minutes. Short space is sold in four pieces: the crotch, the butt, and both thighs. The top agents have been able to score more than $30,000 per patch, but that’s rare. For a television fighter who isn’t a major star, the crotch and butt space are worth from $500-$2,000. Each thigh ranges from $250-1,500. Savvy agents can sell these spaces at a premium if they pitch it right.

“I represent one guy who is a great wrestler,” an agent told me in confidence. “When I sell the space on his butt I tell the company ‘Look, his ass is going to be in America’s face for 15 minutes while he pounds on this guy.’ That’s incredibly valuable space.”

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