UFC fighters make only a small percentage of what Pride fighters make. So the best fighters just chose to go to Pride when they get a chance. UFC is basically in a rebuild mode where they are bringing in cheap($$$ wise not necessarily talent wise) fighters on short contracts. Pride though keeps pitting the worlds best against each other every show, and every year have a tournament or GP where the best from Shooto, UFC, and others compete as well.
You hit the nail on the head. Like TUF on spike? They say 6fig contract, what they don’t say is it is 6 figures over three years, which is like 33k a year or like working your butt of at McDonalds. A good fighter can make more then that in one fight in Japan.
Then consider the nature of MMA. I mean in boxing you can get knocked out and be fine. In MMA you can get your knee blown out in a heel hook that you didn’t even notice and you are screwed up for life. If you want fighters to take a real risk you have to make it worth while. This is why more fighters try and go to Japan. Purse makes the reward/risk balance out and even if you lose your compensation is still good. Outside of endorsements I don’t think there are any UFC fighters (AND I MEAN ANY) making over 200k a year. [/quote]
Last year in Pride, Mirko Crocop made $200,000 US per fight, and fought about 11 times. That is without any endorsements, and without winning a title. Japan throws a lot more money at their fighters.