There space several remarkable referees in MMA, 2 of the most well-known being Herb Dean, and also ‘Big’ john McCarthy. These referees can be seenrefereeing many large pay-per-view events, regularly reffing 3 or 4 fights in one night. Girlfriend may have actually wondered just how much referees in the UFC get paid, and also how? per event? ~ above Salary? therefore in this post, I’m walk to information everything ns can uncover in an effort to answer any questions neighboring referee earnings.

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So exactly how much execute UFC referees earn?

On average, a UFC referee will earn about $500 per match. For big profile fights, referees deserve to earn increase to about $2,000, together as big John McCarthy’s purse of $1,900 because that Aldo vs McGregor. The is more common because that referees to earn only $300 every fight, together they have the right to ref several matches in one night. Considering the average of $500 every match, multiplied by the 89 UFC and also Bellator fights that refereed in 2017, large John earned around $44,500 in 2017.

However, there space a lot of of factors that go into referee pay and how lot they have the right to earn in a year. In the rest of the post, I’m going to cover the sources, main payouts, and estimates top top the pay of referees in the UFC.

Official and also Estimated Payouts

There are number of sites virtual claiming to have sources because that referee payouts. However, many of these sites carry out not connect or even mention their sources, for this reason I would certainly take those through a serial of salt. In spite of this, ns did find official payout because that one UFC event, and that was UFC 194.

For the UFC 194 main event match in between Jose Aldo (left) and Conor McGregor (right), the NSAC released official payouts because that referees Herb Dean and also ‘Big’ man McCarthy (center).

According come MMAJunkie and referee ‘Big’ john McCarthy himself, the official payout by the Nevada State strong Commission to be $1,900 for Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor. Large John and Herb Dean each earned $1,900, with Herb Dean officiating the co-main event in between Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman because that the Middleweight Championship.

I’m sure you males knew this already, however in instance you didn’t, UFC 194 was a large event. The main event alone to be a very anticipated marriage bout in between the long-reigning champion in Aldo, and the fan-favorite interim champ in McGregor.

This gives us part insight as to what the median pay for a referee is, because the $1,900 because that UFC 194 was most likely the highest possible payout as much as that point. Top top an episode of his podcast, huge John and also Sean Wheelock discuss big John’s pay because that the event (at about 28:20). Huge John himself confirms the pay is no anything spectacular, and also says he mainly does it for the love that the sport.

On the very same podcast, large John declared that because that amateur fights he gets paid anywhere from $100 to $400. We can assume this is the lower threshold for referee pay in the UFC, meaning the typical is somewhere between $400 and $1,900.

Famous MMA referee Herb Dean, attract the red patch of the Nevada State athletic Commission.

It seems the state the sanctions the hit plays a duty in referee pay, as man McCarthy stated: “Nevada pays an ext for a championship fight than any kind of state pays any type of official so the $1,900 is the many you’re going to see. Say thanks to you very much, Nevada. It’s an extremely nice of friend to give us the much. I evaluate it”.

Aside from huge John’s podcast, I discovered this website which shows some numbers for referee income in MMA. However, the article is poorly written, walk not point out the sources, and overall seems kind the vague and sketchy. Ns wouldn’t trust your numbers, together they it seems to be ~ arbitrary, however they are there if you want to take a look.

I likewise want to keep in mind that a referee’s salary usually boosts with the size of the event and also the attention it recieves. MMA is tho a fairly brand-new and farming sport, pass in many new fans every year. This steady rise in viewership is likely to boost payouts for all the people affiliated in the events, including referees.

I also would think the a referee’s pay directly correlates to his tenure as a referee, and how well-known he is. Friend can examine out our short article on the many UFC renowned Referees to gain an idea of who the better-paid referees are.

Estimating one MMA Referee’s Salary

Now let’s estimate the salary of a high-profile referee together as huge John McCarthy. In stimulate to execute this, ns looked in ~ a web page on Tapology i m sorry lists every the fights refereed by big John McCarthy up to the finish of 2017.

In 2017, big John was the referee for three organizations, can be fried Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator, and also the Russian promotion Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB). Bellator and ACB most likely pay refs much less than the UFC does because of their reduced popularity, therefore I’ll store that in mind as soon as estimating huge John’s salary.

Because fights on The can be fried Fighter TV collection are various from UFC events, they room not included when considering referee pay.

I likewise want to keep in mind that the UFC has actually two other organizations under the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender series (DWTNCS), and The ultimate Fighter series (TUF), both that which big John has actually refereed. The factor this matters is due to the fact that I don’t recognize if the pay for these species of fights differs from fights under the actual UFC banner, so i won’t be including them in the average.

And lastly, I’m not even sure if the referees get paid every event, or per fight. I’m walk to i think it is every fight, but take keep in mind that this may inflate the actual value if they instead obtain paid every event.

Considering that big John claimed amateur occasions pay almost everywhere from $100-$400, I’m going to i think $400 is the lowest the a pro fight will pay a ref. I will assume this is the median for all of the fights that refs, which provides this a quite conservative estimate.

‘Big’ man McCarthy seen right here officiating for absolute Championship Berkut in Russia.

In 2017, big John McCarthy refereed 45 UFC fights, 47 ACB fights, and also 30 Bellator fights, i m sorry is 122 fights total. Suspect the $400 typical per fight, that means John McCarthy deserve an approximated $48,800 because that refereeing in 2017.

Of course, there room a lot of assumptions made with this estimate, and you should take them into consideration. The 2 biggest assumptions are the median pay every fight ($400), and also that refs are paid every fight vs per event.

Also, huge John detailed on his podcast the a hotel is generally paid for by the commission. Travel is just covered if the ref has to travel by plane, and also they should pay because that their very own transportation if they drive. Any type of other costs are covered by the individual.

Why perform Boxing Referees earn More?

During the large John McCarthy’s podcast, him and also Sean Wheelock disputed the salary Kenny Bayless received for officiating Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather, which was a widely-anticipated boxing match.

Kenny Bayless reportedly made $25,000 because that officiating that fight. There are several reasons why the payout in boxing is significantly higher than in MMA.

For one boxing all at once is a much more popular sport. It has been roughly for centuries, and also is watched by countless people about the world. In contrast, the UFC has actually only been around since 1993, and is quiet growing and gaining popularity.

Referee Kenny Bayless, seen right here officiating the fight in between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Due to the distinction in popularity, there is likewise a distinction in revenue and earnings. Because boxing matches typically bring in more money than a UFC event, over there is much more money to salary the fighters, judges, and also referees.

An interesting thing to keep in mind is that while the State’s athletic Commission selects and also pays the referees because that MMA events, in boxing, the promoter is the one that selects and pays the referee. Ns don’t understand if this has a direct influence on exactly how much a referee earns, yet I would assume that a promoter would certainly pay an excellent money come make sure their occasion is not messed up by a negative referee’s call.

Of course, it also depends ~ above how good the referee in inquiry is, and the size of the certain event they are preferred to referee.

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In short, referees in MMA will earn around $500 per enhance on average. Highly-anticipated occasions will pay referees more, increase to around $2,000 every fight. Based on a low typical of $400, and also assuming a referee officiates around 120 fights a year, one deserve to expect to make about $48,000 together a referee because that MMA. This depends on a many factors, such as size of the event, popular of the referee, and the state wherein the fight takes place.

If you liked this post, feel totally free to check out the Martial Arts background page, wherein I answer more FAQ’s from fight fans. Thanks for reading!