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Dan Henderson gets bigger payday than Ronda Rousey, but disclosed sums don’t tell whole story

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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(USA Today Sports)

The California Athletic Commission announced the reported salaries from UFC 157 over the weekend. While Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche dominated headlines with the first female bout in UFC history, it was Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson who made the biggest sums of reported money after squaring off in 157's co-main event.

Here are the reported salaries of the top five fights from the card (via MMA Weekly):

Ronda Rousey: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus) def. Liz Carmouche: $12,000

Lyoto Machida: $200,000 (no win bonus) def. Dan Henderson: $250,000

Urijah Faber: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus) def. Ivan Menjivar: $17,000

Court McGee: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus) def. Josh Neer: $16,000

Robbie Lawler: $105,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Josh Koscheck: $78,000

It may stand out to the casual fan that Rousey and Carmouche made much less money on paper than Henderson and Machida. But there are a few things to consider as the money disclosed here is only what promoters are required to report by law.

[Also: Concern is growing among devoted followers of popular UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva]

It does not include money the fighters make of pay-per-view sales. Quite often, fighters at the top of the card will make a percentage of the pay-per-view profits. Early reports have UFC 157 with 400-500,000 pay-per-views, so it could mean a good payday for the headliners.

The UFC also is known to give out "locker room bonuses," or extra money because of a good performance that they are not required to report to the athletic commissions.

During the run-up to UFC 157, Carmouche talked about how she didn't have much furniture in her home and drove a rundown car. UFC president Dana White promised after the fights that her furniture-less days are over.

"She going to have a kitchen table, and a couch, and whatever else the [expletive] she wants," White said.

Also, Henderson and Machida are UFC veterans whose payouts are decided by their contracts well in advance of their fights. Rousey and Carmouche were the main event because the UFC standard is to put the championship fight as the main event. Henderson and Machida taking home more listed money is akin to Mike Trout making $480,000 and Vernon Wells making $21 million for the Los Angeles Angels. Trout finished second in American League MVP voting but makes much less because he's a rookie and not a veteran like Wells.

To use another example, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made much less money than backup Alex Smith. Kaepernick will eventually get paid as his star blossoms but it doesn't change the paycheck he took home from the Super Bowl.

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