Before he got his shot on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, Forrest Griffin says, "I was making $26,000 a year as a cop. My goal was to make $26,000 a year as a fighter."
Griffin has made a whole lot more than that. He earned the six-figure contract that went with becoming the first Ultimate Fighter winner, and he now makes seven figures as the UFC light heavyweight champion. Not bad for a guy who says of his first professional MMA fight, against Dan Severn, "I was supposed to make $250 but I only ended up getting $200."
When I talked to Griffin last week about his upcoming title fight with Rashad Evans at UFC 92, the subject kept coming back to money -- and how surprised Griffin was that he's making a lot of it for doing something he loves. I told Griffin that a boxer whose fights draw hundreds of thousands of pay-per-view customers would be making a lot more money than Griffin made for his fight with Rampage Jackson or will make for his fight with Evans. But Griffin said that doesn't bother him.
"The sport's at a different place," Griffin said of comparing MMA to boxing. "You can think of it that way, or you can think that when I'm working out at Xtreme Couture, there's a roomful of guys who are pretty close in talent to myself who don't have nearly what I have. I'm very fortunate to make what I make."
And if anything, Griffin thinks the stars like himself might make too much money, at least compared to the UFC undercard fighters, who sometimes make just a few thousand bucks a fight.
UFC 92: Forrest Griffin on Rashad Evans, Wanderlei Silva and Making Money originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on Mon, 15 Dec 2008 06:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.