If the net gate is less than $50,000, MMA judges earn $300 per fight, according to the California State Athletic Commission. MMA judges are paid $350 each fight if the net gain for the match is between $50,000 and $100,000, and $550 if the net gain of the match is greater than $100,000.
Judges for MMA fights have to have a keen eye, be unafraid of being up close and personal to the fight, and detail-oriented enough to judge the fight fairly. So, for all their troubles, how much do MMA judges get paid?
How Much Do MMA Judges Get Paid?
MMA judges get paid between $300-$550 per fight, depending on how much money is made on the fight itself.
Casual viewers may get confused between an MMA judge and an MMA referee. While a referee is higher paid than a judge, their job is also more dangerous and they are in the public eye, as opposed to an MMA judge that is more behind the scenes.
Like with referees, the amount the judge is paid per fight will depend on the level of the fight being judged and the gender of the fighters. Matches between men in higher-weight classes tend to earn more money, which means more money for the judges.
Three judges are present in every MMA fight, sitting behind the cage and scoring the fighters round by round.
There is also a sizable bonus for judges and referees of matches that are pay-per-view matches. These fights garner much higher amounts of money, therefore everyone who participates, judges and referees included, gets paid more.
How Much Does An MMA Referee Make?
Depending on the skill level of the fights that they are refereeing, and whether they’re refereeing male or female fights, the pay scale of MMA referees can vary quite greatly.
- A professional referee, which is a referee that will be called up to work on UFC fights and other highly anticipated fights, will make $700- $2,500 a match, or $250,000-$500,000 a year.
- Referees who referee fights between 2 female contestants, will earn about $1000 a match, or $60,000 a year.
- Entry-level referees, who are referees that work on lower level and less in-demand matches, earn between $250-$500 a match, or $15,000-$30,000 a year.
These figures can vary greatly, depending on the popularity of the match being judged and the skill level or experience of the judge themselves.