Interesting piece. I have always speculated that the UFC could pay their lowel level, and mid level fighters a lot more money. I don't think that anyone is upset about the amount of money that GSP, Anderson Silva or Brock Lesnar are making. Fans are concerned about the $8,000/$8,000 type of structure. If the UFC just had a base of $20,000/$20,000 or $25,000/$15,000, something along those lines, it would be enough to keep both fans and fighters happy.
One of the most obvious things that always shocked me, is that publicly disclosed payroll for an entire event never even comes close to the amount of income from the live gate, let alone pay-per-view revenue. I think that's one of the most instantly recognizable facts, and one that indicates that UFC fighters are obviously underpaid. It's commonplace to see a live gate of $3.1 million, and a disclosed payroll of just over $1M. It certainly doesn't seem to add up.