(When you wake up, we’ll need you to clean out your desk. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)
Just how rough is this economy? Well, former UFC top heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum just got downsized after losing one fight. Apparently Dana White & Co. were less than understanding of Werdum‘s upset loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90 and asked him to immediately re-negotiate his contract. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, prompting Werdum to leave the promotion; according to MMA Weekly, he’s already negotiating with other fight clubs in the U.S. and Japan.
For the record, Werdum’s base salary was $80,000 when he made his UFC debut in April 2007, dropping a decision to Andrei Arlovski. We’d assume that he made the same amount for his subsequent beatings of Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera (at UFC 80 and 85), and his loss to Dos Santos last month, but salaries for those events were never publicly released. At any rate, his old employer decided he wasn’t worth 80 grand anymore and put the screws to him, which is just another example of the imbalance of power that plagues UFC fighter contracts. You sign a piece of paper that seemingly promises you a certain amount of money for a certain number of fights, but it’s by no means a guarantee unless you win every fight. And as the UFC becomes the only game in town, the power it wields is even greater. Anybody want to start a fighter’s union?