(Suck it up! You just made $300k!)
The numbers are in for the Cung Le/Frank Shamrock-led Strikeforce/EliteXC event from this past Saturday. The 411 on the payroll for the fighters comes from the California State Athletic Commission and as expected, the main eventers took home the lion’s share. It was a night where the HP Pavilion in San Jose pulled in 15,192 at the gate — with 14,710 of those paying — for a solid total of $1,117,855 in tixs. Half a mil of that went to Cung ($200k) and Frank ($300k), which amounted to about 3/4 of the overall fight purse of almost $668k.
– Cung Le ($200,000) over Frank Shamrock ($300,000)
– Drew Fickett ($10,000) over Jae S. Lim ($3,000)
– Gilbert Melendez ($50,000) over Gabe Lemley ($7,000)
– Wayne Cole ($10,000) over Mike Kyle ($10,000)
– Joey Villasenor ($36,000) over Ryan Jensen ($6,000)
– Billy Evangelista ($10,000) over Marlon Sims ($2,500)
– Tiki Ghosn ($8,000) over Luke Stewart ($6,000)
– Darren Uyenoyama ($4,000) over Anthony Figueroa ($2,000)
– Jesse Jones ($2,150) over Jesse Gillespie ($1,200)
Bonuses for wins went like this:
– Drew Fickett ($5,000)
– Wayne Cole ($5,000)
– Joey Villasenor ($18,000)
– Billy Evangelista ($5,000)
– Tiki Ghosn ($2,000)
– Darren Uyenoyama ($2,000)
– Jesse Jones ($500)
Who knows what the actual numbers end up being after the usual tax deductions and sponsor additions are factored in. Regardless, this is a payroll that reflects the usual pattern of MMA payouts where the main event pulls the serious dough. However, we gotta’ hand it to Strikeforce/EliteXC for giving their top guys respectable numbers. Although Melendez, Fickett, Lim, and Lemley probably deserved a little more scratch for the lead-in to the big show. We’ve seen what EliteXC has done in the past and we’re well aware of the UFC’s brand of payments, but the WEC and IFL — among others — need to figure out how to at least remotely compete in the payout pony race.
I mean, when you have Doug Marshall fighting for a base pay of $10k as the WEC light heavyweight champion (he lost to Brian Stann) and the IFL’s heavyweight champion Roy Nelson fighting for the same base number in his last successful defense, it makes one wonder how long those organizations can keep that up. We understand their live gate totals and broadcast deals aren’t exactly knockin’ ‘em out of the park, but that’ll keep dropping even more as fighters start looking for better paydays elsewhere.
While the UFC doesn’t drop as much on their main event fighters, they spread the love a little more to their other top bouts — in addition to their “_____ of the night” bonuses. Don’t worry, we can still hate on Dana for not giving even more of the gigantic pull the UFC makes from each PPV event, but we can’t despise him too much when compared to other joints.