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‘Strikeforce: Evolution’ Salaries — Le Leads the Pack, King Mo Docked for Energy Drink Explosion

(The face on the broad behind the cage pretty much says it all. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/shosports.)

Salary info has been released for Saturday’s Strikeforce event, with headliner Cung Le taking home nearly a third of the $481,200 disclosed payroll. As you’ll see, Strikeforce doesn’t always follow the 100% win bonus structure that’s become standard operating procedure in the UFC. One exception is Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, who doubled his $10,000 show-money with his victory over Mike Whitehead — but was reportedly fined 10% of his purse by the CSAC for spraying Rockstar Energy Drink all over the cage after his fight like a complete jackass. Hopefully Rockstar makes it up to Mo for the extra publicity he gave them. And now onto the numbers…

Scott Smith: $55,000 (no win bonus)
def. Cung Le: $150,000

Gilbert Melendez: $55,000 (no win bonus)
def. Josh Thomson: $30,000

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: $65,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Lindland: $50,000

Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Whitehead: $30,000

Antwain Britt: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
def. Scott Lighty: $5,000

Justin Wilcox: $5,000 (no win bonus)
def. Daisuke Nakamura: $200 [Ed. note: Bullshit. Nakamura has previously competed for M-1, so he could very well be on one of their shady under-the-table contracts. See also: Gegard Mousasi.]

Alex Crispim: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus)
def. A.J. Fonseca: $2,000

Underpaid: King Mo may be early into his career, but he brings more excitement to an event than five Matt Lindlands put together. He’s good with pre-fight hype, great with entrances, and he’s a dependable finisher. So we’re not sure why he’s getting paid like an undercard fighter when everybody else on the Showtime broadcast got a living wage. (Could the UFC have scooped Mo up for $15,000/$15,000? And if so, why didn’t they?) Of course, Josh Thomson also deserves a few extra bucks for being one half of an obvious Fight of the Year candidate.

Overpaid: Mike Whitehead, who seems to be overcompensated wherever he fights, God bless him. $30,000 isn’t making anybody rich in this game, but are we really saying that he’s as valuable to the organization as a popular and exciting scrapper like Thomson?

Cagepotato Comments

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Robocop Didnt Tap- December 22, 2009 at 7:39 am
@One Two

Shit, that's King Mo's ho train. Their reward for the night was not getting slapped around or cigars put out on their legs.

I wish Strikeforce did FOTN, KO of the Night, Sub of the Night rewards like the UFC usually does. I'd say Melendez/Thomson, Scott Smith and Jacare would've won the respective awards.
frndlylion- December 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm
Once again Scott Smith proves that he is one tough dude. He took a beating and kept fighting.

no win bonus? for a fight like that? holy cheap bastards batman!!!!

TheArtof8Limbs- December 21, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Preach on brother. My thoughts exactly
One Two- December 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm
wonder what percent of king mos purse went to pay these "college girls" tuition for walking him to the ring.

TylerDyrden- December 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm
i was pissed that king mo sprayed rockstar im down with csac fining him. i wouldnt have cared if it was the last fight on the night....but you cant act like you won the superbowl after beating out a horrible looking mike whitehead.

overpaid....CUNG "thief" LE.

underpaid....steve mazzagatti....PSCYH!
PhilDZnutts- December 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm
I wonder how much longer Cung can keep getting that kind of scratch losing to a guy that got beat by Ed Herman.
Big Jumpin Dad- December 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm
A REAL dad jumper knows you never put a "g" at the end of "jumpin", its absolutly propostrous and shouldnt be taught in any classroom.
Big Jumpin Dad- December 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm
You scum fuck!! Big"Jumping"Dad, JUMPING???!! Are you fucking kidding me?? thats the stupidest sounding thing since BJ Penn said that he likes dog dicks!! becase he doesnt like them he likes cat dicks. And everyone will know when the real Dad Jumper strikes cuz it will be classy, greusome, and a lil edgy, not classless, grimy, and overBEARING!!!!!
AussieJosh- December 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm
Justin Wilcox: $5,000 (no win bonus)
def. Daisuke Nakamura


There are so many guys out there who would love to become a pro fighter but we see shitty money like this and think whats the point!? Some of us arnt asking to be millionairs just money to live pay a normal size house off, and feed our family!

I think if your staring on a pay per view card or on showtime, even if you dont have a big name you should be getting a min of $15,000 a fight! that way you can have three or four fights a year and make a living and string some wins together and start earning more! some of these guys cant even aford to give money to there babys mummas to shut that bitch up! while the fight orginisatons presedents are driving around in ferarries and hummas!
BigJumpingDad- December 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm
Tito isnt overrated hes under appreciated, definately top 5 P4P on the planet.
Eddie Bravo is so cool did you guys se him on the net smoking weed it was cool.

Big Jumpin Dad is an imposter! DX 4 Life!
MediumRare- December 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm
Cung Le: Most overrated fighter this side of Tito Ortiz. His kicks are fun to watch, sure. But he is small for a middleweight, has the gas tank of a fat man and seems to have zero ground game. He would get blasted fucking senseless by almost anyone you can think of in the UFC middleweight division.

Scott Smith is now my favorite Strikeforce fighter outside of Nick Diaz. The man is the undisputed king of getting the shit beaten out of him before the epic comeback knockout. Scott "Rocky Balboa" Smith.
BigCountrysCholesterol- December 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm
I think Cung Le is as fun to watch as anyone in the game. Did he get knocked silly? Hell yeah he did, but not before giving us twelve minutes of Mortal Combat-esqe ass-whooping highlight reel footage. I will always watch him fight, and so will most of you. Money well spent, even if he did get his ass kicked off the road to the title.
meanfinger- December 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm
^^^^^ he sold most those tickets tho.. but he's gonna need a lil extra cash to get his nosed fixed. As much talk is goin on about the king here, he shoulda got a k.o of the night bonus(not sure if SF has that bonus)
RustyShackleford- December 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm
Cung Le gets 150 what a world we live in.
KidDinomite- December 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Cung Le is one of my favorite fighters but yeah, he looked as though he had ring rust. He didn't use his San Shou like he did with Shamrock, ie, take downs and back to stand up. He looked like he didn't know how to finish Smith on the ground either, whereas any grappler worth their salt wouldve put Smith away in the first round. He did however, look awesome with the kicks and such but he really needs to work on his overall power with a strength and conditioning coach.

Plus the fact that Le has never lost a fight in his overall career. A loss like that, especially from what I would call a journeyman fighter like Scott Smith would make me redouble or triple my efforts in the gym, perhaps getting a new camp altogether like Greg Jackson's or ATT or even a grappling camp like Team Quest or HIT Squad. Le said he's a fighter first. I want to see him keep his word with that statement and come back in spectacular fashion and clean out the middleweight division like I know he can and stop making bad movies. It might be the safer thing to do but just like The Rock, we don't wanna see him in movies, we wanna see him drop The People's Elbow on fools. The same goes for Le, we wanna see him kick ass in Strikeforce and in the UFC if possible and not wasting time with being an actor no one will remember...
Robocop Didnt Tap- December 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm
You'd think a moneyweight fighter would make more?
Smitty- December 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm
Whatever that means ^
I think Scott Smith is a good fighter, and I'm glad to see him win over a big name like Cung Le. I thought he was gonna lose this fight to be honest with you.
Dmonicideals- December 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Cung Le be holding up fools. Straight up armed robbery!