(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
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?