("Cyborg" Santos proves that a female fighter can stop a punch just as good as a male one, and for less money too. Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)
While the rest of the nation might be slowly inching toward gender equality in the workplace, in MMA a woman still does a man’s job for pennies on the dollar. At least, that’s the situation for women not named Gina Carano, which is to say it’s the situation for all the women actively pursuing an MMA career at the moment. This, among other lessons, becomes clear once we take a good hard look at the official payouts from Saturday night’s Strikeforce event.
Micahel Byrnes: $2,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. David Zitnik: $1,500
Joe Ray: $1,500 ($500 win bonus)
def. John Clarke: $1,000
David Gomez: $2,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Craig Oxley: $1,500
Pablo Alfonso: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Marcos DaMatta: $2,500
Hayder Hassan: $2,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Ryan Keenan: $2,000
John Kelly: $2,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Sabah Homasi: $1,000
Note: Before you pass the hat for poor, poor Herschel Walker, be advised that a) he allegedly received a “six-figure” deal, probably mostly in the form of a signing bonus, and b) he gave it to Pastor Evans at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. So there’s that.
Overpaid: Robbie Lawler. We’re not just saying this because he hurt our feelings (or our FightPicker pools), and some part of us loves to see a no-nonsense veteran of the sport finally stacking that kind of paper. But you can’t tell us he’s as valuable as newly-crowned champ Nick Diaz, or that he’s twenty times as valuable as Manhoef. Sorry, you just can’t.
Honorable mention: Bobby Lashley made fifty grand to fight a feckless opponent who had a week to prepare? Guess pro wrestling is to an MMA resume what Harvard Business School is to a regular resume. Just having it on there guarantees you way more cash than you probably deserve.
Underpaid: “Cyborg” Santos and Marloes Coenen. We realize that, due to the general lack of other major venues for them right now, female fighters are in a weaker negotiating position. But really, the champ makes Joe Riggs money and the challenger makes Ryan Keenan money? There’s no way to justify that. A bad-ass fighter with ovaries is still a bad-ass fighter, and they deserve to be paid as such.