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Tag: fighter pay

The 27 Most Persistent Myths in MMA


(“I’m telling you people, this is the most stacked UFC card OF ALL TIME!” / Photo via Getty)

Like price sticker residue on a prized picture frame, these myths refused to be scrubbed away. You’ll encounter them on forums, barroom discussions, and even from the mouths of so-called experts. What myths are these? We’re glad you asked…

By CagePotato.com Staff 

1. MMA wouldn’t exist without Dana White. Wrong. See here.

2. Royce Gracie was a humble, respectful warrior. [Ed's note: Hopefully there's been enough recent evidence to put this falsehood to bed until the end of time.]

3. Chuck Liddell in his prime would have destroyed ________.

4. MMA has nothing in common with professional wrestling.

5. [Celebrity with zero combat sports experience] would make a great MMA fighter!

6. Motivated BJ Penn could/still can beat anybody.

7. Healthy Shogun could/still can beat anybody.

8. Brock Lesnar could’ve held the belt forever and a day had it not been for diverticulitis.

9. The UFC is not a sports entertainment company.

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Quote of the Day: Nate Diaz Unleashes the Mother of All Fighter Pay Rants (to Dana White’s Confusion)


(“Hold up a second, Nate. If you’re really only making that much money for this fight, I’ll gladly bow out.” Photo via Getty)

You may recall that back in February, Nate Diaz requested to be released from his UFC contract, stating via Twitter that “It’s time for me to be on my way..?” Most of us assumed that the empty threat was just that, a thinly-veiled attempt by the former title challenger and TUF winner to get some of that Gil Melendez money (see previously: “ive gotta high school reuinion i have to tend too“). In any case, we haven’t heard a word from Diaz since.

Until yesterday, however, when MMAFighting managed to get ahold of the ever-elusive Stocktonian and pressed him on his current standing with the promotion. Diaz’s response was a rant against the current state of fighter pay so vivid and thorough that we’re still not convinced it wasn’t spoken through his anger translator:

I’m ready to fight but not for some funny money that they’re trying to give me. They can let me go or they can let me fight, but let me do something. They know I need to make some money. I feel like they’re just trying to keep me on the waiting list. I don’t even want to communicate through anybody. If they want to figure out what’s going on, we should talk. No one is contacting me. I’m just doing my thing. Training every day. I’m ready to fight tomorrow.

They need to be about more money. My contract is all f*cked up. I want to be paid like these other fighters. I’m over here getting chump change. At this point, they’re paying all my partners and other people I train with are getting real money, and it’s too embarrassing for me to even fight again for the money they’re paying me. So they can either pay me or let me go. I’m with that.

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Friday Link Dump: Football Player Ejected for Nasty Uppercut, Epic UFC 168 Video Trailer, Mayweather Sets PPV Records + More


(Must-watch: “MMA Pay: Leverage & Power,” by CAINtheBULL)

Today’s Installment of “Football Players Using MMA Techniques”: Clemson Player Ejected for Devastating Lead Uppercut (BleacherReport)

EPIC video trailer for UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2, by the legendary NickTheFace (CagePotatoMMA Tumblr)

Tomato Can Blues: The True Story of the Michigan MMA Fighter Who Faked His Own Death (New York Times)

Following Chael Sonnen’s Rihanna Comments, Dana White Says ‘He’s Got to Knock That S**t Off’ (MMAFighting)

Golden Boy: Mayweather vs. Canelo PPV Sets Records With Reported 2.2 Million Buys, $150 Million in Revenue (MMAMania)

Angels of Anarchy – Jade Bryce (BabesofMMA)

Anthony Perosh Takes on Ryan Bader at December’s UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia (MMAJunkie)

Spoil TUF and the UFC Will Sue You for Five Million Dollars (Fightlinker)

Get Down And Stay Down: MMA Style (Break)

Interview: Andy Samberg Fires Up ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (MadeMan)

20 Job Search Hacks That Will Get You Hired (Complex)

Russell Wilson: The Quarterback That Connects (MensFitness)

Insane Russian Flattens Nails With Bare Hands (EgoTV)

The 33 Most Influential Events Of The Last 10 Years: A Summary For Average Joes (DoubleViking)

Supercut: Before They Were Famous (ScreenJunkies)

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Don’t Worry, Dana White Is Just Bluffing About That ‘Eliminating Bonuses’ Thing


(“It’s an ‘undisclosed locker room bonus,’ okay? That means we don’t tell the media, we don’t tell the IRS, and we especially don’t tell my wife.” / Photo via TerezOwens.com)

For years, the UFC’s end-of-night performance bonuses have rewarded fighters for outstanding battles and finishes in the Octagon, as well as given fans a metric to determine which fighters are the most consistently entertaining. But now that more and more fighters are publicly coming out to blast the promotion’s pay scale, UFC president Dana White says he’s thinking about ending the practice altogether, and using that money instead to bump the guaranteed salaries of lower-tier fighter. As he explained to media yesterday:

“The bonuses were something we’ve been doing out of the kindnesses of our (expletive) hearts,” White said. “That’s not something that was ever done or structured. We started doing it and that was it. It was something we liked to do, thought it was a cool thing to do. Apparently people don’t like it. They want the lower-level guys to get paid more money.”

Asked to clarify if this was really a move the promotion could make in the not-so-distant future, White answered emphatically.

“(Expletive) yeah, it could happen,” White said. “That’s what I’m thinking about doing. All the (expletive) lower-level guys think they need their money boosted. Everyone thinks it’s not enough money, so that’s easy to do.”

This, of course, is nothing more than a transparent bluff, on par with your father threatening to “turn this car around, goddamnit!” 30 minutes into a family road trip. Now that Dana has suggested that the UFC will transform its pay structure — sacrificing those $50,000 end-of-night awards to fatten the paychecks of prospects — here’s what he expects will happen next:

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Tim Kennedy Walks Back Criticism of UFC, Apologizes For Calling Pay Poor


(“Apologize or Dana will do WHAT to my butt?” Photo via OTM.)

By Elias Cepeda

Looks like someone got a call from their boss. Former Strikeforce fighter Tim Kennedy is set to make his UFC debut July 6th against Roger Gracie but made news yesterday for an interview he recently gave in which he criticized UFC fighter pay.

“It’s a good thing I have another job because the UFC doesn’t pay very well,” he told GrappleTalk Podcast.

“Anybody who accepts [fighters being underpaid] as a reality of the sport is sad and pathetic,” Kennedy went on. “I hope this isn’t the reality of the sport. If it is I should probably go do something else, like empty trash cans. I’d make more money than I do now.”

It didn’t take the middleweight long to regret his words, however, and he issued an apology to UFC brass for the interview through his facebook fan page yesterday. “I recently made comments regarding fighter pay. The intent of these statements was to highlight that professional fighters incur significant expense associated with their preparations to fight and that fighter compensation is still not on par with other major sports,” Kennedy began.

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Will UFC 161 Mark the Last Time We See Roy Nelson in the Octagon?


(And with a snap of his fingers, Homeless Santa vanished from our lives, leaving behind only the crumpled wrapper of the Carolina BBQ Tendercrisp we had left for him on the armoire.)

It wouldn’t exactly be earth-shattering news to tell you that Dana White is not a fan of Roy “Big Country” Nelson. In fact, the President of the UFC has stated exactly that to pretty much anyone who will listen, time after time after “he’s a f*cking idiot.”

The fact that Nelson was one-half of the coaching duo at least partly responsible for the worst season of TUF in recent memory (at least ratings wise), surely doesn’t increase his stock in the eyes of The Baldfather, but with “Big Country” knocking out contenders left and right, it’d be insane to let him slip through your fingers, right? Well, according to DW, Nelson’s bout with Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 this weekend may be his last in the UFC:

UFC President Dana White used the contract circumstances as a way to explain the pairing of Nelson and Miocic, which looked odd when announced five weeks ago.

The fighters were headed in different directions. Nelson had just defeated Cheick Kongo and ascended to No. 5 in the heavyweight rankings two months ago while Miocic was coming off the first loss of his career and hadn’t fought in nine months.

Slated to fight newcomer Soa Palelei on the preliminary card, Miocic found himself promoted into the Nelson bout on late notice. It was a necessary move, according to White, because of the terms of Nelson’s contract.

“He’s on the last fight of his deal and we owe him a fight,” White said. “He’s not giving us any extensions.”

White reported that the UFC offered Nelson an extension that he turned down, prompting the boss to blast the fighter by referring to him as “the smartest guy on Earth” and “a (expletive) genius.” 

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Cain Velasquez Reported to Earn $400,000 at UFC 160, Win or Lose


(Photo via MMA Junkie)

MMA Junkie is reporting that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will earn a $400,000 purse for competing in the main event of tonight’s UFC 160 card, win or lose. “Velasquez is scheduled to make a flat $400,000 paycheck at UFC 160 with no win bonus on the line,” Junkie writes.

Of course, this number wouldn’t represent any discretionary bonuses that the UFC may or may not choose to give Velasquez. If the report is true, it might signal a major change in the champion’s purse pay structure.

It was reported that Velasquez earned $100,000 in “show money” for each of his prior two bouts (a win at UFC 146 win over Antonio Silva and a win over Junior Dos Santos at UFC 155), as well as an additional $100,000 in “win money.”

Traditionally, flat pay purses have been had by some of the biggest stars in MMA. If Junkie’s report is correct, it appears as if Velasquez got an improved contract along with that shiny UFC heavyweight title belt this time around.

- Elias Cepeda

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And Now He’s Retired: UFC Lightweight John Cholish Hangs Up the Gloves Over Low Pay


Cholish estimates that after training costs, his paycheck from last night’s fight wasn’t enough to break even. Photo courtesy of his Twitter page.

No matter how gloriously cheesy the TapouT commercials try to make it look, life as a fighter is far from easy. Training full-time is extremely taxing on your body, promoters and fellow fighters alike can be shady, unpleasant individuals, sponsors try to stiff you, and because the pay involved is so low for most fighters, it’s all essentially just for the glory of saying you’re better at a sport than the guy across from you.

That’s why – in many ways – it should come as little surprise that UFC Lightweight also-ran John Cholish is walking away from the sport after his loss to Gleison Tibau during last night’s UFC on FX 8.

If you find yourself wondering who John Cholish is, you’re far from alone. After compiling a 7-1 record in the minor leagues – including a victory on the undercard of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva – the Renzo Gracie product made his UFC debut at UFC 140, where he defeated Mitch Clarke by second round TKO. This would be the final victory of his career, as Cholish would then drop a decision to Danny Castillo during the UFC on FOX 3 undercard, lose to Gleison Tibau last night and retire from the sport. Another small fish in a big pond, whose career barely made a splash.

Perhaps fittingly, Cholish’s retirement may very well end up being the most significant part of his career. Cholish – who announced his intent to retire on Twitter shortly before the his fight – made it clear while speaking with MMAJunkie.com that the low paychecks that fighters in his position earn were his primary motivation for hanging up the gloves. Via MMAJunkie:

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MMA Manifesto Releases Total Career Earnings for 772 UFC Fighters

James Toney UFC MMA walkout shirt
(Ladies and gentleman, #69. There is no God.) 

I am going to apologize right from the get-go, Potato Nation, because as I’m writing this, I’m also trying to wrap my brain around the fight I just saw on Super Fight League’s latest installment of Friday Fight Nights and it’s all but completely crippling my ability to focus on my actual task.

While I appreciate the new format that SFL has taken — forgoing freak show fights in mega stadiums in favor of local talent in scaled down arenas — to describe the skill level of some of SFL’s fighters as amateur would be a disservice to amateur MMA fighters around the world. I’m talking specifically, about the heavyweight clash between Virender Singh and Naveen Rao I just witnessed, in which Rao seemingly refused to even attempt to get back to his feet after being taken down, like Butterbean trapped in the YAMMA pit all over again. Singh, on the other hand, was content to dance around and throw one or two GnP shots at a time instead of finishing the fight outright, as if he was unaware of what to do when an opponent literally offers zero defense. Anyway, Rao tapped to strike (yes, it appeared to be just one) and then the camera cut to the crowd engaging in synchronized dance for approximately 3 minutes. BOLLYWOOD IS CRAZY.

What does any of this have to do with the topic at hand? Nothing really, except that even for their completely subpar skill levels, most of the fighters participating on SFL 11 will likely walk away with more money than Tiki Ghosn did from his entire UFC career, at least according to the figures recently released by MMA Manifesto, which tabulated the approximate career earnings of every fighter to fight for the UFC over the past seven years. Of course, the figures only date back to UFC 46, and are void of any sponsorship or locker room bonus money, so perhaps the $2,000 Ghosn was paid should be taken with a grain of salt. Still though, makes you wonder even more how he pulled off this for years.

In either case, join us after the jump to find out how much each of your favorite fighters have made over the course of their UFC careers. And while you might not be shocked at the top few entries on the list, there are definitely more than a few totals that will leave you scratching your head.

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Alistair Overeem is Officially a Blackzilian, Y’all


(Which one of you sent me the box of horse-flavored chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Delicious!) 

Amidst a long and public dispute with Golden Glory that has yet to be resolved, it appears that UFC Heavyweight #1 contender Alistair Overeem has signed with Authentic Sports Management, and will begin training in Florida alongside Anthony Johnson, Rashad Evans, Melvin Guillard, and fellow K1 kickboxer Tyrone Spong, also known as “The Blackzilians,” for his upcoming title fight with Junior Dos Santos.

Though the team has gotten off to a rough start, Alistair believes ASM, and specifically team leader Glenn Robinson, will push his already decorated career to a new level with their top notch team of industry experts. Overeem sent out the following press release earlier today in regards to the managerial change:

With [ASM], I saw right away that Glenn Robinson has a system in place that allows the fighter to focus on training only, which is so important as I prepare for my UFC heavyweight title fight against Junior Dos Santos,” said Overeem. “ASM has a team of experts to help you grow as an athlete, from Glenn working hands-on as management to Jen Wenk handling my PR and Karen Gough running marketing, a full-time nutritionist, a finance and legal department – you name it they have it. After meeting with ASM, I was convinced that they can make me the new UFC world champion.

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