seth rogen james franco the interview
Six Other Seth Rogen/James Franco Films That Should’ve Been Canceled

Tag: fighter pay

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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CagePotato Ban: Asking if Something Is ‘Fair’


(Hughes has been hunting since he was in camo diapers, but never has he seen anything with a rack that nice.)

By Jason Moles

Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of talk about what is fair and what is not. ESPN’s latest Outside the Lines episode, in which they attempted to sabotage the UFC  find out whether or not the UFC holds a monopoly in mixed martial arts, was mostly focused on how much money entry-level fighters are making compared to top fighters, and how unfair that is. Over and over again we were forced to hear terms like “revenue pie” and “fair share.” And just like that, the MMA fanosphere exploded as everyone with an Internet connection shared their inebriated take on fairness and injustice.

Let me stop you in your tracks right there. Who said life was fair, or even that it should be? Need I remind you just how unfair life is?

Why is it that Chael Sonnen gets busted with elevated testosterone and pleads guilty to money laundering and not only keeps his job, but is now in a number one contender bout at UFC on FOX while Nate Marquardt gets popped for the same thing and is excommunicated from Zuffa, relegated to the unemployment line? How in the world did Michael Vick spend more time behind bars for killing dogs than OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony did combined for killing people?! Does that seem fair to you? Don’t even get me started on the number of times Kenny Florian has fought for a title.

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Video: ESPN Attacks UFC Fighter Pay on ‘Outside the Lines’; UFC Releases Unaired Footage in Response

So here’s that ESPN Outside the Lines piece that got Dana White so hot and bothered. Even before it aired yesterday morning, the segment — and accompanying feature article by Josh Gross — drew criticism for its reliance on anonymous sources (as well as Ken Shamrock, who’s not exactly unbiased), and for downplaying the reality of the UFC’s business model, in which fighters are paid handsomely for performing well and drawing a crowd. Should a new UFC prospect deserve to make as much as an NFL player simply because he’s signed to the UFC? Lorenzo Fertitta doesn’t think so: “[L]ike any other company in America…You have to perform, to be able to get compensated.” There is also some mis-representation in the UFC’s $6,000/$6,000 system of payment for prospects (skip to the 5:03 mark), which ESPN seems to believe applies to all fighters who enter the promotion.

The segment does make a couple of solid points, pointing to the lack of a Muhammad Ali Act in MMA, and explaining that athletes in other major sports leagues are so well paid because they get 50% of the leagues’ revenues — while the UFC, according to “multiple sources” (all anonymous, of course), pays closer to 10% of its revenue to the fighters. Lorenzo Fertitta disputes this, saying it’s “in the neighborhood” of 50%, but since the UFC won’t disclose exactly what they’re earning (or exactly what they’re paying out to fighters, for that matter), it’s impossible to come away with a clear answer to this question.

Check it out and let us know what you think. After the jump, some unaired footage from the interview released yesterday by the UFC, in which Fertitta explains that the lowest-paid UFC fighter earns about ten times more than the lowest-paid boxer who fights on ESPN, so suck it.

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