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Quick Hits: IFL Fighters to Affliction, Great MMA Book Reviews, and Dana White’s Net Worth


(‘Who has the nachos? Don’t act like I don’t know nachos when I smell ‘em!’)

After reports that Zuffa was buying the video library and at least some of the IFL’s fighter contracts, we kept expecting the flood of stories about all the ex-IFL’ers making the jump to either the UFC or WEC. So far news has been relatively light on that front, but it looks like Affliction has swooped in to pick off a couple of top prospects for themselves.

MMANews.com reports that Roy Nelson will face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White at Affliction: DoR (the abbreviations have already begun, deal with it) in October. Nelson was the IFL’s only official heavyweight champ, and White is…2-5. Wonder which of these guys is being groomed for a big future in the stacked Affliction heavyweight division?

Meanwhile, Sherdog is passing along info that a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been offered to IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko. Vladdy beat Little Nog via decision in 2002, and he never faced much of a test during his unbeaten run in the IFL. Matyushenko would make an excellent addition to the growing 205-pound ranks in Affliction, which should soon include Tito Ortiz, who Matyushenko lost a decision to in 2001.

In other news…

- Fightlinker has enlisted the services of Matthew Polly — author of this hilarious and highly recommended book — to review several of the MMA “memoirs” that have hit the shelves in recent months. Polly does to their sense of narrative and craft (and their ghostwriters’ sense of exactly how much work they’d have to do to get paid) what these same fighters would likely do to the face of anyone who uses words like narrative and craft. Fun times. Check out his review of “Iceman: My Fighting Life” and you’ll see what we mean.

- Ever wondered how rich Dana White really is? Well, rich. But Wall Street Fighter tries to nail down a solid figure. It’s actually harder than it sounds, although their photoshop of the UFC Prez is just adorable.

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Affliction’s Gravy Train Coming to an End

Tim Sylvia MMA Affliction
(The Maine-iac may go from being grossly, grossly overpaid, to just grossly overpaid. Photo courtesy of Tim-Sylvia.com.)

Dave Meltzer is reporting that Affliction VP Tom Atencio will be asking certain Affliction fighters to take a pay cut to fight in their next event (October 11th, Las Vegas):

The promotion has talked with some fighters about doing the 10/11 show for 50% of what they made on the first show but in return they would give those fighters easy opponents.

Overpaid fighters who could use an easier opponent the next time out? They might as well have called Tim Sylvia out by name — though Ben Rothwell and Matt Lindland could fit that description as well. For the record, Josh Barnett has stated that he would not accept a pay cut to fight again for Affliction; he previously made $300,000 with no win bonus for his knockout of Pedro Rizzo.

BloodyElbow also points out that the Thomas & Mack Center’s Affliction page lists Affliction II’s main event as “Arlovski vs. TBD!” — suggesting that the return of Fedor Emelianenko might not be a done deal after all. Well sure, I mean he just went 36 seconds with one of the top ten heavyweights in the world; the man could use another three-year break…

Related: The weirdest thing I came across while doing a Google Image Search for “Tim Sylvia.”

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Roger Huerta Is Not Happy With the UFC

Roger Huerta UFC MMA
(Oh boo-fucking-hoo.)

Add “El Matador” to the list of UFC stars who’ve become publicly displeased with the organization’s low wages and lack of respect. MMA Payout passes along an excerpt from a new article in Fight! Magazine — written by occasional CagePotato commenter Neal Taflinger — in which Roger Huerta does some serious venting:

Huerta is one of a growing number of Zuffa-contracted fighter who feel that there is a disconnection between the company’s success and the way fighters are compensated. Huerta’s disillusionment with the UFC began when he did press tours for his employer in Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and London and received a $50 per diem for his troubles. It sounds like a a good deal until you factor in time away from training, friends, and family, days often stretch twelve hours or more, and an exchange rate of one UK pound for two American dollars. “Why do you think I don’t do PR for the UFC any more?” he asks.

He’s also unhappy with the terms of his current contract, but to Huerta, the press tours underscore a larger point: by and the large, Zuffa does not treat its contracted fighters with sufficient loyalty or respect. He argues that many UFC fighters barely make enough to cover their training expenses. He brings up teammate Keith Jardine repeatedly, incensed that a main event fighter is working for ten and ten- $10k to show and 10k to win — while his opponent regularly makes ten times as much.

“The truth is, I don’t really care if I fight in the UFC or somewhere else,” Huerta says. The fighter says he understands that Zuffa has to keep an eye on the bottom line, but he wants to work, “For a company that is as loyal to me as I am to them.”

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“Unfinished Business” Fighter Salaries Released

Antonio Bigfoot Silva EliteXC MMA
(Antonio “Bigwallet” Silva does work. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released salary figures for EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” event on July 26th. The numbers are below, and don’t include undisclosed bonuses, sponsorship payments, or deductions for insurance and taxes.

Antonio Silva: $200,000 ($100,000 to show, $100,000 to win)
Robbie Lawler: $90,000 ($45,000 to show, $45,000 to win)
Nick Diaz: $60,000
Jake Shields: $45,000 ($35,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Nick Thompson: $25,000
Justin Eilers: $20,000
Rafael Feijao: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Scott Smith: $14,000
Thomas Denny: $8,500
Shayna Baszler: $8,000
Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos: $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Anthony Ruiz: $5,001 ($2,001 to show, $3,000 to win)
Wilson Reis: $5,000 ($2,500 to show, $2,500 to win)
Travis Galbraith: $5,000
David Douglas: $4,000 ($3,500 to show, $1,500 to win)
Carl Seumantafa: $4,000 ($2,000 to show, $2,000 to win)
Drew Montgomery: $3,000 ($1,500 to show, $1,500 to win)
Marlon Mathias: $2,500
Jeremy Freitag: $2,500
Brian Caraway: $2,000
Brandon Tarn: $2,000
Mike Cook: $2,000
Total: $533,501

Underpaid: Theoretically, it’s nice that Jake Shields gets the majority of his salary guaranteed, but since he never loses he’s basically being screwed out of twenty grand every time he fights. Hopefully Scott Smith is getting a locker-room bump for starring in two title fights on CBS within seven weeks, and hopefully Cris Cyborg — who’s now the most buzzed-about female fighter in MMA — can renegotiate her contract to something respectable after her demolition of Shayna Baszler.

Overpaid: Antonio Silva is certainly worthy of a large payday, but it’s strange that he took in so much more than everyone else, considering he’s still not a popular draw and was stuck on a barely-watched Showtime undercard. Props to his manager, I guess.

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Epic Fail: EliteXC’s Live Gate

Robbie Lawler EliteXC MMA
(Robbie Lawler does his best Joe Stevenson impression at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released figures on the attendance and gate revenue for Saturday’s “Unfinished Business” show, and good Lord are they awful. Of the 8,541 seats available for the event, only 2,871 — or 33.6% — were purchased by fans. Of the remainder, 3,701 were given away as comps, and 2,023 went totally unused. The 2,871 paid tickets brought in $268,715 in revenue, which is less than the dollar value of the tickets that were given away ($340,960).

So, not only was “Unfinished Business” a ratings disappointment, but its live attendance (6,752 Stocktonites in total) was destroyed by other major MMA events held in California recently. For example…

Affliction: Banned — 14,832 total attendance, 11,242* paid (Anaheim, 7/19/08)
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — 7,288 total, 6,750 paid (San Jose, 6/27/08)
WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — 12,001 total, paid figure unavailable (Sacramento, 6/1/08)
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le — 15,192 total, 14,710 paid (San Jose, 3/29/08)
UFC 76 (their most recent event in California) — 13,770 total, 11,817 paid (Anaheim, 9/22/07)
* figure is debatable.

Back in May, EliteXC’s “Primetime” card — held at Newark’s Prudential Center and starring Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano — drew a respectable 8,033 spectators. EliteXC plans on holding their next CBS show in October at the 20,000-seat BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Of course Kimbo is going to be a big draw in his home state, but unless EliteXC likes hearing the echo of thousands of empty seats, they might want to think about scaling back a little.

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Fedor’s Real Take From Affliction: $1.6 Million?


(Did Fedor make approximately 640,000 ice cream cones at Affliction? Oh, would that he had more than two hands.)

We all knew there was no way in hell that Fedor Emelianenko only pocketed $300,000 for throttling Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned, as was reported in the official payout figures from the CSAC. Word had it that he got “a sizable” amount of his money in the form of a signing bonus. Now FightLine.com says they have sources telling them that the figure was $1.3 million, bringing his total cheddar from the event to $1.6 million.

Sizable? Yeah, we’d say so. Especially since he owns the right to his fight footage in Europe, which is both a little weird and totally awesome. So this seems to be more in line with what we’d expect Fedor to be getting paid, right? After all, if Tim Sylvia got $800,000, and Fedor is at least twice as valuable, $1.6 mill is right on the button.

But if we’re to believe everything we read (and we do, even science fiction, which explains why we’re terrified of Asimov’s robots) Fedor was offered and declined a deal for more money with the UFC. Dave Meltzer wrote recently that Emelianenko was offered “a seven-figure signing bonus and a minimum of $1.5 million per fight.”

If that’s true — and we’ll point out that Meltzer is probably getting his info from the UFC on this one, who also once claimed that they totally weren’t offering Fedor waaaaaay more than Randy Couture, who as you’ll recall got pissed off enough to leave behind these failed negotiations — then something isn’t adding up here. Or else Fedor and his management team love their video rights and their freedom more than cash. Or else they’re dumb.

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Affliction’s Fighter Salaries Are Absolutely Ridiculous

Affliction Banned salaries MMA
(Fighter salaries for Affliction: Banned, from SI.com via MMA Mania. Click for larger image.)

One major caveat before we get started — there’s no way that Fedor Emelianenko made a half-million less than Tim Sylvia to be on this card. Either he was given a large signing bonus, or he’s getting a cut of the PPV, or both. No, I don’t have a source on that; you’ll just have to trust me.

Now that that’s out of the way, HOLY CRAP. There’s a difference between paying well and guaranteeing that your promotion will be a money-loser. When they left the UFC, Andrei Arlovski was making $105,000 to show with a $65,000 win bonus, and Tim Sylvia was making $100,000/$100,000. Atencio & Co. could have very generously offered these guys double what they were making, with the promise that contracts could be renegotiated when Affliction’s MMA promotion gets on its feet, financially speaking. In its infinite wisdom, Affliction quintupled and octupled Arlovski and Sylvia’s previous base salaries right off the freakin’ bat. Dana White is seeing these numbers and laughing his pale ass off.

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Full Salary Payouts for “Silva vs. Irvin”

Anderson Silva UFC MMA
(Photo courtesy of the UFC.)

The UFC’s impromptu SpikeTV card cost them $623,000 in fighter payroll, the breakdown of which is below (props to MMAJunkie). Looks like Anderson Silva is now making a lot more than he did for his last fight, though that could just be a one-time bump for helping suck some of the interest from “Banned.” Here are the numbahs:

Anderson Silva: $200,000 (no win bonus issued)
Brandon Vera: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
Frankie Edgar: $51,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus and $25,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)
CB Dollaway: $45,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $25,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus)
Hermes Franca: $42,000 (includes $25,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)
Rory Markham: $37,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus and $25,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus)
James Irvin: $20,000
Tim Credeur: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Reese Andy: $15,000
Cain Velasquez: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
Jake O’Brien: $11,000
Kevin Burns: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Brad Blackburn: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Anthony Johnson: $9,000
Nate Loughran: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
Jesse Taylor: $8,000
Cale Yarbrough: $8,000
Shannon Gugerty: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Johnny Rees: $4,000
Brodie Farber: $3,000
James Giboo: $3,000
Dale Hartt: $3,000

Underpaid: Anthony Johnson, who pocketed less than the living wage of $10,000 to show, while having to suffer the insult/injury of losing a fight via multiple eye-pokes. Everyone whose base salary was under $8,000 can be considered “pathetically underpaid” — that’s 45% of the fighters on this card, by the way — except for Rory Markham, thanks to his Golden Foot.

Overpaid: Brandon Vera is turning into one of the most overpaid human beings on Earth, in any profession. And it hurts me to say it, because the dude used to be a walking highlight reel. Look for the UFC to renegotiate his contract at their first opportunity. Now they know better than to invest a six-figure contract into a “next big thing” heavyweight. Sucks to be you, Cain Velasquez — Vera just cockblocked your wallet.

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Strikeforce Salaries Released for “Melendez vs. Thomson”

Strikeforce Melendez Thomson MMA

The CSAC has released official salary figures for last Friday’s “Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson” event; Gilbert Melendez topped the money list despite being used as a punching bag by “The Punk” for five rounds. Here are the numbers:

Josh Thomson: $35,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
Gilbert Melendez: $50,000
Billy Evangelista: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
Nam Phan: $10,000
Bobby Southworth: $25,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Anthony Ruiz: $200 (Ruiz received the majority of his purse as an advance)
Miesha Tate: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Elaina Maxwell: $4,000
Jeremiah Metcalf: $8,500 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Raymond Daniels: $10,000
Chris Cariaso: $6,000 (no win bonus)
Anthony Figueroa: $5,000
Bobby Stack: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Jose Palacios: $3,000
Brian Caraway: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Alvin Cacdac: $3,000
Cyrillo Padilha: $2,500 (includes $750 win bonus)
Jesse Jones: $2,000
Jorge Interiano: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Travis Johnson: $2,000
Alexandre Trivino: $1,500 (includes $500 win bonus)
Eric Jacob: $1,000
Eric Lawson: $8,000 (includes $1,000 stoppage bonus)
Jesse Gillespie: $3,500
Total payroll: $203,200
Live gate revenue: $355,487 from 7,288 spectators

Underpaid: Miesha Tate, who needs to immediately fire her agent and hook up with whoever’s handling Gina Carano’s career. She’s a hot chick who can kick ass — $1,000 to show is fuggo money, kid.

Overpaid: Raymond Daniels. I know I’m not the only one who was disgusted by his grandstanding entrance/psyche-up, not to mention that he seemingly came into the match with the attitude that he didn’t need to learn takedown defense or ground-fighting. He got a much-needed beating, to be sure, but he didn’t earn that $10,000 consolation prize.

Related: Over at MMA Payout, Kelsey Philpott argues for a UFC minimum base salary of $10,000 per fight. I’ve been saying that for months, but Philpott actually takes the time to explain why that figure works, and why it’s necessary. Definitely worth a read.

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Sanchez, Hazelett Top TUF 7 Finale Payouts

Dustin Hazelett UFC Josh Burkman
(Dustin Hazelett earning his bonus money. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

The list of official salaries from the Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale has been released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The numbers are below; each winning fighter’s payout represents a doubling of his base salary.

Diego Sanchez: $70,000
Dustin Hazelett: $64,000 (includes $20,000 Submission of the Night bonus and $20,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Drew McFedries: $46,000 (includes $20,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Spencer Fisher: $36,000
Kendall Grove: $32,000
Josh Burkman: $30,000 (includes $20,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Dean Lister: $28,000
Jeremy Horn: $25,000
Evan Tanner: $25,000
Amir Sadollah: $16,000
Matthew Riddle: $16,000
Jeremy Stephens: $16,000
Matt Brown: $16,000
Luigi Fioravanti: $10,000
Marvin Eastman: $9,000
C.B. Dollaway: $8,000
Dante Rivera: $8,000
Matt Arroyo: $8,000
Tim Credeur: $8,000*
Cale Yarbrough: $8,000*
Rob Kimmons: $6,000
Rob Yundt: $5,000

* Credeur and Yarbrough both reportedly received their to-show salaries, even though their match was canceled the night of the fight due to Credeur testing positive for Adderall.

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