Thanks to Roy Nelson and his spectacularly underwhelming loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, UFC President Dana White gained a little more ground in his ongoing battle against paying his fighters more money. And as Nelson’s management claims that they still expect to get a new contract signed with the UFC by August, it hasn’t stopped Bellator’s new hero Rampage Jackson from trying to recruit Nelson in his own special Rampage kind of way.
But that kind of competition isn’t as likely to get White to open the checkbook as wide as he once did, because he’s still trying to find new ways to cut corners and make all of his fighters happy. His latest idea? Cutting bonuses for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night, among others.
“You don’t like the structure? All right, we’ll pay the lower-level guys more money – no more (expletive) bonuses,” Dana White said. “You guys come in, you negotiate your contracts, and we do away with all bonuses. That’s what I’m thinking about doing.”
“The bonuses are something we’ve been doing out of the kindness of our (expletive) heart,” White said. “It was something we liked to do. Apparently, people don’t like it. They want the lower-level guys to get paid more money.”
“We’re more like Major League Soccer, as far as financials go,” he said. “You fight three times a year, you make ($50,000 to show and $50,000 to win), you’re making $300,000 a year fighting three times a year. I know you have to take jiu-jitsu and do all these other things, but we have the same thing. We don’t just put on fights; we have overhead, too.
“All these (expletive) morons have no idea what goes into this and what it takes to build a sport and a company at the same time. And we’ve been very fair to guys.” (Via USA Today)
As someone who appreciates money and likes receiving it, I can tell you how this is going to go: The fighters are all going to be happy to be getting raises, and they’ll think, “This is awesome, I’m making more money!” But then, when the first event after this new pay plan arrives, one of those guys is going to absolutely knock the lights out of his opponent, and we’re all going to be like, “Oh sh*t, that was the Knockout of the Night!” And that guy is going to say to himself, “BOOM, extra $50K in the pocket tonight!”
He’ll sit in the locker room and wait for hours for White to arrive with that check, while the janitors clean up around him and someone eventually turns off all of the lights. Days later, the manager for a traveling circus will arrive and find that fighter still sitting there, waiting on that check, and he’ll finally realize that the money is never coming.
Then, the next PPV will come and it will happen all over again, and again, and again, and again, as the fighters slowly realize that Christmas sucks when there are no presents. And they’ll go right back to complaining, allowing White to descend one step lower in shouty bald villain hell.