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Zuffa’s accomplishments highlight their problems

Jake Rossen over at Sherdog attempts to quell people’s opinion that they hate the UFC by writing an article called “Zuffa’s 10 Best Accomplishments of ’07“. The problem with the list is that while it highlights some of the UFC’s accomplishments in 07, it also inadvertently calls into question a lot of the UFC’s practices. Let’s go over some of the UFC’s accomplishments and why there’s a bit of a smell behind them.

Rallying for Liddell
Jake says the UFC did the right thing by continuing to promote Chuck Liddell heavily after his loss to Quinton Jackson. I counter with the fact that the UFC did a piss poor job of promoting their new champion as a result. And lets not forget that being booked on David Letterman doesn’t make people forget that the president of the UFC was regularly contemplating to the press if Chuck was done and should retire.

Signing Wanderlei Silva
Jake gives credit on this one to “Dana White’s bull-in-a-boardroom mentality”. I say Dana White came millimeters away from fucking that entire deal up and had to resort to calling Silva a chickenshit through the press in order to get negotiations back on track. Signing Wanderlei Silva was a good thing, but this was also the first time a lot of people got to see what the UFC does to fighters who don’t just bend over and sign right away.

At Last, Silva-Liddell
Yeah, maybe this would be an accomplishment if the UFC was marketing this fight properly. As it stands, I think they rallied more hype for GSP vs Koscheck. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this had the potential to be one of the biggest fights in MMA history, but now it will be nothing more than a footnote.

Bonus Pay
Oh man, where do I get started here? How can anyone claim it’s a good thing that the UFC is paying their fighters 10+ times more in ‘bonus’ money than they’re on contract to make? How can any fighter live comfortably knowing that the difference between red and black is UFC brass’ opinion on your performance?

I’m not saying bonuses as a concept are a bad idea. But think about this: The total pay before bonuses for all fighters at the Ultimate Fighter 6 finale was $239,000. The amount of bonuses handed out on top of that: $120,000. That’s half the entire payroll over again in bonus money. How can the UFC justify paying their fighters so little when they’re throwing extra cash around like that?

Cooperating with FEG
Now this one is a stretch … Jake Rossen wants to claim that allowing K-1 to book Rani Yahya was a sign of the UFC softening it’s stance on working with other promoters. Yeah, no. The fact that this was the ONLY example of Zuffa fielding a fighter to another major promotion underlines the fact that they’re the worst promotion out there for cooperation.

  • c-ing_red says:

    The UFC does a good job of making their PPV’s and tickets semi-affordable to the crowd that made them who they are – 18 to 34 males. I can actually afford a trip to Vegas to watch a great card if I so choose.

    Boxing set the standard so high with its payrolls, that I think it is time for people to realize that they priced themselves out of the public eye by offering $60 PPV cards and 500 dollar nose bleed tickets. Besides, it is the standard of employers these days to offer performance bonuses to their employees. It is the new wave. If you perform, you get paid.

    UFC is doing it right in my eyes.

  • Xavier says:

    “How can the UFC justify paying their fighters so little when they’re throwing extra cash around like that?”

    Because it creates better fights by giving rewards to hungry fighters. People who bitch about the UFC payscale are myopic, MMA fighters should not be paid as boxers are paid… after all, the crazy payscale for boxers is one of the things that has literally ruined boxing. There’s not much incentive to train hard and leave it all on the mat in boxing. There is in MMA.

    If we ever get to the point where fighters are paid like boxers, it will absolutely ruin the sport and fight quality.

  • frickshun says:

    I read his write-up this morning. It made me think of “hardcore” fans picking corn out of a turd to round out their Christmas feast. As much as I try to push MMA to my co-workers, it’s hard to justify the idiotic moves UFC has made in the last year.

  • No one is saying the UFC should pay their fighters like boxers. But there should be a nice middle ground where fighters in the UFC are being paid enough to afford to train full time and not worry about not being able to pay rent because they lost their last fight. The UFC thinks bonuses will encourage fighters to have better fights … I don’t disagree, but it’s only part of the equation. If a fighter can’t afford to lose, then they’re going to go for the safe win rather than the possible bonus.

  • dignan says:

    Good, consistent fighters, and GREAT fights deserve to make the most money.

    When compared to the other big sports: MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL(yes I included it.) the UFC has chosen to go a smarter direction by controlling the pay scale the way they are.

    Other than those sports leagues with very strong unions, and bullshit jobs like acting, do people get paid ALOT OF MONEY without the performance? I know if I don’t perform at my job I don’t make shit…and most people would get fired. Those other leagues have to pay and hope for the best.

    Imagine if Baseball players and the like, were paid on ACTUAL performance and not on past performance or potential? You have a kick ass week or month and you make a million…you go in a slump you make 100k.

    I have thought this type of pay structure through, and to me it makes the most money for the bosses…it keeps players working hard(so you never see guys only working hard in the final year of their contract.), and it can possibly keep things affordable.

    After saying all of this…I can see the gents forming a Fighters Union REAL SOON!

  • Accomando says:

    Or use roids to help an “injury” in order to make a fight, like Hermes did.

    Don’t know what to think about it though, for instance, while Guida only got like 10 G’s when he lost to Huerta as base pay, I know he cashed in way more than that when it was all said and done.

  • Accomando says:

    “…I can see the gents forming a Fighters Union REAL SOON!…”

    You either got some inside info, or you are delusional. I am going with the latter.

    Yeah, there will be a MMA union some day, I’m sure they will be good friends with the Union of Profesional Boxers too.

  • dignan says:

    Accomando: Hey motherfuck…

    I agree with the payment system so I couldnt give a shit, but the people getting paid so poorly, and the disparity between pay structure, they would be idiots not to.

    So suck a dick foo’.

  • Accomando says:

    Typical Dignan style, you suck.

    Fighters will never have a union and are not going to form one anytime soon. So, I guess their idiots, right?


  • Xavier says:

    “Or use roids to help an “injury” in order to make a fight, like Hermes did.”

    Hermes did that due to the Karo precedent, he came out and said so. He didn’t do it for money, he did it because he knows how fucked up Dana and the UFC are about granting title shots. He literally said so.

  • Wu Tang says:

    What is the middle ground? Most of these fighters ALL fought ameture level. Meaning they got paid shit for their fights. And ofcourse if they made it ‘big’ they are expecting good pay. If you ever played fight night for PS2, you know the more wins you get, the more repuation you get, the more sponsers you get, then the more pay you will get. The pay scale is built like that, although UFC may do it just to hold back some money and pay fighters for their performance, rather than just a name. At the end of the night, will the marketing ploy work, or will the fighters appitued carrythem to a new world of stardom? In this reptrospect, it is hard to base a pay for the fighter, who trains their asses off for 1-3 months, preparing for the fight, not working a full time job and just constantly working their fightings kills to bring them the ‘big’ pay taht is expected. Well it boils down to the contract and the respective managers to work the webs out… And more importantly the fighters’ skill in the fight. Plus sponserships… Which can range depending on the fighter (Matt Hughes stated in an interview once he gets payed in the millions per fight).

  • ilostmydog says:

    So Hermes did steroids so he didn’t have to lose his title shot, even though he’d probably be stripped of the title if he won? Right. I’m tired of Hermes playing the victim. He’s every bit as guilty as Sherk is.

  • Cyrus says:

    I totally agree with you. That article was a moron.

  • dignan says:


    THEY ARE idiots…yes.

    It is they are, not their…unless you are talking about THEIR idiots…which you weren’t.

    So go suck a CACK.


  • Accomando says:

    dignan is gay.

    He is all about grammar and cocks, what a homo.

  • Did it just get a lot more SHERDOG around here????????????

  • RoB says:

    only on fightlinker can you find an intelligent argument supported by the playing of a game on Ps2.(#11)lol.

  • dignan says:


    Just sherdoggin’ it up in the name or Ryan Gracie. Glad to be of service.

  • intenso says:

    make some more posts, ryan!

  • c-ing_red says:

    Working in the powersports industry has given me a little bit of perspective when it comes to base pay – the average PRO motocrosser racing the nationals (the highest level) makes poor salary for a win. The guy that goes to the races and wins a national, can expect to make about what a fighter on a Bodog card would for winning their fight.

    Now in motocross, a rider that wins a race will most likely be up there all year. So base his salary on his wins and you might get 150k the whole year for being at the top of your sport – a sport which has a tv deal and is shown on CBS 8 times a year. Big exposure.

    Imagine if you are the top organization in a sport that has only been around for 15 years! I just think it is hard to justify paying these fighters in the hundreds of thousands when the company that you fight for is still trying to get itself grounded properly.

    Don’t get me wrong, but I think they are doing well to use that money to produce more quality shows and get more exposure. The fighters will make enough money soon enough.

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Except Chuck Liddell and the other guys who fought in Pride on loan from UFC of course.

    And the Pride 2007 Light Weight Grand Prix that never was, but would have included a lot of UFC fighters after the merger.

    A lot of organizations talk the talk on loaning out fighters, but rarely walk the walk unless it’s organizations that they have specific agreements with (Bodog guys in Pancrase, Pride guys in Cage Rage).

    ProElite’s favorite way of dealing with the situation is to just buy everyone that they want to fight.

  • Wu Tang says:

    hehe, yeah, i saw connections and had to link them… Its taht or acknowledge the ‘sherdog’ taht is happeneing on this thread, i mean blog post 😀

  • klown says:

    Xavier, you sicko.

    Do you think we should keep waiters “hungry” so they serve us better? Would feeding bus drivers affect “ride quality”? If teachers are no longer “hungry” does it “ruin” education?

    You line of reasoning is repulsive.

  • klown says:


    Great article.

    Do you think Rossen was being sincere or was he throwing shrouded jabs?

  • Xavier says:

    “Do you think we should keep waiters “hungry” so they serve us better?”

    Give a waiter a million dollars and guess what he isn’t anymore? A waiter. He’ll quit his job, he’ll go take his cash and do something more relaxing and fun. Yes, waiters having to wait tables to make cash makes for better service. Hey, waiters, like fighters, also earn random bonuses in the form of your tip. I guess you totally just tip an obscene amount of money before your meal is even served because the waiters performance should be heavily compensated no matter what, right?

    “Would feeding bus drivers affect “ride quality”?”

    Definitely, I’m not sure why you want to give them free food while they do their job. Overpay a bus driver and he won’t be wanting to drive a bus much longer either. He’ll move up in the world or end up retiring early.

    “If teachers are no longer “hungry” does it “ruin” education?”

    Teachers with tenure often slack their curriculum and become lazy teachers, ruining the education that kids get. Hell, my history teacher had been tenured for fifteen years. Ironically, she was using the same old fucking tests she had developed sixteen years ago. Giving someone job security to the extreme will always, no matter the job, make them lazy.

    Those were the long answers. In short, the answers were “yes, yes, and yes.”

    End of the day, I want good fights between fighters that want to win in order to take home win bonuses and potential other fight bonuses. You might be sitting around crying crocodile tears because you think Fighter A is underpaid. Me? I’m glad the bonuses mean something and that the pay scale hasn’t gone through the roof.

    We need no Riddick Bowe effect in MMA. Motivation matters.

  • Wu Tang says:

    This blog post is getting more and more sherdogish…..

  • Tommy says:

    There was also much to say recently how Rich Franklin doesn’t get paid like he should. Yet on his CNBC showing he said he’s made a million this year. Not bad for losing twice. OK not all of it is payed by the UFC but it all stems from it. Their careers are so new they need to fight and prove. Hell boxers fight 70-80 fights before thet start making real money, counting the amatuer fights. If they do well they make a decent share of dollars.

  • MacDaddy says:

    Tommy – Has Rich Franklin “made” a million, or has he brought in a million before paying managers, trainers, coaches, facilities, travel? I wonder. Lots of businesses make a million in revenue but spend most of it in production. As a fighter you have a career that might be 10 years if you’re lucky, 15 if you are astronomically lucky, and then after that you have to find something else to do for the last 50-60 years of your life.

  • Tommy says:

    The show said he ‘made a million in 2007’ that’s all I know really. A million a year over 10 years is a chunk. Shit it’s like 20,000 a week before taxes which is easy to file down to a small %. Some fighters do better and some not as well but that’s the game.

  • Firework says:

    Between endorsement deals of being the face for Xyience and American Fighter clothing line, added to his $42,000 for his win over Jason MacDonald at UFC 68, his win over Okami as the headliner in UFC 72 (probably close to six figures) and his $45,000 in his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 77, does it equal a million? I dunno, but I’m sure its pretty close.

  • The Gaijin says:

    Just an aside, but last I checked Xyience isn’t really known for doing the PAYING part of their endorsement deals.

  • robthom says:

    I always enjoy your bitchy narratives, but this particular article is almost pointlessly excessive. :)