When Zuffa sold the UFC for $4.2 billion to WME-IMG, fighter pay in the suddenly became a much more aggressively discussed topic of conversation among the MMA world. But while those talks have mostly centered around fighters receiving a bigger piece of that $4 billion pie, UFC commentator Joe Rogan is concerned about another aspect of fighter pay: win bonuses.
Every UFC fighter contract, save for those at the very top of the sport, is divided into two payment sections, “show money” and “win money.” Every fighter who steps into the cage is entitled to their “show money” (less any penalties imposed upon then, per weight cutting failures, etc…) but the “win money” can only be collected if the fighter wins their bout. Speaking recently his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience MMA Show, Rogan argued for doing away with the “win bonus” entirely because of the consistent failures in MMA judging.
“[Win bonuses are] to me is a real issue. I think a guy should be paid what they get paid. I think if you have a contract, the contract should be for ‘X’ amount of money [and] if you have points on the pay-per-view, that’s on top of that; but the idea that your win or loss could be in the hands of what we have deemed completely incompetent judges. . . [We see it] every week!”
Poor judging is nothing new to MMA or combat sports in general, and the “win bonus” system does make losing a bad decision even more unpalatable, especially since “win bonuses” are usually equal to the “show money” a fighter receives, meaning that loss can feel like losing half a paycheck too. And that’s the rub for Rogan. In a sport where commissions regularly employ judges with a history of bad decision rendering, having the financial welfare of a fighter dependent on that person on top of their career welfare is a bridge too far.
“I’ve heard [criticism for calling out bad judging] from Athletic Commissions, but I say, ‘Go f**k yourself,’” Rogan said. “There’s guys in there that are fighting for their life. They literally guys train for months and months and someone who literally doesn’t understand martial arts is giving these guys a decision, a loss or a win and that’s 50 percent of their money. That’s crazy!”
Rogan also suggests that another way to circumvent this problem would be to pursue a more accurate judicial system for MMA by employing five judges per fight and having disciplinary action for judges who turn in bad scorecards. But, Rogan argues, the reality is that the “win bonus” system is a relic of a time gone by, meant to incentivize fighters to fight harder to win more and, at this point in time, that just isn’t true.
“It’s literally like stealing money from these kids,” concluded Rogan. “I just don’t like the win bonus and I don’t think anybody fights harder for it.”
Why? Mirko Cro Cop to be drug tested before Bellator 200, four others pass tests.
Motivation. Robert Whittaker questions Yoel Romero’s motivation for UFC 225 rematch.
Farewell. Ana Julaton announces retirement following Bellator loss to Heather Hardy.
Aggressive. Leon Edwards calls out Darren Till: ‘Stop being a p*ssy and let’s fight.’
Dana. Dana White: Demetrious Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw isn’t happening.
The MMA Beat.
And After the Beat.
Jack Swagger discussing his MMA debut.
Ricky Hatton on Mayweather’s move to MMA.
Khabib is doing a vlog series for UFC 223.
Heavy Hands. Discussing the skills and accomplishment of Jan Blachowicz.
Bushido Talk. Discussing Frankie Edgar’s quick return and MayMac II.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
My brother was offered an interim title fight,but he’s hurt.I asked to fight in his place right away. It was set.Bellator then sent me a contract for 3R,which wasn’t what we agreed to.I even said ok to no interim,but wanted 5R.They said they’d go w/ someone else.That was on them. https://t.co/Z83RRrON5q
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) March 22, 2018
Also, fuck you @MikeChandlerMMA. Your time will come. https://t.co/Xzdlti6MZt
— Patricio Freire (@PatricioPitbull) March 22, 2018
I’m for it if only because all fights should be five rounds anyway.
Giving an interim at WW is so ridiculous. @TWooodley only been out 8ish months and defended 4 times in 12 months prior https://t.co/hgSNMbomhA
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 22, 2018
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) March 22, 2018
— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) March 22, 2018
The latest in the saga of The Nigerian Nightmare.
FML just got the news I was offered Santiago in Chile. I accepted and he turned it down smh. Next time I put on “big drama show” so maybe these guys can actually feel like they have a chance for the W
— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) March 23, 2018
This is kinda weird to see but definitely awesome.
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) March 22, 2018
Alex Nicholson went 1-3 in the UFC.
Shogun is 9-8 in the ufc he’s still in the top ten and is 400 years old..Come on UFC let one of the best in the world fight the best in the world… Stop playing these old names out let a young lion become known.I’m not going anywhere tho and I’ll keep knocking these fools out pic.twitter.com/4j76ZN7Pd1
— AlexSpartanNicholson (@spartanlife32) March 22, 2018
Glad to hear Cote is happy in retirement.
A year ago I was preparing my last fight of my career on April 8th . Today I can say that was the right decision. Still hardcore fan of this sport but I don’t miss fighting at all !!! #nextchapter
— patrick cote (@patrick_cote) March 22, 2018
Today, one of my heroes hangs up her gloves. One of the unrecognized in an era where women’s boxing, and all its epic fights, went under the radar, un-noticed, and unappreciated. A time when women weren’t allowed to box in the Olympics, and were fighting for a single spot on the undercard of a fight card, once a year. A time when women were flying around the country and doing 10 round title fights for less than $1000. A time when it was hard to walk into a gym, and get a coach to take a female fighter seriously, knowing that the rest of the world didn’t. A time less than ten years ago. . Thank you @anajulaton for lighting the way. For giving me a cause to fight for. Would’ve loved to lace up and been your last boxing match too, but it was a honor to touch up and square off with you. All the best moving forward, I pray that you never lose your light. . @dibellaent @bellatormma @espn @adidas_combatsports @adidasboxing @shihandevon @hillimpact @blackrob_bjj_boxing @gleasonsgym #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
Wonder what it could be.
Happy to say something is in the works! It’s a good one! Stay tuned!
— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) March 22, 2018
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) March 22, 2018
I may have lied about that last line. Also note the grammatical mistakes https://t.co/gqhApRVnA1
— Forrest Griffin (@ForrestGriffin) March 22, 2018
Felipe Silva (8-1) vs. Claudio Puelles (7-2); UFC Chile, May 19.
Jason Knight (20-4) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (13-3); UFC Liverpool, May 27.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2014: Dan Henderson knocked out Mauricio Rua in their rematch at UFC Fight Night 38.
No UFC this weekend but there is an Invicta card tomorrow you should check out. Otherwise, enjoy the weekend and see y’all on Monday.
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.