It doesn't work like that.
That's the message from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight Joe Lauzon, who was a recent guest on The Metro South Morning Show (audio below), sounding off on the hot topic of fighter pay.
"J-Lau" hasn't exactly aligned himself with the front office, but at the same time, is hardly sympathetic toward the fighters crying foul play, as they may be "confused" as to how the ZUFFA pay structure works. Even if your salary stinks, the bonuses are there for the taking.
"We're paid fighters, so getting in to the UFC doesn't mean you're gonna have this cushy job, where you're gonna fight a couple of times a year and be rolling when you go to the bank. It doesn't work like that. You get paid based on how your performance goes. So I've been very fortunate where I have had some great fights and I've been rewarded with bonuses and things like that. I couldn't be happier with the pay structure. But then there's other guys that maybe their fights aren't quite as exciting and they're not getting paid as much. It all comes down to people wanting to see you fight. There's other guys who don't have the most exciting fights, you could even call them somewhat boring fights, and they think that 'Oh, I'm winning,' and they should be paid a lot of money. It doesn't work like that. I think some people are confused, like 'Oh you make it to the UFC and you're on easy street,' and it's not like that."
Lauzon is tied with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva all-time with 12 "Fight Night" bonuses, a nice cushion to accompany his respectable but hardly mind-blowing $27k/$27k salary. Of course, it helps when you have insane fights like this one.
He can take over the number one spot next month in "Beantown."
The former Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 standout is booked to sling leather opposite fellow TUF guy Michael Johnson as part of the UFC Fight Night 26: "Shogun vs. Sonnen" event, which takes place at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 17, 2013.
Not surprisingly, he gets paid that way.