Aside from the traditional "Fight Night" bonuses, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been known to dish out "under the table" rewards to its fighters for going above and beyond their duties inside the Octagon.
But promotion president Dana White recently brought to light a secret personal bonus check that he dished out to former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida for taking care of business against Tito Ortiz -- White's longtime nemesis -- at UFC 84 way back in 2008.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, "The Dragon" confirmed the revelation and says he felt more like a "hitman" for taking the undisclosed amount of coin.
Not that he's complaining:
"He really did that. I felt like a hitman getting money from the boss (laughs), but it was cool. I won't tell you how much he paid me, but it was good money. (White) said I was dominating the fight and all of a sudden (Ortiz) got me on that triangle. He said ‘s--t, I can't believe it.' He went crazy, but then I got out of it. So I guess he gave me a bonus because he was scared of that triangle (laughs)."
Machida went on to defeat Ortiz via unanimous decision, but it wasn't without a scare in the waning minutes of round three, as Tito was able to catch the Brazilian in a triangle choke which Lyoto was eventually able to wiggle out of.
The loss for Ortiz signaled an 18-month hiatus from the promotion before agreeing to return against Forrest Griffin at UFC 106. After losing to Machida, Tito went on to compile a 1-5 record inside the Octagon before leaving the promotion for good in 2012.
As for "The Dragon," he continues to prosper under the UFC banner, and could be staring at a middleweight title shot with his impressive victory over Gegard Mousasi earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 36.
A performance that earned him a not-so secret "Fight of the Night" bonus check from the ZUFFA higher-ups.