Despite its boom in popularity, thanks to the rise of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), mixed martial arts (MMA) is still a relatively young sport.
Perhaps the best is yet to come.
With that in mind, there are only a few spots at the top, which means the best way to headline pay-per-view (PPV) events and make "Anderson Silva money," is by kicking ass and taking names. In short, be the best goddamn fighter in your weight class -- or at least get close -- and the money will come.
"You fight good, you win, you get paid. Alright? You're starting out, no one knows who you are, no one cares, you don't get paid. Period. It's simple. I mean, my first contract I was offered by the UFC, or my second contract, it was 1-and-1, 2-and-2, 3-and-3. That's $12,000 for the year. Don't complain to me about fighter pay. It was $12,000 for a year and it was exclusive ... Everybody doesn't want to hurt to lower guys from getting paid, but it comes down to, it's a performance based business. You get good, you win, then you get paid ... People got to understand, the fighters at the top are the fighters that are supposed to get paid because they're the guys that are bringing people in, bringing eyes to the TV, getting pay-per-views buys, and putting people in the seats. I mean, that's what it comes down to. You want to get that? Beat everybody. Be good enough. If you're not good enough to get there -- sorry. It's not a welfare state .. You picked the wrong sport. Hey, you made a good run at it. You tried. Eh, try another sport because this one doesn't work for you."
To the victor belong the spoils.
That's probably not the kind of thing fighters like John Cholish and Jacob Volkmann were looking to hear, as the recently exiled twosome joined former UFC welterweight Jon Fitch, among others, in a campaign against the ZUFFA cash cow.
UFC President Dana White's answer?
Aside from telling fans to ignore "washouts," he's contemplated eliminating post-fight bonuses for those combatants going above and beyond in their respective performances. That would free up some capital to cushion the salaries of lower-tiered fighters.