While mixed martial arts (MMA) fight purses have increased over the years, specifically in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there are still only a select few combatants who "eat what they kill." Everyone else, meanwhile, is still on the show/win payout system, which basically means a fighter has to win to double his or her total payout.
Current free agent Ryan Bader is not a fan of that payout structure, admitting it’s a big sticking point as he continues to weigh his free agent options. "Darth" also explained on a recent episode of "The MMA Hour" (via MMA Fighting) why fighting with for a guaranteed amount would allow him to fight more freely, preventing him from having to resort to a safer gameplan to secure the other half of his check.
"The whole show and win purse system, I don’t believe is the best, either. Sure, people … you go in there and you’re getting your paycheck, then you’re fighting for that same paycheck to go out there and win. You go out there and you can let it all loose, and go out there and fight the way you want to, without having to say hey, 'I need to go in there and wrestle this guy because I know I can beat him doing that.' Instead, you can just go out there and fight and just let it all loose."
After fighting out his his UFC contract with a win over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 100, Bader opted to test the free agent waters, revealing that he is expected to receive a nice offer from Bellator MMA -- who seemingly pay very well — sometimes this week. After that, he has to wait and see if UFC matches it.
Furthermore, Bader feels a world title fight is still in his sights. And since he has yet to obtain one inside the Octagon, he knows signing with Bellator offers abetter chance to finally get to the big dance. Especially since Jon Jones is gearing up for a UFC return this summer.