One of the major sticking points many fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster aren’t happy with is the show and win money structure, which means on any given night you can go home with only half of your anticipated paycheck. While many of the top stars and champions have secured guaranteed fight purses with no “show money” attached, the majority of the roster is still under the show/win structure.
Longtime UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, for one, is not a big fan of it saying it should be erased from UFC contracts since many times a fighters pay is affected by incompetent judges.
“I just don’t like the win bonus,” Rogan told on today’s edition of the “JRE MMA Show” podcast via MMA Junkie. “I don’t think anybody fights harder for it. … That to me is a real issue. I think a guy should be paid what they get paid. I think if you have a contract, that contract should be for ‘X’ amount of money,” he added.
“If you have points on the pay-per-view, that’s on top of that. But (I don’t like) the idea that your win or loss has to be in the hands of what we have deemed completely incompetent judges.”
Indeed, there have been several cases in which bad scorecards have left fighters with a bad taste in their mouth and smaller bank account. According to Rogan, having a fighters win-loss record and paychecks affected by people who don't understand the sport is simply not ideal.
“I’ve heard (blowback) from Athletic Commissions, but I say, ‘Go (expletive) yourself,’” Rogan said. “You have guys who train for months and months and months and someone who literally doesn’t understand martial arts is giving these guys a decision, a loss or a win. That’s 50 percent of their money. That’s crazy.”
The worst part about it is judges aren’t held accountable for their scorecards, in any sport.
Nevertheless, the current payout structure for UFC is unlikely to change anytime soon, which is why Bellator MMA has been popular with free agents such as Matt Mitrione, who was able to secure a big-money guaranteed deal with the Viacom-owned company after working with UFC for several years.
And he now gets paid more than Sage Northcutt, too.