A recent report revealed how much each fighter who participated in last weekend’s (Sat., Feb. 4, 2022) Bellator 290 fight card made in disclosed pay. Leading the way was Heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, who banked $150,000 for defeating Fedor Emelianenko via first round technical knockout (TKO).“The Last Emperor,” meanwhile, earned a paycheck of $100,000.
Naturally, there were several who were shocked by the payouts, but longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran-turned analyst, Josh Thompson, was quick to jump and say that the amounts shown were not remotely close to what each fighter actually made.
Now, Bader himself is backing up “The Punk’s” statement, saying he was paid “significantly more” that what the report revealed for his third straight title defense.
“No, I made significantly more,” Bader said on The MMA Hour. (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “You get that a lot. They’ll release that and people are like, ‘Fedor only made $100,000 for this fight?’ No. I wouldn’t be fighting if I was making that,” he added.
“This is a job for me and I’m making the kind of money where it’s hard to walk away from — to walk in a cage at our level, and how good we are, and leave that money on the table. The bigger players, in there, the champions, that kind of stuff, it’s disclosed pay, but Bellator treats us very, very well and I know they treat Fedor even better.”
Bader made the jump over to Bellator from UFC six years ago and says he is making nearly 10 times more than what he was getting paid while fighting for Dana White and Co. Plus, he says money aside, the vibe and treatment is just next level.
“Oh yeah, like eight, nine times more [than the UFC paid me],” Bader explained. “Look, we know they put out those numbers, and it’s the same with the UFC, but Bellator takes care of us. I’ve never been happier.
“I love the vibe over there. The people there, I’ve gotten to know them since 2017 and I have nothing but great things to say about them since and I never regretted it one time coming over.”
Since making the move, Bader has racked up an impressive has racked up a 9-2-1 record, won the Lightweight and Heavyweight titles, as well as the Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2019 after defeating Fedor for the first time in just 35 seconds.
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