MMA: Former Champion Makovsky Details His Contract Troubles with Bellator
One of the interesting side stories to emerge from the Eddie Alvarez-Bellator dispute is Alvarez dropping Zach Makovsky's name as a person who has had contract disputes with the promotion.
Makovsky spoke to Bloody Elbow about the contract issue that was brought up and it doesn't paint Bellator in a positive light.
Makovsky had a nice run of six wins with zero defeats from 2010 to 2011. During that time period Makovsky won Bellator's season three tournament and became the promotion's first bantamweight champion.
After two non-title fights he was set to face Eduardo Dantas.
Just before the Dantas fight, I had added some additional fights onto my contract for a potential raise. If I were to beat Dantas, my pay scale would have gone up pretty significantly, and if I lost to Dantas, my pay scale would have stayed where it was. In that deal I put in that they have to have... they were going to give me three fights every 14 months. Which is a reason they gave me why, on releasing me. They said that they just couldn't keep me active enough to fulfill that end of their agreement.
Not being active for a fighter who's already on a small pay-scale to begin with isn't a desirable situation. Other than not being able to fight enough, Makovsky had other reasons to want to leave town.
Bellator has it that you're at a certain rate, and if you win your pay goes up by 1,000/1,000 for your next fight and if you lose it stays the same. It never decreases. I won the tournament, I had two non title fights, so my pay scale increased for each of those fights. Then I signed this new part of the contract to fight Dantas, and if I lost I should have went back to where I was, not the original [salary], which is what they offered me. Basically what happened was, they weren't going to give me another fight in 2012, besides Dantas. I had to kind of really push to get that fight with Leone. And then when I got the bout contract it was for 2,000 and 2,000 less than what I believe my contract said I should be fighting for.
The way Makovsky explains it, Bellator pretty much made him a take-it-or-leave-it kind of offer. Explaining that he had only one fight up until that point (a loss to Dantas that prevented him from getting his win bonus), Makovsky needed to get in the cage if only for the paycheck at least.
Bellator has had some critiques thrown its way about not keeping fighters active enough when they aren't having tournaments and this will only add fuel to that fire. The fact that they were also looking to short change a former champion also doesn't look good on their part.
I understand Bellator is a business and needs to make a profit but if there's such an agreement in place where a fighter's purse never decreases, the promotion is definitely in the wrong.
However, in the end both parties got what they wanted. Makosvsky doesn't have to worry about a Bellator contract hindering him from staying active and he also can fight at 125 pounds. And Bellator got a champion they seem to actually want to promote.
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