November 26, 2015
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Jonathan Snowden is a Bleacher Report lead writer. He's a former radio DJ and television producer who worked for the White House Communications Agency in Washington, D.C. He currently works for the Department of Defense.
As we all know, fighter’s pay has been a major topic in the MMA world in recent months. Moving briefly away from the resounding mess that is the Reebok deal, I want to discuss the actual salaries of the fighters in recent events.
Bethe Correia got paid a $14,000 to show up and fight at UFC 190. Stripping back the sponsorship deals (or lack of), fight bonuses or any of Uncle Dana's mysterious 'locker room add ons', this amount is criminal. Yes, we all know it didn't go too well for her. We all know that $14,000 for 38 seconds or so of work isn't too shabby at all. However, this was Correia's big moment in the spotlight. The once in a career opportunity for the majority of fighters to headline a UFC event. To be paid peanuts for such an occasion is criminal by the UFC top brass. Even Ronda Rowsey’s pay, who in all honesty carried that fight card on her shoulders both in performance and PPV buys, was a fraction of what Big Nog’s took home for a flat footed, lacklustre showing from a MMA legend. Rowsey taking home $70,000 in appearance fees compared to Big Nog’s incredible $250,000 for a mid card filler.
We then move onto the TUF guys and girls and how the UFC continues to milk the fighter for all they are worth. With UFC 191 coming up, let us drill into one of its star’s salaries. John Dodson, the TUF winner and arguably the only guy who has tested one of the P4P greatest fighters in recent memory Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, takes home $15,000 in appearance fees. $15,000!?!
In stark contrast we have Rose Namajunas. An individual billed as the next best thing in WMMA. Talented, raw with an infectious smile, she was touted as the new Ronda Ronsey. However, I ask you all, what has she achieved outside the TUF house? What fights has she competed in to justify her $25,000 appearance fee? Well people the answer is nothing. To me, this sums up the state of how fighters aren’t being rewarded correctly for their hard work and dedication to the game. A flashy smile and a Pride legacy should not guarantee a larger share of an every decreasing pot of gold.
Using Muhammad Ali to bolster your arguments re. Floyd is more than a bit misguided. Yes, Ali had his share of soft touches, but these were few and far between and hardly count for much considering Ali's activity level. Unlike Floyd, Ali fought regularly. For example, after his return to action in 1970, he competed 13 times in just over two years, most of those matches against top fighters in arguably the most competitive heavyweight division in history. Meanwhile, Floyd averages fewer than two appearances per year. He has fought just 16 times over the past decade! Second, it should be pointed out that George Chuvalo hardly qualifies as a "stiff." He was ranked near the very top of the division in the late 60s, gave Ernie Terrell, Zora Folley and a prime Floyd Patterson tough, close fights and defeated such outstanding talents as Doug Jones and Jerry Quarry. Yes, he has 18 defeats on his record, but keep in mind that's against 73 wins. You would have been better off citing Juergen Blin, Rudi Lubbers or Jean-Pierre Coopman, boxers who truly had no chance whatsoever of defeating Ali, than Chuvalo. Also, what does Chuvalo's nationality have to do with your assessment of his merits as a prizefighter?
Actually, if it was to be taken a step further, since it requires two people to fight, not one, using standard population isn't even the best numbers, I would need the nth triangle. So the 28 straw-weight fighters means 406 possible fight combinations. So out of 20,810 possible fight combinations that exist today, only 757 possible female fights can be booked, which is about 3.6 percent. So that 10 percent they're fighting at now seems actually kinda high.
So I was doing more math, comparing your chart to percentage of fighters and saw that, while women's bantamweight represented 4.58 percent of the UFC, you said they were 4.8 percent of 2015 fights, meaning their sample of fights is actually reflective of their population. Similary, strawweights at 4.93 percent only fought 4.4 percent of fight, for nearly a 1 percent drop. The thing I found most strange is that flyweight, despite being so unpopular, was booked highest compared to their percents, a whole 1.51, even more than middleweight, who fought at 1.41 percent more than their numbers. But male bantamweights? Despite being nearly 11.3 percent of the company only fought 7.1 percent of the fights in 2015. Their differential is the biggest, at nearly 4.2 percent less than they should, which is a PRETTY significant number, undercutting over a third of their potential. Strange stuff, eh?
Ah come on Snowden! Disabling comments on articles again. If you have an opinion let people have theirs.
Hey, I left for lunch and the comment section of your last article seems to have exploded. I'm curious what happened, cuz I've only seen comment sections get shut down on articles around Jon Jones apparent 'human atrocities' and Yoel Romero condemning Gay Jesus
It seems you do have control over the comments.
I don't have any control over the comments.
Jonathan, If you write an article about somebody or something at least have the bravery to allow other people's opinions in the comments.
Especially an article where there plainly was a misunderstanding. You are a disgrace.
Romero in the post fight interview clearly says 'No forget Jesus, people!' yet you finish the article with 'misunderstanding' in quotes. Why did you not try to clarify this instead of spewing hyperbole and just writing what a lot of people want to hear?
I doubt I will get a response but you should be ashamed of yourself.
Same as previous message. Why did u disable comments on the Gay Jesus article? Romero never said that dude. He is incoherent, awful English and many things but he is 180 from being confrontational in any sense. Dude is like a kid. I'm sure he doesn't care at all about same sex marriage. I saw your tweets and it looks like you were a Machida fan and since Machida got smashed you are diverting the attention to Yoel comments. Hope you and Machida recover.