Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: Chris Weidman’s Pay at UFC 162; Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie May Steal The Show
By Joshua Molina
Where does all the money in the UFC go?
The mainstream media picked up on the controversial topic last week. Former Strikeforce star Tim Kennedy turned himself into a more high-profile star by saying he could get paid more picking up trash.
UFC President Dana White’s response? Redistribute the pay by taking away fighter bonuses and paying lower-card fighters more.
The problem, however, or at least what raises questions, is the pay for even the guys at the top of the card.
According to a published report, Chris Weidman, you know the guy every fighter in the world seems to be predicting will defeat Anderson Silva tonight, will make a stunning $24,000 to fight and another $24,000 if he wins.
How can that be right? Of course, he will make more from pay-per-view sales, but $24,000 to show up? The UFC is a privately held company, but it is a company that is enjoyed tremendous financial success.
How is it that Weidman could make $24,000 to fight on one of the biggest cards of the year, against the pound-for-pound great, in Las Vegas, on a card that will probably do 500,000 Pay-Per-View buys.
Did you know that Floyd Mayweather Jr. made $32 million last May to fight Robert Guerrero?
And did you know that 31 years ago, both heavyweight champ Larry Holmes and challenger Gerry Cooney earned $10 million each to fight for the heavyweight crown in Las Vegas?
When a young Marvin Hagler fought for the Middleweight championship in 1980 — against Britain’s Alan Minter, Hagler earned a reported $125,000 to challenge for the title — THIRTY THREE YEARS AGO.
Minter, the champ earned, $500,000. THIRTY THREE YEARS AGO.
It’s just crazy to think that after all of the hype, Weidman could walk out of Las Vegas with just $24,000 in his pocket.
. . . Third from the top tonight is a big matchup between two former Strikeforce stars. Tim Kennedy will battle Roger Gracie.
Kennedy, the U.S. Army sharpshooter and all-around uber-athlete is in a great spot to become a UFC star if he can win tonight.
He looks great, is a legitimate American hero, and is the kind of “guy’s guy” that Dana White likes. He took a huge backward step by complaining about pay last week, but he swiftly apologized and White doesn’t appear to be holding any grudge over it.
Inside the cage, Kennedy is a notoriously safe and defensive fighter. He lost two previous championship fights in Strikeforce against Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold largely because he fought safe and didn’t take the offensive risks when he was in position to do damage.
If Kennedy can come out of his shell a bit in the cage, let loose and forget about losing, he could be very impressive.
Unfortunately he’s in there with a giant in Gracie. At 6 foot, 4 inches tall, Gracie is a mass of man inside the cage. On the ground he’s a deadly submission artist.
Kennedy’s best chance here is to knock Gracie out, King Mo-style. If this fight goes to the ground, Kennedy is tapping or passing out because Gracie is just too big and too long and too skilled for Kennedy. Gracie, however, can’t take a big punch, so Kennedy will have to let his hands loose early and mix it up.
If Kennedy loses badly, he could be in a world of hurt after his comments about UFC fighter pay.
If he can destroy the giant Gracie, whose name alone comes with a reputation, he could launch himself into the elite of the middleweight division.
Heck, he’s never even fought in the UFC and he and Gracie are already fighting third from the top. How did that happen?
Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org