WSOF’s Roger Alves Weighs-In on Promotion’s Revenue Sharing Plan: “It Opens a Lot More Eyes”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Just a couple of weeks out from its 14th event on October 11th, World Series of Fighting announced it will be entering the pay-per-view market in 2015, and further, it will be sharing that revenue with its fighters. While its public knowledge that the UFC pays out PPV dividends to some of its athletes, the exact figures are rarely, if ever disclosed.
According to WSOF’s official statement, the promotion “will pay 50 percent of all net revenue earned from live pay-per-view events it produces, to the fighters featured on the telecasts.” The announcement also included WSOF President Ray Sefo stating:
“Until now, one of the main things holding this sport back from becoming even bigger than it is today has been fighter compensation and the inability of the sport’s top athletes to earn on par with top-level professional athletes in other sports.
“If fighters can’t earn a fair share of the money at the top, the fighters lose hope or become disenchanted with the sport, which impacts their commitment to training and preparing properly for title fights. That is about to change, thanks to this major step we are taking now fighters will train harder than ever to become a champion giving the fans some epic championship bouts to enjoy…”
While it remains to be seen what kind of impact the sharing plan has on the industry, WSOF lightweight Roger Alves thinks the policy could mark a significant turning point for the promotion.
“I think it gives fighters a lot more opportunity and I think it opens a lot more eyes these days,” Alves relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing WSOF’s plan and his upcoming bout with David Swanson. “I think a lot of fighters will look at it and they’ll see that as a great opportunity to get paid, and to be able to have a career in fighting.”
“I think it’s one of those things where it’s smart on the World Series part to attract fighters, good fighters to want to go fight for them,” furthered Alves, who is also the pro team wrestling coach at the Hayabusa Training Center in St. Albert, Alberta. “I think it’s what they need to do to be able to compete at that level with the UFC.”
The news comes at a time when many fighters continue to struggle financially, despite the sport’s dramatic growth throughout the last decade. By sharing revenues with all the fighters who compete on PPV cards, more than just a handful of athletes will have access to the additional income.
“It will allow fighters to actually be able to train and fight,” added Alves, who returned to fighting for the first time in nearly a decade this past February, and decisioned Jermarck Brady. “I work a 8 to 4 job right now, and you don’t get paid much to fight right now, especially on the undercards when you’re working your way up, so, you’ve got to work.”
“Depending on much that ends up being for fighters, in the future and how active you are, that’s a huge opportunity to make a career out of it if you want,” noted Alves, who has won 12 provincial wrestling titles and 6 national wrestling championships in Canada. “It will definitely attract a lot of people I think.”
WSOF 14 will be hosted by the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.