Dana white has been on a rage lately about the interwebs. After UFC 76, Dana White choked with rage and snarled his hatred of the unjust websites that always downplayed his organization’s fighters. Now he’s at it again, blaming internet forums as a place where snake oil and lies are sold regarding the kind of money fighters really make. In this case, he’s specifically saying that Randy Couture thought people were making more money than him based on what he read on the internet:
“This business is like a beauty salon,” he said. “These guys are all the toughest guys in the world, but they’re like (expletives) in a beauty salon. They pass along rumors and gossip, which has no basis in reality and they believe all the (rumors) they hear. The Internet is very powerful and one of the best promotional tools we have, but it’s a crazy place.
Bitches in a beauty salon. I gotta remember that one.
Now I can’t really imagine Randy Couture in front of a computer. He seems like the kind of guy who can handle guns, motors, and heavy machinery at ease. But put him in front of a computer and I bet he tippy taps the keyboard with two fingers and doesn’t understand the concept of a double-click. So to say that he’s getting his information off the internet could be a bit suspect. Of course, I don’t doubt that many of the fighters he talks to on a daily basis DO get their numbers off the internet, so Dana is kinda sorta correct in that way.
But when Dana’s talking about internet and bogus financial information, is he talking about the financial information posted by sites directly from Athletic commission info? Because while I’m sure ‘PuZZyBanGa’ on the Underground may not be a trusted source, I’m pretty sure the Athletic Commissions are reliable. Or is he talking about his personal friend Dave Meltzer, who often comments on the hidden bonuses paid out to fighters?
The truth of the matter isn’t that there’s too much info out on the webs, it’s that there’s too little. Randy Couture said that he felt he was being lied to when the UFC said he was the 2nd best paid guy in the UFC. Obviously if you look at the comparisons between him and other fighters on Athletic Commission scales, you’d be ready to agree with Randy. According to the Commish, Randy made 250k straight win or lose, while Mirko Crocop made 350k straight win or lose. I’m sure Wanderlei Silva told Randy what his deal was worth and I don’t doubt it’s probably around the 250k scale if not more.
But one important bit of information that’s missing are the super secret bonus bucks that everyone’s always whispering about. Randy’s contract contains PPV bonuses that push his pay on a fight up past the million dollar mark. Word is that Randy was one of the last fighters to get this kind of general PPV deal and now fighters are just offered more on the downside instead. While it’s unknown as to if the PRIDE fighters have clauses in there for championship fights and defenses, I can tell you now that Crocop and Shogun haven’t gotten a percent or even a cent from PPV revenue so far.
I don’t doubt that Wanderlei Silva might have a specific deal to fight Chuck Liddell that pays him more than Randy Couture made to beat Gabriel Gonzaga. But it’s important to consider the fact that Silva doesn’t have the same kind of guarantees built into his contract as Randy. If Silva loses, he doesn’t keep collecting sweet paychecks. In fact, past the Liddell fight the only way I can see him making significantly more than what’s revealed on the commission books is if he’s fighting for the belt.
So it’s easy to say the UFC told ‘bold faced lies’ to Randy Couture. But contracts are not simple things. While there will be mega-fights where guys are making more on one occasion, I bet if you put Randy’s contract up against everyone but Chuck’s, he’d come out on top financially in the long run.