Just to play devil’s advocate here … those bitching about the possibility of fight fixing etc (myself included) might want to take a closer look at fighters who may not be fighting for a win:
At the UFC 89 weigh ins, Chris Lytle and Paul Taylor said to each other, let’s get the fight of the night, and they did just that. One of the most explosive fights of the night, surpassing the interesting strikefest between Chris Leben and Micheal Bisping, Chris Lytle and Paul Taylor exchanged a flurry of punches, fast and short from Taylor, and bombs of Lytle. Both fighters put their all into it, earning the Fight of the Night and a cool 40g’s each.
Here’s the thing about that win: Chris Lytle probably would have won the fight a lot easier if he didn’t keep it standing. Jake and I were joking about the British style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as no-jitsu. All the Brits that ended up on the ground Saturday ended up getting tooled. Chris Lytle – a guy who fits the generic UFC wrestler profile quite nicely – decided like he usually decides to stand and trade and make his fight exciting. He ends up winning Fight of the Night (again), so in effect he got paid more to fight a stupid fight than he would have to play it safe and win on the ground.
Obviously there are huge differences between the morals and principles behind StandGate and what Lytle does. But it doesn’t change the fact that Lytle fought a different fight to try and chase a bonus. If we are gonna talk about the sanctity of the sport and all that, then we need to realize that these bonuses do affect the strategies implemented and therefore the outcomes of matches. Some bonus setups are more ethical and obvious than others, but in the end they all change the way guys are fighting.