Josh Barnett had some interesting things to say during an interview with Sam Caplan:
JB: Well, some of those offers I mentioned are smaller promotions that might not be aware of just how expensive the top level guys are. Especially if it is that you read a CSAC or NSAC report following a bout and they say “Joe Schmo made $100 to fight.” Well, often he didn’t make — well, he did make $100 to fight but somewhere in the back he’s getting paid an extra $100 maybe $200 on top of that in addition to whatever it may be for pay-per-view. I even had to explain to a guy “You know I think you know what the top guys are getting but that’s not what they’re getting. They’re getting a lot more than you think they’re getting.”
I suppose this confirms what lots of people have always thought: what’s given to the athletic commissions isn’t always an accurate depiction of what a fighter is really getting paid. Of course, there’s still a lot of question marks surrounding the ‘under the table’ payments. Is this the kind of pay all fighters are getting, or just the top ones? Are these guys really getting double the pay this way? Is this just how it was in PRIDE or does this go for other promotions as well? Why would major promotion companies create a huge conspiracy to make it seem like they’re underpaying their fighters?