Jonathan Snowden has an article up on Bloody Elbow where he tries to spin Fedor and M-1’s decision to fight for Strikeforce instead of the UFC as a smart business move. In it, he reiterates the fact that the offer made by the UFC wasn’t sweet enough. Like the dogturd they were chewing on with Strikeforce was oh so superior…
“The actual guarantee offered Fedor was less than $2 million. The other money would only come into play if the PPV’s did extremely well,” Snowden said. “Fedor was not offered a $5 million guarantee. It is also important for the entire Russian crew to have a chance to help grow the sport there. Although Fedor can make more money now in the UFC than he likely can elsewhere, it wouldn’t allow an opportunity to expand Russian MMA.”
Note they said he wasn’t offered a 5 million GUARANTEE. But that’s just not how UFC contracts work. You get your show, your win bonus, and then your cut of PPV sales. Plus some of that sweet ‘discretionary’ money which apparently flows so freely back in the locker room. But let’s just stick with the fight purse plus PPV bonuses. As usual, we’ll be using Randy Couture’s old contract from 2007 as our base point because he was the only one to ever lift up the skirts on Zuffa’s PPV pay and show off it’s mighty genetalia.
Randy was making nearly a million bucks off 350k PPV buys. I figure the five million bucks rumor was based on the idea that Fedor vs Brock would have done around a million buys. If you use the exact same numbers as we saw for Randy, Fedor would have made around $2,250,000 off PPV buys. Add in that ‘less than 2 million’ guarantee (let’s assume 1.75 million) and you’re already up to 4 million bucks. Is it really that hard to imagine Fedor’s numbers being slightly higher than what Couture was getting BEFORE he left the UFC to pick up his crown as Scorpion King? How pie in the sky does that 5 mil a fight sound now?
M-1 head Vadim Finkelstein talked to Snowden and kept repeating his mantra of co-promotion as why it was so much smarter for them to fart around with Affliction and Strikeforce rather than fight for the UFC. But what the fuck has that accomplished for them? Where were all those Russian fighters that were supposed to appear on cards? How has Russian MMA flowered during this deal exactly? The Strikeforce co-promotion deal stunk so bad that M-1 held out on Strikeforce last Spring until new terms could be set up. Those terms turned out to be so bad that it played a part in Strikeforce being sold.
M-1 Global can try and look at the situation any way they want but there’s simply no way to ignore the fact that they lost Fedor a fuckload of money – money that could have been put towards more M-1 events or Russian MMA or whatever the hell they claimed they wanted to spend it on. That’s the great thing about money as opposed to shifty co-promotional agreements. Once you make it, you can do whatever the hell you want to with it.