MMA Analysis: Bellator 35, Strikeforce Columbus Purses and Bonuses

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One has to wonder what the fascination is with fighter’s salaries.  Unlike in the “stick and ball” sports, a fighter’s salary does not have the power to cripple or handcuff a franchise or team.  Fighting is a solitary sport and perhaps therein is the reason we scour the internet after big fights to learn what our favorite fighter’s took home for their efforts in the cage. 

Much like in real life, a fighter’s purse is a direct reflection of the caliber of fighter he is.  Obviously, champions make the lion share of a promotion's dollars, followed by contenders, mid-tier fighters, and untested newcomers.  Such a sliding pay scale seems prevalent in the normal world of working shlubs like you and I.  If I bring more value as an employee to a given company chances are I am well compensated for my efforts.  Similarly, if I suck at my job, chances are I will be paid a paltry sum of money. 

There is a sort of magic in knowing what a man or women makes for legally punching someone in the face.  The image of the prizefighter kicking ass and being paid handsomely for it is a fantasy as old as time itself.  This is what MMA media so special, like we care what these fighters make.  For all the blood, sweat, and sacrifice that is shed by these individuals in the pursuit of fame and glory in the cage, we are enamored with the financial compensation that is given to these modern day warriors. 

Last Weekend’s Salaries

This past weekend we had two major fight promotions which took place on Saturday:  Bellator 35 and Strikeforce Columbus: Feijao vs. Henderson.  Below are the disclosed salaries for each fighter as reported by MMAJunkie.  One important thing to remember is that these salaries only reflect what was disclosed to the state athletic commission and does not factor in undisclosed bonuses or lucrative sponsorship packages.  Another thing to point out is that while Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Marloes Coenen shows to have made on $10,000 for her title winning defense, most industry insiders believe this to be inaccurate and that she took home considerably more in winning. 

Strikeforce Columbus: Fiejao vs. Henderson

Dan Henderson ($250,000)
Rafael Cavalcante ($28,000)

Marloes Coenen ($10,000)
Liz Carmouche ($5,000)

Tim Kennedy ($50,000)
Melvin Manhoef ($10,000)

Jorge Masvidal ($30,000 includes $15,000 win bonus)
Billy Evangelista ($20,000)

Roger Bowling ($7,000 includes $3,500 win bonus)
Josh Thornburg ($2,000)

Jorge Gurgel ($8,000 included $4,000 win bonus)
Billy Vaughn ($1,500)

Jason Freeman ($3,000 includes $1,500 win bonus)
Jason Riley ($1,500)

Brian Rogers ($3,000 includes $1,500 win bonus)
Ian Rammel ($1,500)

Mitch Whitesel ($3,000 included $1,500 win bonus)
Marc Cofer ($1,500)

John Kuhner ($3,000 includes $1,500 win bonus)
J.P. Feity ($1,500)

Bellator 35

Lyman Good ($20,000 includes $10,000 win bonus)
Chris Lozano ($10,000)

Jay Hieron ($20,000 includes $10,000 win bonus)
Anthony Lapsley ($10,000)

Rick Hawn ($20,000 includes $10,000 win bonus)
Jim Wallhead ($10,000)

Brent Weedman ($20,000 includes $10,000 win bonus)
Dan Hornbuckle ($10,000)

Joachiim Spirtwolf ($2,000 includes $1,000 win bonus)
Jamie Jara ($1,000)

Brandon Bender ($3,000 includes $1,500 win bonus)
Josh Herrick ($1,000)

Zoila Frausto ($12,000 includes $6,000 win bonus)
Karina Halinan ($1,500)

Paul Ruiz ($1,000 includes $500 win bonus)
Jesus Castro ($500)