Two fighters, Kimbo Slice and Andrei Arlovski, received huge disclosed paychecks—$500,000 each to be exact— on Oct. 4 for their fights at EliteXC “Heat.” For one of them though, that may have only been the tip of the iceberg.
Deep down in Kevin Iole’s latest mailbag on Yahoo! Sports was this little nugget.
There are unconfirmed reports that Arlovski received a $1 million bonus that raised his overall compensation for the fight to $1.5 million.
Of course, this is “unconfirmed” as Iole puts it, but he is privy to more inside info than the majority of journalists covering mixed martial arts these days. While I don’t always agree with his opinions, he typically doesn’t put something out there unless there’s a fairly good chance that it’s true.
That said, if it is true, wow, that’s an obscene amount of money by today’s standards, especially for someone who lost 100,000 viewers when his fight came on. It begs the question, Affliction, what are you doing? While the fight and the event for that matter gave Affliction a tremendous amount of exposure, there comes a point where the cost/benefit ratio skews the other direction.
Word on the street was that one of the reasons Affliction put Arlovski on CBS was to keep him happy and give him the payday he was expecting when his Oct. 11 fight was canceled. But twice the amount he made in his first Affliction fight, a fight he was arguably grossly overpaid for? Whatever happened to cutting back on fighter salaries, Affliction?
I’m all for fighters making more money, but this has gotten out of control. If Arlovski made for this fight what Fedor made for the Sylvia fight, then you know Fedor’s going to want more money, and don’t forget about Barnett. He was upset he didn’t make it on the CBS card because they “couldn’t get a hold of him” which was likely “we can’t afford to pay them both.” If Fedor and Arlovski are making the BIG bucks, he’s certainly not going to settle for another measly $300,000, unless of course he’s getting million dollar bonuses too.
I’m not going to presume to know what Affliction’s financial situation or what their threshold for bleeding money is, but everyone has a breaking point. I hope Affliction and Golden Boy have a good plan up their sleeves and execute it before they hit theirs.