When Quinton Jackson said that PRIDE offered him a $2,000 bonus to lose to Kazushi Sakuraba earlier this week, I actually kind of believed him. Jackson has seemed to be an outspoken but honest individual throughout his career.
PRIDE officials denied the claim the next day to no one’s surprise but it’s DSE attorney Tawnya Wojciechowski’s comments from today’s Fight Network radio show that really have me thinking that DSE is digging themselves into a hole by being outspoken concerning this matter.
Her comments from today’s show:
“I have the signed copy of his contract that we negotiated back in 2001,” Wojciechowski said. “The compensation that was structured for that particular event was that he would receive a fighting fee of $10,000. He was to receive a bonus if he won by either a submission hold, TKO or KO – he would receive $4,000 for the win. If he lost by KO, TKO or a referee’s stop, excluding a tapout, he would get $2,500, basically to make the fight more exciting. There was no bribe involved.”
So let get this straight, there was a bonus for winning and there was also a bonus for losing the fight? Are you kidding me? That’s the first time in history that I’ve heard of a bonus being potentially awarded to a fighter for losing a fight and it doesn’t make any sense. You give out bonuses for winning and that’s it. You don’t out extra money for losing.
The Sakuraba fight was Jackson’s PRIDE debut. Your first fight in the biggest MMA promotion in the world at that time and you are going up against Sakuraba of all people. What if Jackson was scared out of his mind and decided to just bag the fight for an extra two grand? Technically Jackson isn’t lying in this case. PRIDE actually did offer him $2000 to lose the fight. Granted that PRIDE’s intentions may only have been to make the fight more exciting for the fans, the event actually took place. Now I don’t know whether or not Jackson misinterpreted the offer or PRIDE actually meant what Jackson is claiming - I guess we will find out the truth eventually.
An interesting thing to point out is that KOTC founder and Jackson’s agent at the time of the fight is agreeing with Jackson…
“When Quinton got there, one of the guys that I sent directly there with him was with him when he was approached by [the two PRIDE executives] and offered an additional $2,000 to lose the fight by submission,” Trebilcock said. “To my understanding from both Quinton and my guy who I sent over there with him, that is what happened.”
As far as DSE filing a potential lawsuit, nothing is happening as of yet according to Wojciechowski:
“I need some time to investigate this, as this was just brought to my attention this morning,” Wojciechowski said. “Obviously, I’d like to get a hold of the actual interview that was done. If Quinton is making these statements, they are not true. I have irrefutable evidence to prove that they are not true. Hideki Yamamoto and Yukino Kanda did not engage in any bribing activity.”
“Quinton has highly neglected to add to the story that he was going to be paid almost double bonus if he had won,” Wojciechowski said.
We will definitely continue to follow this story…