Dan Hardy: Pay Structure May Affect Fighters' Strategy
“We’ve all seen him fight. We saw his fight against [Diego] Sanchez and all those other crazy ones where they were back-and-forth wars. He’s got a great pace and he’s a fantastic fighter. So really, for me, that showed that he made the choice of going in there and fighting that way. And whether that was down to his coaches convincing him or what, I don’t know, but I do think a lot of the responsibility is on the fighter.
“But at the same time, I think pay scale could be an issue as well. I think that there could be a way of paying people so there’s not a massive amount of money resting on winning and losing. I mean, 50 percent of purse pretty much is a win bonus for most people. If you win the fight, you get double the money. For a lot of people, double the money is what they need in order to cover their training camps. It’s really difficult. We need a little bit more money turning towards the fighters and we need the fighters with a bit more of an aggressive work ethic.”
Hardy's take on things is definitely something that's part of the equation here. However, there are other factors. The biggest is the UFC's ability to cut struggling fighters. Three losses and you're out has been the policy for years now, with a handful of exceptions for certain guys. We're starting to see cuts after two consecutive losses as well as two defeats in three fights more and more, especially with those fighters that don't carry any sort of name value.
Pay certainly has something to do with it, but job security has more. In Guida's case though, it may not have been either of the two. It could have just been the plan employed by his camp. It's not the first time that Guida has been conservative in fights since joining Jackson's. Just ask Anthony Pettis.
“We’ve got two fights left, we’ve got the (Shinya) Aoki fight then we’ve got one more after that,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAWeekly Radio about Eddie Alvarez’s contract. “The guy has been just unbelievably good and positive for this organization. He’s been good and positive for Bellator, he’s also been good and positive for the entirety of MMA. Much like our situation with Hector Lombard, right now Hector’s a little bit further along cause I signed him earlier than I signed Ed, but you remember Hector and Ed were signed in 08′.
“I had a sit down with Hector Lombard, this was about 8 months ago, and we’re coming up on the end of our deal, but it’s getting closer and he asked me what’s going to happen. I said I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you that 2012 is going to be an awesome, epic year for Hector Lombard. And whether it’s an awesome, epic year in the Octagon, or whether it’s an awesome, epic year at Bellator, I’m not sure. I can’t tell you how that’s all going to play out, but I can tell you it’s going to be a great year for you, you’re going to make a lot more money,” Rebney said.
According to Rebney, neither Alvarez nor Lombard have any kind of champions clause in their contracts. Once they are up, both are free to walk, and with the UFC openly interested in their services, it's going to have to take an offer that can't be refused in order for Bellator to keep either of them.
“There’s a balance, you get a guy and I’ll try to give you as straight forward an answer as I can, when you get a guy who is good as Michael Chandler and I think we can all agree that Michael Chandler should be among everybody’s top list at 155lbs in the world. When you get a guy that good, good names who are not currently engaged in a Bellator tournament or beholden to a UFC contract, are not jumping out of the gym to take that fight,” Rebney revealed when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“Absolutely no disrespect to Gono, he’s had a spectacular career and he’s been at the top level of this game. He’s not been on a great run as of late, but he did say yes, and he said yes with a lot of time to train, and he said yes with an amazing amount of enthusiasm for the opportunity, and one that could change the direction of his career,” said Rebney.