Would MMA Twitter melt into a puddle of T-1000 liquid if one day a UFC champ dumped his/her UFC title into a trash can live on Bellator TV? This will never happen because of “reasons”, championship clauses, and reality but one of the biggest MMA stories heading into 2016 is free agency. Even though Bellator is a distant second to the UFC’s throne, the Spike TV run brand has made a few free agent rumbles over the last 12 months.
Over at Bleacher Report Mike Chiappetta did an excellent piece on the recent UFC to Bellator signings with four different top 15 ranked fighters. Benson Henderson, Phil Davis, Josh Thomson, and Matt Mitrione opened up to Chiappetta on a number of different topics including contract negotiations, unspoken locker room bonuses, the Reebok sponsorship deal, and why they choose to test the open market after their UFC deals ran their course.
Davis on why he was one of the first UFC fighters to jump ship
“That’s the thing with going first,” he said. “Even if there was no demand, because I was one of few guys to have ever really done that, the more talked about it was, the more it kind of created demand. But honestly, I think it’d be silly not to look into free agency. You need to make the most money while your body holds up and you’re sharp and in your prime. If there’s a competing market out there for yourself, it’s up to you.
“Supply and demand. It’s silly to limit yourself to only one marketplace.”
Henderson on the UFC’s discretionary bonus system
“When you talk about backroom bonuses and discretionary bonuses, they’re awesome, they’re cool, but it’s not a steady salary, it’s not promised,” Henderson told Bleacher Report. “Some guys never get a bonus. It’s all at the whim of the higher-ups. And you shouldn’t have a problem paying your mortgage because of the whim of the higher-ups, because they didn’t feel your fight was worthy of a bonus.”
Then Mitrione with maybe the quote of the entire piece
“They steal from your left and your right pockets and you’re stuck there. Not to be incredibly crass—but you’re stuck there with your d–k in your hand. I was doing what was expected from me, and they okey-doked me. They pulled the chair out from underneath me.”
Ah yes, the old okey-doke. Check out the full story over at Bleacher Report’s MMA section