Thursday, October 16, 2008

Brandon Vera Wants Mo' Money, Mo' Money, Mo' Money!

MMAWeekly.com posted a pretty good video interview with UFC light heavyweight contender Brandon Vera, who is getting ready to face Keith Jardine at UFC 89 this Saturday night in Birmingham, England.

Brandon talked a little about about Jardine's fighting style, a little about his weight, and called Brock Lesnar a dick, but things really got hot and heavy when the issue of money came up:

"Of course fighters are gonna always want more money. You're an employee of a company, you're always gonna want more money, you're always gonna be asking for a raise. So hopefully after Saturday I'm in a position where I can ask for a raise, so let's see what happens."

Brandon's due for a new contract, but he needs a reality check because his last three fights were total crap. Two of them he lost, and his victory over Reese Andy at Ultimate Fight Night 14 had less action than "You've Got Mail." His pay for that night, as reported by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was $200,000, including a $100,000 win bonus. That was the same amount paid to the world's top pound-for-pound fighter, Anderson Silva, on the same night.

And let's look at the recent reported salaries of some recent name light heavyweights:

Chuck Liddell $500,000 (lost, no bonus) - UFC 86
Forrest Griffin: $250,000 ($100,000 + $150,000 win bonus) - UFC 86
Quinton Jackson: $225,000 (lost, no bonus)
Tito Ortiz $210,000 (lost, no bonus) - UFC 84
Wanderlei Silva $150,000 (won, no bonus) - UFC 84)
Rashad Evans $120,000 ($60,000 + $60,000 win bonus) - UFC 88
Rich Franklin $100,000 ($50,000 + $50,000 win bonus) - UFC 88
Lyoto Machida $100,000 ($50,000 + $50,000 win bonus) - UFC 84
Sokoudjou $80,000 ($40,000 to show + $40,000 win bonus) - UFC 84
Thiago Silva $50,000 ($25,000 + $25,000 win bonus) - UFC 84
Keith Jardine $10,000 (no bonus, lost, took trip to hospital)

So if you ask me, I think Brandon's got some nerve on him thinking about a raise when he's making:

1) Ten times more than his opponent, who has wins over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin
2) Twice as much as Machida and four times as much as Thiago Silva, both of whom are undefeated
3) 33% more than Wanderlei Silva, one of the biggest MMA stars in the world
4) Twice as much as Rich Franklin, a guy the fans actually love and a PPV headliner.

If Brandon wants to even think about asking for a raise, he's going to have to do something impressive on Saturday night - like knockout by spinning backfist or submission by flying armbar. After all, Dana White had this to say to the Canadian Press:

"As soon as he had a few wins and all the money got involved and his new contract and his ex-manager and all that bullshit, he's changed," White lamented. "He's not the same fighter he was. He needs to put all that shit behind him and he's needs to come back and be the cocky, crazy Brandon Vera that I met a few years ago. That kid needs to come back.

"It seems that now the money's involved, he doesn't take chances like he used to, he doesn't let his hands go like he used to. He's got to come back and be the old Brandon Vera."

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6 comments:

Big D said...

Perhaps after Jardine knocks the truth out of Vera on Saturday, he can ask for a raise. Seems he's woefully underpaid, even for a TUF loser.

Jak-Jack said...

Wow, seeing those numbers ALMOST makes me wanna get a job in the UFC. Anyways, I agree with your comment on my "disrespect" entry and I hope Nog gets the job done and quickly.

Mike said...

I think they'll take care of Jardine win or lose. He should at least be getting 40/40. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much charisma which makes it hard for him to build a fan base.

Big D said...

You're saying a mouthful there, "doesn't have much charisma" is pretty sad considering viewers had a whole season to get used to him on TUF and still no one seems to care about him. I just don't find him very compelling, not sure if it's his awkward style, his lack of any kind of interesting backstory (see: Evan Tanner), or that I just don't have time to care about him when there are much more interesting fighters out there. But either way, if he stays in UFC, great; if he leaves UFC, fine too.

Mike said...

D, I actually look forward to Jardine's fights because of the back and forth nature of his career - he's always taking two steps forward, one step back. You just never know what's gonna happen in a Jardine fight, and when he gets aggressive, I think he's awesome to watch.

I also give a TON of credit to Greg Jackson, that guy works up some great game plans. I didn't think for a second Jardine would take the fight to the ground.

Big D said...

Yeah, Greg Jackson is a genius, and Jardine can be thrilling to watch, but anytime I see an interview portion coming on with him, I reach for the fastforward button on my DVR. He's just not very compelling to me, for some reason.