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After winning a decision over Robbie Lawler at Strikeforce: Kennedy vs. Rockhold on Saturday night, Lorenz Larkin asked UFC president Dana White for a favor. During the postfight interview, Larkin got down on his knees and asked commentator Mauro Ranallo to join him there. Larkin then begged for equality among fighters, and asked that Strikeforce fighters receive fight night bonuses, like their UFC counterparts.
"We're your family, too," Larkin said.
Five and six-figure fight night bonuses are a norm for UFC fights. Bonuses are given out for the best submission, knockout and fight from each event. The extra money can turn out to be a financial boon for fighters. UFC heavyweight Pat Barry was six days from eviction and surviving on ketchup packets and rice when two bonuses for one fight came in.
Though Strikeforce is also owned by Zuffa, the company which owns the UFC, the two groups are operated differently. Several UFC events are held every quarter, giving UFC fighters two or three fights a year. Strikeforce fighters are often waiting for months and months for their bouts.
Tim Kennedy, one of Saturday night's main eventers, waited a year for his bout, despite having no injuries holding him out of competition. Considering fighters only receive purses when they fight, how often they fight affects how much money they make.
Strikeforce fighter Tarec Saffiedine tweeted his support of Larkin, saying, "Ooooohhh yeaahh BONUSES! Thx u lorenz!"
UFC champion Georges St-Pierre once famously dropped to his knees in the cage to beg for a title shot. Larkin used the same ploy while pointing out it's not even about getting his own bonus, but it is about all fighters being treated fairly. It's sad that he even has to go to such lengths.
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