This should be a great week for Dana White commentary on the fight game. A thorn in his side, Fedor Emelianenko just lost over the weekend and now he gets to promote the biggest heavyweight fight in the history of the UFC leading into UFC 116. Mike Landsberg from TSN's "Off The Record" in Canada jumped the gun on the rest of us by getting a sit down with White. Like no one else who has access to the UFC president, Landsberg goes at White. He loves to poke and prod. In trying to ask about fighter salaries, this was a good smarmy delivery (4:04 mark).
"You were an agent, right? You represented the big guys," said Landsberg. "You think Shane Carwin's agent did a good job negotiating him only $40,000 for this fight?"
Landsberg referenced the number Carwin released last week when telling MMA Junkie that on paper the maximum he would make fighting in the main event at UFC 116 was $80,000 ($40,000 to win, $40,000 to show).
White chuckled and then fired back, "Shane Carwin's gonna make a lot of money for this fight."
"I don't like people knowing about the money. I don't like people knowing about our business. Believe me when I tell you, these guys make a lot of money."
Apparently Carwin isn't so confident otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned the salary and the lack of a back end pay-per-view bonus.
The natural followup would've been, "well give us an idea of how much for some of the big-name fighters."
White probably wouldn't have answered but Landsberg left us hanging a bit.
The UFC calls the extra money that fighters make above and beyond their stated paydays, discretionary bonuses. We're guessing White doesn't want to make salaries a central theme before each fight. If they knew exactly what others on the card or past cards had made, you could potentially have a situation where fighters could openly complain about their salaries. On the flip side, by making total moneys handed out public, White and the UFC could end the perception that the fighters are only getting a tiny portion of the total cash generated by each card and between cards.