Concerned by dull fights, promoter offers finish bonuses at CFA 12
Championship Fighting Alliance is giving fighters an extra check to finish their bouts at his next event. Promoter Jorge de la Noval believes MMA has gotten too safe and said fighters who deliver a KO, TKO, or submission at CFA 12 will get a bonus on top of their “show” and “win” money.
But those who put on a good fight, or as de la Noval puts it, a barnburner on the order of Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar, will also get extra money.
“Fighters are not finishing fights,” de la Noval told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
“They’re just going in there to get the win bonus. Look what happened to (Lyoto) Machida and Phil Davis this weekend (at UFC 163). Neither one went in to prove a point.” CFA 12 takes place Oct. 12 at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Fla. The event’s main card, which features a women’s featherweight title bout between Fallon Fox and Ashlee Evans-Smith, airs live on AXS TV.
De la Noval isn’t the first promoter to incentivize fighters. The UFC’s bonus system offers payouts of typically $50,000 for “Fight of the Night,” “Submission of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night,” in addition to undisclosed discretionary bonuses. However, a rash of lackluster main-event fights has prompted some MMA observers to wonder whether they are giving fighters enough motivation to deliver an exciting fight. The issue becomes even more problematic in the case of preliminary-card fighters, who statistically aren’t as likely to win performance bonuses.
Of course, it’s the promise of a massive payout that drives countless fighters to win a UFC contract despite comparatively low payouts for new signees. De la Noval thinks sweetening the pot will further motivate combatants to deliver an exciting performance. He declined to put a figure on the new finish bonuses, which apply only to major events, and said they would be negotiated with fighters and managers.
“This sport started when people were going in there and finishing fights, and if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to hurt us,” he said. “Outside of the MMA junkies like us, there’s people out there that say, ‘Man, this is a really boring fight.’ They expect more of MMA, and it’s going to happen.”
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