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Old 07-18-2011, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Machida vs Dana - Who's the Schmuck?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...sct=mma_t11_a0

Here's a hypothetical question to prompt an uncomfortable amount of soul-searching: say your boss comes to you with an offer for a promotion that initially sounds good, but upon closer inspection it seems like it might not be the best deal for you. Not enough money for the responsibility. Say the more you think about it, the worse the deal sounds. The question is: how much of a raise would it take to make a bad idea seem like a good one?

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida confronted a question along those lines this week when UFC president Dana White came to him with an offer to step in as a late-notice injury replacement against Rashad Evans at UFC 133. The fight was a little over three weeks away when Machida got the call, and since no one trains especially hard the week of the fight, that meant only two weeks of real preparation time.

Machida told Sherdog.com that he initially thought it sounded doable, but then White wanted him to immediately leave Brazil for the U.S. to do his training camp on American soil, and the more he considered the prospect, the more it sounded like a situation where he had more to lose than gain.

After all, Machida already owns a win over Evans, so how much would he benefit from another one? And while Machida's been hanging out on the beach awaiting a fight offer, Evans has been in the gym for a full training camp, preparing diligently for his big comeback fight. Once you start tallying it all up, there seem to be more marks in Evans' column than in Machida's.

But rather than go all Nancy Reagan on it and Just Say No, Machida seems to have tried for a compromise. Sure, he'd fight Evans, he told the UFC, but they'd have to make it worth his while. They'd have to pay him like they pay his countryman, middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

If you're having this conversation with White, here's where the stream of expletives is likely to begin. Not only did White opt not to pay Machida "Anderson Silva money" to take the fight, but also immediately turned around and used the request against him.

White gathered reporters on a media conference call on Thursday to announce that, yes, Tito Ortiz had agreed to take the fight (without asking for a pay raise, White noted), but also that Machida had asked for more than the UFC felt he was worth. Other fighters like Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen were willing to step up and fight out of their weight classes to do the UFC a solid, White pointed out, but Machida was trying to hold the company up for more cash.

It's the PR equivalent of pointing at someone in public and saying in a loud voice, "Can you believe this freaking guy?" If it's not an outright attempt to burn Machida in the press, it's at least an attempt to scorch him a little.

As much as White doesn't care for fighters and their management talking about contract details or salary figures to the media, he has no problem doing it when it suits his needs. Putting Machida on blast for holding his hand out not only serves the purpose of retribution against a fighter who had the temerity to say no, but also sends a message to every other man on the roster that private negotiations need only stay private for as long as the UFC is happy with them.

The end result is that Machida comes away looking like the bad guy -- or worse, a fighter out of touch with the reality of his own worth -- while Ortiz is suddenly the hero in the white hat.

The funny part is that when you think about it, Machida's actions seem totally reasonable. Stepping in on a couple weeks' notice to fight a guy he already beat is not a good deal for him. If he wins, so what? If he loses, his stock falls big time. It's not so absurd for him to be asked to be compensated for assuming that risk.

Sure, you can argue over the dollar amount. Maybe instead of Anderson Silva money, he should have asked for "Rampage" Jackson money or, even better, Tito Ortiz money. But that's not the point.

The point is if the UFC is asking Machida to act against his own best interests by taking a short-notice fight with very little for him to gain, shouldn't it offer him something special to account for the special circumstances?

And no, telling him that if he wins, he'll be "in the mix" for a title shot doesn't count. Just ask Evans, who was the number one contender this time last year and is still not guaranteed the next title shot, even with a win at UFC 133. The UFC has failed to keep that promise too often for it to be sufficiently motivating, which leaves guaranteed money as the next most reasonable carrot to dangle in the face of an ambivalent fighter.

The UFC loves to talk about how it "takes care of" the fighters who take care of it, and that's fine. Giving out free money is always going to make you popular in the short-term. But if that's how you reward fighters who pitch in and help out when the UFC needs it, what's so wrong about them asking their employer to put it in writing beforehand?

Theoretically, at least, what Machida did makes perfect sense. He asked for special compensation under special circumstances. Not only did he not get it, he got a UFC smackdown in the press -- and, as a result, in the court of public opinion -- just for asking. That's a lesson dearly purchased for Machida, and a warning shot likely heard loud and clear throughout the ranks.



Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...#ixzz1SSxXte4f

Personally I think Dana's just being a real schmuck about this. You don't ask or expect top 3 guys in a weight class to step in on super short notice. The guys who jump in for these things are the guys who are looking for a chance to vault over a number of contenders and land themselves in a positive light within the weight class. Machida is a top 3 guy and has already beatn Evans once, so what would the payoff be for him in this scenario?
Why didn't Shogun jump in here? Why not Bader?

Baahh!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I think Dana is the schmuck in all of this. Dana is wanting these guys to fight "for the love of the game" and yet he plays hardball as a businessman. I agree that it was a little flip-floppy for Machida to agree and then change his requirements, but regardless I think his request was reasonable. Lyoto had a ton to risk by taking the fight ill-prepared. Dana is overreacting in my opinion.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Dana has a God complex and it is quite known that he treats his fighters like they are expendables. He is a tool.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know how Dana can be the schmuck in this situation. Machida tells Dana that he will take the fight, no problem. He calls back later or the next day saying he can't do the fight unless he gets paid Anderson Silva money and you want to tell me that Dana is the schmuck in this?

If Machida declined the fight the first time without creating all this drama later on, who knows but as the situation is. Dana has every right to be mad at Machida.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't know how Dana can be the schmuck in this situation. Machida tells Dana that he will take the fight, no problem. He calls back later or the next day saying he can't do the fight unless he gets paid Anderson Silva money and you want to tell me that Dana is the schmuck in this?

If Machida declined the fight the first time without creating all this drama later on, who knows but as the situation is. Dana has every right to be mad at Machida.
Machida, to me, had valid reasons for not taking the fight. The timeframe and cost were both major obstacles for Machida. Having to move his camp to America, with less than 3 weeks to prerpare for a fight. Dana insisted that he be in the US training for the fight.

And all the talk about Machida first saying yes, then no. I'm not 100% convinced. Would Machida really blindly say yes to a fight without negotiating the pay first? If he did, then he would of signed a contract. Nothing was signed.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tyson Fury View Post
Machida, to me, had valid reasons for not taking the fight. The timeframe and cost were both major obstacles for Machida. Having to move his camp to America, with less than 3 weeks to prerpare for a fight. Dana insisted that he be in the US training for the fight.

And all the talk about Machida first saying yes, then no. I'm not 100% convinced. Would Machida really blindly say yes to a fight without negotiating the pay first? If he did, then he would of signed a contract. Nothing was signed.
There is no pay to negotiate. He has a contract with the UFC which and that has the pay attached to it. Fighters don't negotiate their pay after every fight, they sign a 4-8 fight contract and the pay is negotiated during that time.

There are also better ways to handle this. Saying you want Anderson Silva money in order to fight Rashad isn't the smartest way to go about things, especially with Dana. There are better ways to word things, and his management should have thought this over.

You don't see any of the champions or top fighters complaining who came from the WEC merge. They signed a contract in the WEC and that carries over to the UFC. Cruz made 20k + 20k win bonus by defending his belt against Faber.

I can guarantee you that once Cruz's contract runs out and they have to negotiate a new one, he is going to see a hefty pay raise and that is how sporting contracts work.

Not to mention that Machida has almost no leverage in negotiations right now. In Dana's eyes, he is 1-3 in his last 4 fights because Dana thinks Machida lost the first Rua fight. So he has 1 highlight reel KO over a retiring Randy Couture and he wants to make 400,000 all of a sudden?

I have never seen such an absurd demand from a fighter who is basically demanding around 300,000 extra for a short notice fight.

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Old 07-18-2011, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think Machida comes off looking like a schmuck. I'll start off by saying that DW's antics didn't help him. But when it comes down to it I see it very simply as this:

1) Machida can take the fight
2) Machida can't take the fight

I can understand that it was too short notice to accept the fight. I can understand that he isn't in shape, may not put on the best performance, etc. I can accept all of this.

What I can understand/accept is how for the right amount of money you can be right. It's not like with an extra $100K his cardio will be any better. This is why at the end of the day Machida asking for more money doesn't make sense. He has a contract, he was offered the fight, not told he HAD to take it, he is a fighter in the UFC, and most of all he is a fighter who claims to by looking for a title shot again. All of these reasons say that his request was idiotic.

And as I have said previously, we all know DW would have made it worth his while win or lose, I think DW took it as an insult that Machida asked for it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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On one hand the writer brings up a number of excellent points. On the other hand in my eyes Machida is already one of the top five overpaid fighters in the UFC. He's been bringing in six figures since the Thiago Silva fight for christ sake. It also doesn't take a genius to realize that the UFC is cutting costs and dumping contracts so asking for more money is very schmuck like. Machida really hasn't accomplished that much in the sport, I don't believe he has this massive fan base and he doesn't hype fights up so getting paid 5 times as much a the BW champion just seems messed up to me.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There is no pay to negotiate. He has a contract with the UFC which and that has the pay attached to it. Fighters don't negotiate their pay after every fight, they sign a 4-8 fight contract and the pay is negotiated during that time.
Fair enough, learn something new every day! I was under the, false, impression that pay was negotiated per fight. I know fighters sign multi-fight deals, I just thought the pay was delt with differently. In which case, the only extra money Lyoto should be expecting is prospective bonuses. Even if it was an extra $10,000 he was asking for, its not right. Wow. I've actually changed my view. Probably because there was details I wasn't 100% on but at least I admit I'm wrong and not carring on arguing for the sake of arguing like some people have a tendacy to do.

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Originally Posted by Spec0688 View Post

There are also better ways to handle this. Saying you want Anderson Silva money in order to fight Rashad isn't the smartest way to go about things, especially with Dana. There are better ways to word things, and his management should have thought this over.

You don't see any of the champions or top fighters complaining who came from the WEC merge. They signed a contract in the WEC and that carries over to the UFC. Cruz made 20k + 20k win bonus by defending his belt against Faber.

I can guarantee you that once Cruz's contract runs out and they have to negotiate a new one, he is going to see a hefty pay raise and that is how sporting contracts work.

Not to mention that Machida has almost no leverage in negotiations right now. In Dana's eyes, he is 1-3 in his last 4 fights because Dana thinks Machida lost the first Rua fight. So he has 1 highlight reel KO over a retiring Randy Couture and he wants to make 400,000 all of a sudden?

I have never seen such an absurd demand from a fighter who is basically demanding around 300,000 extra for a short notice fight.
Now I have all the facts, I agree man.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Neither really.

Both are acting in their own best interest.

Dana going all out in the press is nothing new. Remember when he was going to cut *Insert random fighter name*, but then *Random Fighter* wins big and gets a pay raise?

Lyoto just better win the next fight he accepts.
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