“I want Anderson Silva money”
This exact quote is what Dana White was told from Lyoto Machida’s camp after he was looking for a replacement against Rashad Evans at UFC 133. After originally calling Tito Ortiz the first time and declining White called Ortiz after Machida decided to go for the piggy bank and got denied and Ortiz accepted. I guess the stereotype about professional athletes is sometimes true and all they are looking for is that payday because having some money is never enough.
Now before I divulge on why Machida’s camp, himself or both were wrong for making this statement I’m going to look at what Anderson Silva has done in the UFC and then compare those stats to the those of Machida’s. Then we can maybe see how ludacris it was for the demanding of Anderson Silva salary.
With the proof right there I don’t what the mind set was of the camp or him to even demand such money that in all actuality he is already getting, but it seems he wants more. UFC contracts are almost never revelaed to the public and with Machida it wasn't known on what fight number he was on his current contract but to demand a raise on a contract he already signed is insulting to the UFC and the sport of MMA.
According to MMA Fighting’s Matt Erickson he broke down a few stats from each fighter’s last wins and other monies they earned.
Anderson Silva earned 200k against Vitor Belfort at UFC 126.
Salaries weren’t released for his last 3 fights, however at UFC 104 Machida earned 100K for his fight against Mauricio Rua and 100K win bonus.
I’m sure the last 3 fights the salaries didn’t change and might have gone even higher with another title defense against Rua in which Machida lost the title. Just recently, he won knockout of the night against Randy Couture in where he pocketed a nice 75k. If Machida is looking for other types of money such as PPV buys, or other transactions that are given that isn’t disclosed he is reaching out to something that he doesn't deserve.
Now the basic judgment of any professional athlete is that they earn plenty of money and shouldn’t be complaining about their financial situation when their earnings aren’t high enough. Many would disagree on that statement including myself that any type of athlete makes a handsome amount of money and asking for more money under these circumstances is disgraceful.
However, if there is a contract renegotiation, then by all means both parties have a right to dispute on why they deserve a certain amount on each fight, but to ask for a raise is not a logical thinking. Yes the fight is on short notice, but with the more positives than negatives that were in his corner, I guess Machida wanted financial stability.
Machida coming off his win over Randy Couture and being the last person to fight him, it would have been another jump start to a title shot in the future if he came into the fight and beat Rashad Evans. Now there was no clarification on who demanded more money or if it was a combination of both, either way though it’s an insult to the sport and to Evans, saying he isn’t worth the fight money that White was offering to Machida.
Now Machida is a great fighter and you can’t deny him that but his camp made a wrong turn and tried to be the bully and see if they can get that edge of negotiating that blew up in their face. Negotiating with Dana White he didn’t think he was owed any more money even close to Silva because like he said he hasn’t reached the accolades and accomplishments he has.Money isn’t about everything to a lot of people, but when I heard that from Machida’s camp I cringed and was immediately disappointed. This was a chance for Machida to make that hunt for the Light Heavyweight Championship and start the "Machida Era" we saw briefly in 2009 .
But with that poor negotiating tactic and words it seems Machida is looking for something that will earn him the big bucks and make sure he is a guy that is getting money. Hate to say it but Machida hasn’t earned that money and totally embarrassed himself with that tactic and now will wait longer for a fight that he could have taken and would have been applauded win or lose.
White said this will pass soon enough and he would talk again with Machida really soon regarding a future fight, but that mark has already happened and many fans are wondering why demand the pay of a upper tier of fighters that have been winning constantly. Machida has lost 2 out of his last 3 fights, and that puts him in no place to be asking for that kind of money.
Is it really about the money with Machida or was it honest mistake by his camp? Or did his camp give White that answer without even talking with him, or was it Machida’s words that were directly given to White? Whatever the case those words were said and it really makes media, and the fans of the sport question what he is really in the sport for.
Machida’s camp still hasn’t spoken openly about this topic and I’m sure they are looking back that phone call and regretting they made a huge mistake. With Tito Ortiz stepping up and taking on Rashad Evans at UFC 133 maybe Machida will rethink his negotiating tools in the future, and put his love for the sport first, instead of the dollar symbols.