Artem Lobov’s ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate against Jason Knight at last weekend’s Bare Knuckle FC 5 event seems to have the whole combat sports world talking.
Through five two-minute rounds both Lobov and Knight participated in a tremendously exciting, crowd-pleasing slugfest with neither man willing to cede ground to the other in one of the most exciting fights you will see this year. In the end it was ‘The Russian Hammer’ who had his hand raised and, with both men showing off their battle scars in the aftermath and detailing exactly what it takes to participate is an endeavour such as this.
And Lobov, for one, is using the intensified media interest in him to try and make an impact on something which many people involved in combat sports see as an unfair practice — the concept of paying fighters separate ‘show’ and ‘win’ money depending on the result of their fight.
Lobov detailed his objection to this on Monday’s edition of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show via ESPN.
“There’s one more thing,” Lobov interjected towards the conclusion of the interview. “I would like to do this for all fighters in the world. There’s one thing that we can all do now to truly help the fighters. What is this shit where they pay you show money and then a win bonus? That is the biggest bullshit I have ever heard. My expenses don’t change whether I win or lose the fight. I put on the same show.
“Also, in terms of ticket sales, the tickets are already sold so whether I lose or I win doesn’t affect the ticket sales. So why should I take half my pay if I didn’t win the fight, especially when it’s only a decision or something. That is the biggest bullshit ever.”
Considerable expense goes into a fighter’s camp, with various expenses accruing over this time. Coaches, sparring partners and even a nutritionist all must be paid for. Then there is the costs involved with bring a coaching team to wherever the fight may be taking place, often thousands of miles away from a fighter’s home base. Planning the expenses for this can be incredibly challenging, particularly if you can’t predict with relative certainty how much your cheque will be once the fight is over.
As Lobov said, he sees it as a negative aspect of the fight game as it currently stands and offered to help any fighter who is currently struggling with this in potential contract negotiations with a promoter.
“So I’m telling all the fighters right now, listen, if you already have a contract you have to respect that, so you have to fight it out. But if you’re getting a new contract don’t let them give you the stupid contract where it’s show and the win bonus. You should be getting a flat fee which should be the combination of them two and that’s what you should be receiving.
“I’m asking you as the media as well to back anybody up who runs into issues where the promoter tries to give them that other contract of show and [win] money. I tell them as well, if they ever run into problems like this, tag me on Twitter and I will back you up as well.”
For the record, it should be noted that ESPN’s Helwani has been leading the charge in the media in relation to this particular practice.
Image: YouTube/ESPN MMA