Last week we reported that un-redacted documents used in the UFC Anti-Trust Lawsuit have revealed some interesting information about former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s pay-grade. But, that was just one fascinating tidbit from the document dump, which has exposed some previously guarded secrets from ZUFFA’s business playbook.
The information is all provided in formerly redacted passages from the expert report of Hal J. Singer, an expert witness for the Plaintiffs in the anti-trust lawsuit. The lawsuit is currently being contested between a group of former fighters (including John Fitch, Cung Le, and Kyle Kinsgbury) and ZUFFA LLC, whom the fighters accuse of running a monopsony.
The passages come to us from Jason Cruz of MMAPayout and Bloody Elbow’s ‘Show Money’ podcast. On his site — and twitter — Cruz revealed that the un-redacted passages included some new details regarding Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida’s contract.
According to the passages, Machida was at one time subject to a $100,000 stoppage bonus. This bonus was presumably given on top of any performance bonus or purse he may have received for a given fight.
Also from the newly undredacted Singer report, Lyoto Machida had a Letter of Agreement while in the #UFC which gave him a $100K bonus for any stoppage. The bonus was specific to Machida and presumably in addition any additional Performance of FOTN bonus he may have received. pic.twitter.com/wbAOFVZXVf
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) July 29, 2019
The exact wording from the passage is presented below:
…an agreement with Lyoto Machida that awards a stoppage bonus (“Further, Zuffa shall pay Fighter a Stoppage Bonus for such Bout in the amount of One Hundred Thousand Dollars (US $100,000), less all permissible or required deductions and withholding. For purposes of this Agreement, a Stoppage occurs if and only if Fighter is declared the winner of the Bout by Knock Out, Technical Knock Out or Submission by the applicable Athletic Commission.”).
It is not known when this agreement was in effect or for how many bouts Machida was eligible to receive the $100,000 bonus.
This isn’t the first time news has broken regarding a bonus for Machida that goes above and beyond what is disclosed to commissions (and media) on fight night. Back in 2014 it was reported by FOX Sports that Machida may have received a secret bonus (or ‘bounty’) for finishing Tito Ortiz in 2008.
Machida was signed by the UFC in 2007. He won his first four contests in the promotion over Sam Hoger, David Heath, Kazuhiro Nakamura and Remeau Thierry Sokoudjou. Those wins set him up with a bout versus Ortiz, who had recently fought for the UFC light heavyweight title.
The 12-0 Brazilian beat Ortiz by unanimous decision. The fight was the last on Ortiz’s UFC contract. Ortiz tested free agency after the bout, but ultimately re-signed with the UFC in 2009.
FOX Sports theorized that UFC President Dana White – who was publicly feuding with Ortiz in 2008 – would have been delighted to see Ortiz enter free agency off a loss. White confirmed this assumption on a radio show in Los Angeles, when he revealed he had given Machida a bonus – from his personal bank account – for defeating Ortiz.
FOX asked Machida about the bonus. The fighter said he was invited to White’s house for dinner after the Ortiz fight, and was presented with a check. In the interview Machida stated that the check was for $50,000. But, it remains unclear how serious Machida was being about that exact dollar amount.
In his UFC career, Machida earned four Knock Out of the Night Bonuses, three Fight of the Night bonuses, and two Performance of the Night bonuses. Those disclosed bonuses total $450,000 in extra earnings for the former middleweight champion.
If Machida’s $100,000 stoppage bonus were in effect for the entirety of his UFC tenure, he would have earned an additional $800,000 for finishes over fighters like Rashad Evans, Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort.
All those stoppage and performance bonuses (official and theoretical) equal $1,300,000.
Machida’s previously reported career earnings (including just officially disclosed purses, bonuses, and Reebok sponsorship pay) is given as $4,585,000 by The Sports Daily.
Machida’s 24-fight run with the UFC came to a close in 2018 when he signed with Bellator MMA. In his promotional debut last year he defeated Rafael Carvalho by split decision. On June 14th he finished Chael Sonnen by TKO at Bellator 222.