Performance pays off in the UFC as evident by both the bonus structure and the recent talks by UFC president Dana White as fighters are being judged with every fight they take in the Octagon.
Many jaws dropped in the industry when the man with the most infamous slam over the last couple of years, Gerald Harris, was released from the UFC following a loss in his last fight. Prior to that fight, Harris had gone 3-0 in the UFC with all three being finishes, but everyone is on notice now that you’re only as good as you’re last fight.
The pressure may soon ratchet up even more with the WEC’s influx into the UFC, and the ever-exciting featherweights and bantamweights start to get their time in the spotlight.
The WEC has produced some of the most exciting fights, highlight reel knockouts, and wildest submissions the sport has seen over the last few years, and many expect them to come to the UFC on day one and start taking a lot of the bonus money home with them on fight night.
White is more than happy to cut checks to all the lighter weight fighters who come in and put on a show.
“Good, I hope they take every one of the (expletive) bonuses. I’m hoping these lighter guys are going to come in and set the bar,” White recently told MMAWeekly.com.
The level of anticipation is at a fever pitch to see just what the best of the best at 145 pounds and 135 pounds can do in the UFC, and money can be an even greater motivator. At UFC 123 recently, the promotion handed down $80,000 to each of the bonus winners including “Fight of the Night,” “Submission of the Night,” and “Knockout of the Night.”
Performances will definitely pay off now, and whether it’s the biggest fighters at heavyweight or even the guys competing at 170 pounds, White knows that the other weight classes are being put on notice to fight fast and fight hard, or the little guys are going home with the money.
“The bigger guys are going to be like ‘(expletive), there’s another featherweight on the card, we’re screwed,'” White joked.
The first featherweights and bantamweights from the WEC will begin to appear with next weekend’s “Ultimate Fighter Season 12″ finale.