Joe Rogan Rips the Win Bonus System in MMA That is ‘Stealing’ Money from Fighters

March 23, 2018

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan is fed up with fighters losing half their money based on a potentially disastrous decision from a judge.

In the UFC and virtually every other mixed martial arts promotion across the globe, fighters are paid based on ‘show’ and ‘win’ money. Typically that means a fighter is paid a base salary for a fight and then they get a separate amount if they win the contest.

While some higher ranked athletes are able to negotiate for a flat fee that pays them the same whether they win or lose, most fighters are stuck under the win bonus system for the majority of their careers.

That doesn’t sit well with Rogan, who has seen more than a few judges blow a decision and then the fighter who just lost goes home with half their paycheck as a result.

“[The win bonus system] to me is a real issue,” Rogan explained on his most recent podcast. “I think a guy should be paid what they get paid. I think if you have a contract, the contract should be for ‘X’ amount of money [and] if you have points on the pay-per-view, that’s on top of that; but the idea that your win or loss could be in the hands of what we have deemed completely incompetent judges.”

Rogan has been openly critical of the judges in MMA for many years, often times calling them out for a poor decision on the UFC broadcast.

That’s a big part of the reason why he believes fighters should have a flat fee paid to them rather than depending on judges to make the right call while also controlling half of what an athlete will take home as his or her salary.

“I’ve heard from Athletic Commissions, but I say, ‘go f–k yourself,’” Rogan said about his critical commentary on judges. “There’s guys in there that are fighting for their life. They literally guys train for months and months and someone who literally doesn’t understand martial arts is giving these guys a decision, a loss or a win and that’s 50-percent of their money. That’s crazy!”

The biggest argument for the win bonus system in the past has been fighters will push that much harder for a victory if they know half of their money is tied up in a win or a loss.

Rogan doesn’t buy that theory at all and feels that all fighters deserve to get paid a flat fee to ensure a bad decision or even an erroneous ending to a contest doesn’t rob them of half their paycheck.

“It’s literally like stealing money from these kids,” Rogan said. “I just don’t like the win bonus and I don’t think anybody fights harder for it.”