Veteran commentator Joe Rogan has spoken out against the win bonus structure that is widely implemented in most major MMA promotions including the UFC. Speaking with Bellator heavyweight Josh Barnett on a recent episode of The JRE podcast, he said.
“Don’t you think there’s a problem in incentivizing people to just win because you have a win bonus? A win bonus, I do not like. I’ve said this from the beginning. I just don’t think it’s fair.”
Rogan’s main gripe with the win bonus structure is that it often means fighters lose out on half their paycheque because of incompetent judging, he said.
“First of all, if you’re going to do a win bonus, you’ve got to do something about the judging. You need to have a better scoring system and you need to get rid of incompetence. Then, when you go to other states, you need to take control of the situation. Yes: In other states it’s dire. I don’t want to name states, but there have been states where we do fights where I’m just going, ‘Who watched that fight? How is that even possible?’ People just get (expletive) robbed.
“If you have win bonuses (and) if a guy comes in and gets 50, and if he wins he gets another 50, you stole $50,000 from that guy by giving him incompetent judging. If you’re a fighter, you’ve got to do your best to win. If that means taking a guy down and hump and throw enough punches to keep the referee from standing it up, that’s $50,000 for you.”
Barnett offered up a solution that incentivized finishes over wins. Rogan liked this idea but expressed his opinion that bonuses should be a little extra, not half of a fighter’s purse, he said.
“I don’t think (win bonuses) incentivize those guys. At the top level? Have you ever tried to not win? … I think finish bonuses is not a bad idea. But I think it should be a bonus – not half of your (expletive) purse. I would at least like to see someone come along with an alternative take on how fighters are paid, and we haven’t really seen that.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
Do you agree with Joe Rogan about win bonuses in MMA?