After his recent retirement, a UFC superstar revealed having received secret payments from the company during his MMA career and that’s something that’s caused another popular champion to accuse that fighter of being “paid to shill”.
Former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier revealed in a recent episode of ESPN’s “DC and Helwani” show that the former UFC “champ champ” received an undisclosed bonus of $1 million from Dana White and former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta back in 2015 following his first loss to Jon Jones at UFC 182.
“After I had lost to Jon Jones, Lorenzo Fertitta gave me $1 million,” Cormier said. “Him and Dana gave me $1 million. They actually called me and said, ‘We are going to give you $1 million for the job that you’ve done.'”
So Cormier revealed he made way more that fight than what people thought he had.
“So when people say, ‘Wow you made [$90,000] to fight Jon Jones and that was a big pay-per-view…’ No, they gave $1 million,” Cormier said. “I didn’t get PPV [money], I was just a challenger fighting a guy who has defended his belt all those times.”
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) August 31, 2020
Cormier Also Got Secret $400,000 That Same Year
Cormier also said he’d been given another secret and extra $400,000 bonus later that same year after defeating Anthony “Rumble” Johnson at UFC 187.
Cormier said that was done by the company so the fighter could total another $1 million in pay after getting a base pay of $300,000 for that fight and another $300,000 from the PPV sales.
“So when people talk about, ‘You’re a white knight for the UFC’ why wouldn’t I be? They changed my life,” Cormier said.
‘Paid to Shill’
But former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Cris Cyborg, whose real name is Cristiane Justino, didn’t like hearing about the UFC’s secret payments to Cormier.
Cyborg blasted the UFC for using such secretive payment practices and ripped Cormier for being “paid to shill”.
“When UFC moved UFC 232 from NV to CA on four days’ notice, they refused to compensate me for paid appearances I could no longer attend in Vegas. At UFC 240 they refused to buy my flights to the fights because I did camp in South Africa. I was the PPV co-main event. @dc_mma you’re paid to shill.”
The original tweet has since been deleted, but you can still see it below.
Cyborg seemed to take some offense at Cormier's comments pic.twitter.com/N8YmmqUlQK
— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) August 31, 2020
Is Cyborg’s Criticism Fair?
Cyborg left the UFC in 2019 after a long and bitter relationship with the UFC, particularly Dana White.
So Cyborg’s criticism of the payments Cormier received has to be juxtaposed with the fact that Cyborg is almost always critical of anything White and the UFC does, especially since she’s moved over to Bellator.
Still, Cormier’s revelations add a new wrinkle in the long-running debate about whether the UFC offers its fighters a fair payment system.
Moreover, the fighter disclosing new information that had hereto gone unknown was sure to open the door for criticism.
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