CME Ban: Stop bragging about how much money you’re making if you’re not going to tell us how much money you’re making

Kayla Harrison

There’s an epidemic in MMA, friends. No, this time it’s not ringworm or pulsating picograms. It’s an epidemic of the Just Saying Stuff variety. And it is spreading with terrifying speed.

Have you noticed recently that every new major contract signing has been “historic,” one of the biggest ever, showering riches upon the fighters whose names appear on that dotted line?

First it was Israel Adesanya, who shrewdly waited until fight week to sign “one of the most lucrative multifight deals in company history,” according to his representatives at Paradigm Sports. Then it was Jorge Masvidal, whose new contract with the UFC puts him either in the top three or the top five of all UFC fighters, depending on when you ask his reps at First Round Management.

Now it’s Kayla Harrison, who has re-upped with PFL for a “historic” multi-year deal that will make Harrison “the highest paid women’s mixed martial artist ever,” according to her manager Ali Abdelaziz.

You know what all these signings have in common? Not one of these motherfuckers is willing to tell us, in actual dollars and cents, how much they are getting paid.

Which, hey, fine. If you don’t want people to know, for whatever reason, feel free to keep that shit to yourself. But if that’s what you want to do, then STOP BRAGGING ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU’RE GETTING PAID.

There are three reasons we hate this particular practice:

1)It’s fucking annoying. You know what you sound like, telling us you’ve got this insane new contract but refusing to reveal any of the numbers? You sound like a third-grader on some ‘I’ve got a secret’ type bullshit. What, you want us all to ask you what the secret is? Just so you can refuse to tell us and soak up all the cheap attention? The shit is undignified, b. For all of us.

It’s even more fucking annoying since people do it all the time now. We just went through this with some other fighter, and some other fighter before him. It’s getting to the point where any time a fighter signs any new contract, their reps almost have to claim it’s some groundbreaking shit, lest they look like they’re falling behind. Just aggravating as all hell.

2) It invites us to consider the possibility that you are just bullshitting. For one thing, if no one is saying how much they’re getting paid, how could you even really know that your contract is one of the most lucrative? It’s not like state athletic commissions can be trusted to report accurate payouts, especially since the UFC has gone on a crusade to get them to stop making that info public. (And hey, why do you think the promoter might be willing to go to such lengths to keep that shit secret? Do you think it’s because they care so much about the fighters’ privacy? Because lololol, dog.)

Maybe you want us to believe that all these managers – some of whom hate each other so much that they get in fistfights when they see each other at events – are freely getting together and sharing accurate payout information just to help each other out in negotiations with promoters. (Again, lololol.)

It is entirely possible that the promoter is making these claims in private about how much other fighters are being paid. Former UFC matchmaker Joe Silva used to say he did this all the time, but mostly as a way of explaining why the company couldn’t pay some fighter more than other people with similar records and experience. But in that case, wouldn’t the promoter have a very obvious vested interest in making everyone think theirs is the biggest contract around? And then wouldn’t all the goddamn secrecy only help the promoter to maintain that ruse?

3) It makes you seem super insecure. Which is ironic, because these claims always come as part of some victory cry at the end of prolonged contract negotiations. It’s a bit of public chest-thumping, assuring us all that the promoter finally realized how incredibly valuable this fighter is. So OK, tell us how valuable. Give us a number. Oh, you won’t do that? Maybe it’s because you worry that it won’t seem so great after all, or because some other fighter might speak up and say, ‘Oh that? No big deal, I got more than that on my last contract.’

It seems especially insecure now that everyone is using this same bit. New contract. Big money. One of the biggest contracts ever. Over and over again, this same shit. We know how math works, motherfuckers. You can’t all be top three in payouts. Some of you are definitely Just Saying Stuff, and we know it.

So please, for the love of the MMA gods, either back your shit up with some numbers – which would actually help all of you, since at least then you’d have something to compare future offers to – or shut the hell up. The ban is hereby activated. We will not be taking any questions at this time. Thank you.

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