It is common practice for mixed martial artists to get additional bonuses for winning their fights. These bonuses can often be as lucrative as the fight pay itself. It seems like a good idea in theory to give cash-hungry fighters extra incentive to win and put on a good show. However, Joe Rogan doesn’t like win bonuses in mixed martial arts. He shared his opinion on the topic during a recent episode of his Joe Rogan Experience podcast (as transcribed by BJPenn.com).
“That win bonus, I do not like,” Rogan stated. “I have said this from the beginning, I just don’t think it’s fair.”
Rogan’s gripe wasn’t actually with the bonuses themselves. It was more of an attack on the system.
“First of all, if you’re going to do a win bonus, you need to do something about the judging. You need to have a better scoring system, and you need to get rid of incompetence.
“In other states, it’s dire. I don’t want to name states, but there’s been states where we do fights where I’m just going ‘who watched that fight?’ How is this even possible? People just get f***ing robbed. So, if you have win bonuses, and a guy comes in and he’s getting $50,000, and then if he wins he gets another $50,000, you stole $50,000 from that guy by giving him incompetent judging.”
The Opposite Effect
Rogan continued by explaining how win bonuses often make the fights less eventful.
“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.”
Rogan has been hammering on the judging and scoring systems in mixed martial arts for years. He did not offer a solution to the problem but he did like a suggestion his guest, Bellator MMA heavyweight Josh Barnett, made where they offer finishing bonuses to fighters instead.
Would you rather see win bonuses or finishing bonuses?