When Stipe Miocic ended Alistair Overeem’s challenge for the UFC heavyweight title with a flurry of vicious punches on September 10th at UFC 203, Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena descended into utter chaos.
The hometown boy was still heavyweight champion of the world.
On the night, some 18,875 fans paid a combined $2.6 million at the gate and it was obvious from the reaction to the main event finish who they had come to see. C.M Punk’s MMA debut may have bolstered the Pay-per-view numbers but in Cleveland, this was the Stipe show.
Yet, Miocic wasn’t rewarded the way that one would expect a star attraction to be rewarded.
For his, admittedly brief, night’s work, the 34-year-old was paid a flat fee of $600,000. That’s just $100,000 more than the inexperienced Punk was paid for being strangled into submission by novice Mickey Gall and $200,000 less than his own challenger, Overeem, made.
As champion, Miocic has PPV points and thus he likely earned significantly more in total, but he still has every right to feel aggrieved by the nature of the payout structure.
And he does feel aggrieved.
“[It’s] terrible,” Miocic said during an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, one which was announced only hours in advance of showtime. “Things definitely need to be changed. Something’s gotta change. It’s not really fair.”
“I just felt like I was kinda crapped on a little bit. I try to do things right and work with them, and they just didn’t give me a great deal. That’s my own fault, but also they knew what they were doing. They took my kindness for weakness(via MMAFighting).”
“They told me it was the best deal they could do, and I said, oh okay, great. And then come to find out, it wasn’t,” Stipe added, referencing the fact that he only found out about Overeem’s larger payout when the numbers were published online.
“Blah, blah, blah, blah. They just made up some excuse, like that’s the contract you signed,” he subsequently said of the UFC’s response.
“You’re making money off me in my hometown, and you’re giving the man that’s a challenger who’s never won the title in the UFC, you’re giving him more money?
“It definitely should change. But the fact that my challenger made more money than me in my last fight was just kind of a slap in the face.”
“We’re definitely not being unfair.We’re not looking for a couple million or anything like that, but definitely getting compensated for winning the belt, defending the belt in my hometown, and also the guy making more money than me is just unheard of. That’s terrible.”
Miocic hasn’t fought since he smashed Overeem to pieces in September, but he revealed that a spring return is being planned. Hopefully by then, the heavy-handed firefighter will have secured himself a sweeter deal, one more befitting of the heavyweight champ.
Miocic didn’t sound confident that things will go his way, however.
“It’s just a mess right now,” he said of the situation. “So we’ll leave it at that.”