Scott Coker has a budget, and he has no plans to budge from it.
The UFC is known for their post-fight bonuses, given to fighters after each event for impressive performances or insane fights, which often leads to fighters begging for the $50k bonus after fights. However, Coker has no interest in bringing something like that over to Bellator any time soon.
Speaking to the press after Bellator 268, the promotional president made it clear that, while they have given thought to introducing post-fight bonuses in Bellator, they do not have any interest in doing so. He says that the promotion has a budget for fighter pay, and he does not want to lessen what he pays fighters upfront, simply to give some fighters bonuses on the backend.
“It’s something that we’ve obviously talked about internally for years, but we have a certain budget that we pay fighters, and it’s a big, big budget, it’s the biggest budget in the company. We pay our fighters top dollar to perform, and so we take the bonuses out of it because we’re paying like top, top, top dollar,” Coker said.
“So we’re not skimming back and saying ‘Okay, why don’t we hold this to see if they perform as a bonus?’ We pay them as much as we can, we pay them well, and I’m sure if you talk to some of the fighters, you’ll hear the same thing. We pay extremely well here, and if they perform, (their pay) is going to go up. It’s really up to them at that point… Every single penny that we had budgeted for the year for fighters, we always paid out max. So we just do it a different way.”
It is certainly interesting to see the different schools of thought, with how Bellator runs their promotion juxtaposed to the UFC. While both Scott Coker and Dana White may believe that they are doing the right thing, it could simply be a matter of what is best for their individual promotion, rather than trying to set a sport-wide norm.
Check out the full post-fight scrum below: