Last week, midway through a rant about his legal troubles, former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez alluded to a troubling experience his friend, Zach Makovsky, had with Bellator management.
Between 2010 and 2011, Makovsky racked up a perfect 6-0 record within the promotion en route to winning season three's tournament, becoming Bellator's inaugural bantamweight champion, and subsequently fighting in two non-title fights. However things soon went south, as Makovsky lost his title in mid-2012 to Eduardo Dantas, then fell short against Anthony Leone in December before receiving his walking papers.
Makovsky is now scheduled to make his flyweight debut for his first post-Bellator fight this weekend at CFFC 24. Nonetheless, Alvarez's name-drop led Makovsky to explain what exactly went wrong with the promotion that once called him ‘champion.'
"Just before the Dantas fight, I had added some additional fights onto my contract for a potential raise," Makovsky told BloodyElbow.com. "If I were to beat Dantas, my pay scale would have gone up pretty significantly, and if I lost to Dantas, my pay scale would have stayed where it was. In that deal I put in that they have to have... they were going to give me three fights every 14 months. Which is a reason they gave me why, on releasing me. They said that they just couldn't keep me active enough to fulfill that end of their agreement.
"The issue I had was that... so when I signed [those] additional fights to my contract, I had a potential raise against Dantas, and if I lost the fight I was supposed to go back to where I was. But Bellator has it that you're at a certain rate, and if you win your pay goes up by 1,000/1,000 for your next fight and if you lose it stays the same. It never decreases. I won the tournament, I had two non title fights, so my pay scale increased for each of those fights. Then I signed this new part of the contract to fight Dantas, and if I lost I should have went back to where I was, not the original [salary], which is what they offered me. Basically what happened was, they weren't going to give me another fight in 2012, besides Dantas. I had to kind of really push to get that fight with Leone. And then when I got the bout contract it was for 2,000 and 2,000 less than what I believe my contract said I should be fighting for."
Obviously shorting a fighter $2,000/$2,000 less than their contract states is a serious issue when they're only fighting once or twice a year, and for a figure that is already far from lucrative. So, of course, Makovsky raised this point to Bellator officials.
"What they did say was, that if I insisted on getting what my contract said, they wouldn't be able to afford to put me on the card to fight for that, and that they could offer me this 2,000/2,000 less," Makovsky explained. "So if I wanted to fight this year it's basically... and it was my choice to accept the fight, but it was like 'you can accept this, or you can wait till next year and fight and do whatever.' That rubbed me obviously very poorly.
"I only had one [fight at that point in 2012] and I lost, so I didn't have my win bonus. This is all I do right now, so I definitely needed at least a second fight in a year. I kind of had to accept those terms. It was unfortunate, and I did what I had to do because I needed a fight. That's the story there and Eddie knew about it because we're good friends and we talk. I never wanted to bring it up."
7 MUST-READ STORIES
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Garcia switches camps, fielding WSOF offer. Leonard Garcia discussed his UFC release, revealed why he's leaving Jackson's MMA for Team Alpha Male, and explained the reasons for spurning Bellator's contract offer.
Fox Sports 1 schedule. FOX Sports Media Group announced the debut broadcast schedule for FOX Sports 1, which launches on August 17, 2013. Notably, three live UFC events air on the network within the first two weeks.
Cerrone's rough year. Being embarrassed on national television tends to lose it's impact when you nearly die a few weeks later. Just ask Donald Cerrone.
UFC game on hold until 2014. EA Games' inaugural UFC video game has been delayed until at least March of 2014. EA acquired the rights to a UFC video game from THQ last June.
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I just have to say, I'm really digging these Jerry Rips videos. Favorite part of today's clip: Greg Jackson losing his mind at 4:46. (Okay, after watching the rest of the video, it's needs to be said that Jackson is by far the most entertaining cornerman I've ever heard. GO FORWARD! GO FIRST!)
Check out the first Fox Sports 1 promo to hit YouTube. Notice anything missing?
This Jose Canseco vs. Shaq beef keeps escalating, and I, for one, am all for it.
Marina Shafir, aka Ronda Rousey's undefeated training partner with three first-round victories via armbar, recorded a video blog. If you expected it to be five minutes of her and Rousey acting silly, you'd be right.
Normally I stay away from pro wrestling content, because let's face it, I usually have no idea what's going on. But if you jump ahead a few minutes into this one, you'll see Mr. Brock Lesnar utterly destroying an office, with a helpful cameo from a sledgehammer. Totally worth it.
Wondering why Paul Daley has been M.I.A. lately? He'll explain:
@wandfc: Tick...Tick...Tick— chael sonnen (@sonnench) May 9, 2013
@ufc_ca what does he think? Two words "Pink" "Slip"— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) May 9, 2013
NEW ZEALAND AIRPORTS, MAN
Getting real tired of this shit— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 9, 2013
This is wat happens wen u have friends that are dikheads the last fukn time I help these mother fkn trouble makers— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 9, 2013
Denied again at airport I'm never helping anymore dikhead mates— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 9, 2013
Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) May 9, 2013
.@joshsbaird, I've always thought of moving to different weight divisions.Definitely not down.I'm focused on what's in front of me.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) May 9, 2013
WHAT LEGAL TROUBLE?
Amazing view instagram.com/p/ZG3nBAKwHR/— Josh Rosenthal (@MMARosenthal) May 9, 2013
How could you not love these views instagram.com/p/ZHUljuKwDU/— Josh Rosenthal (@MMARosenthal) May 10, 2013
DANA ON THE ROAD
Bud meeting :) twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 9, 2013
On my way back to the plane stopped and saved a turtle in the middle of the street!! Great day in St. Louis :) twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) May 9, 2013
MAKE IT HAPPEN
You don't want to get beat up by the dude in a boot 85 @ochocinco— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 9, 2013
Announced yesterday (Thursday, May 8, 2013):
- UFC on FOX 8: John Albert (7-4) vs. Yaotzin Meza (19-8)
- KSW 23: Melvin Manhoef (27-10-1) vs. Mamed Khalidov (26-4-2) booked for main event
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from Tkeaner, who looks at: The Difficulty of Becoming a Star in MMA
With many of its star fighters aging and on the back end of their careers, the UFC must decide what, or more importantly, who, is next. Unlike most major sports, UFC and MMA in general must work harder to build their individual stars. Sure baseball or football players can sign endorsement deals and be put front and center by their respective leagues or teams. But if the player is consistently putting up gaudy individual statistics such as 40 homers or 30 touchdowns, they will most likely become a star on their own. The nature of MMA makes this very difficult for a few reasons.
Aside from putting together an impressive win streak or win/loss record, it is very difficult to distinguish oneself in MMA based on numbers. Fightmetrics are not widely accepted enough yet to have an impact on a casual fan's opinion about how good a fighter is or may be. Also, the unpredictable nature of an MMA bout makes moving prospects along that much more difficult. Legitimate undefeated records are unheard of in the UFC. Fighters lose in the sport, it happens to all of them. The UFC could attempt to latch onto a hot young prospect and have major plans for them in the future. But one flash knockout could put an end to those plans rather abruptly.
MMA Promotions do not have the luxury of being able to bring along its athletes with the intention of building them as stars, unlike its distant sport cousins in Boxing and the WWE. Talented boxers are fed tomato cans for much of their younger careers so that when more lucrative fights near, they can be propped up on their bloated 40-0 records. Professional Wrestlers are practically selected by the WWE as the next big thing, given title belts and headlining pay-per-views. While a very different sport, the UFC holds similar power. The promotion also chooses who will headline big shows and who gets the right to fight for world championships. They can choose to promote who they feel will make them the most money, regardless of numbers. As we have seen in recent years with fighters such as Chael Sonnen or Nick Diaz, you can become a star by being a talented fighter who is even more skilled at drawing fan interest with what they say over the microphone. They were rewarded for those skills when the promotion chose to invest in their stardom.
The UFC is a large enough brand at this point that fighters don't need to be true stars in order for fans to still tune in. However, in order to continue to grow as a company and as a sport, the cultivation of these potential stars still needs to take place. The UFC is cognizant of that, UFC 159 being the most recent example. They used Sonnen, an established star, to help continue to build Jon Jones as one of the stars of the present, and future. With the continued growth of the MMA and the UFC, here's to hoping that we will be seeing many more stars emerge.
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