Alistair Overeem’s UFC Release Will Be Numbers Game

Written by Tom Ngo
September 6th, 2014

UFC Alistair Overeem

If it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense. Alistair Overeem (pictured) makes plenty of dollars, and that’s why it might not make sense for the UFC to keep the heavyweight around.

After Overeem was TKO’d by Ben Rothwell in the first round on Friday at UFC Fight Night 50, a 3-1 longshot he was supposed to easily dispose of, many wondered if that was the last time Overeem would ever get a sniff of the octagon.

“No answer to your question on Alistiar, but Ben looked good tonight,” UFC president Dana White responded during the Fox Sports 1 post-fight show when asked of Overeem’s future. “We’ll see what happens. I don’t make these decisions tonight, you know that.”

Overeem joined the UFC with much hoopla back in 2011, and immediately lived up to the hype by retiring Brock Lesnar to earn a shot at then-heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

UFC 141 was the last monumental moment in Overeem’s UFC career.

“The Demolition Man” proceeded to flunk his random pre-fight drug test for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended for nine months. Overeem lost his chance at dos Santos and the UFC lost their chance at a major pay-per-view payday.

Speaking of paydays…

In five UFC fights, Overeem has pocketed at least $1,650,00 in disclosed earnings (UFC 141: $264,285 + $121,428 win bonus, UFC 156: $285,714, UFC Fight Night 26: $285,714, UFC 169: $285,714 + $121,428 win bonus, UFC Fight Night 50: $285,714).

Overeem’s last two paychecks are estimates because the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, the committee who oversaw UFC 169, doesn’t release fighter salaries and it hasn’t been announced what Overeem made in last night’s loss, so we used a conservative number by going with what he earned to show in his second and third outings.

Regardless, the important numbers to examine are glaring. Notice there are only two win bonuses listed because the 34-year-old has only won twice in five UFC appearances. Furthermore, two of his fights were on free television and he didn’t headline either of them.

That’s a lot of zeros to put on a paycheck for a non-PPV headliner who doesn’t win.

FYI, bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey, arguably the UFC’s biggest superstar, made just $120,000 in disclosed salary for knocking out Alexis Davis the last time she took center stage.

If it don’t make dollars, then it don’t make sense. Even the world’s worst number crunchers can see the UFC is losing the numbers game to Overeem.

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