Immediately after capturing the UFC lightweight title in July, Eddie Alvarez (pictured) requested a tango with UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor because, after a 13-year MMA career it appeared as though the savvy 32-year-old understood that it was finally time to get paid.
Alvarez continued to aggressively campaign over the next two months to fight the UFC’s biggest cash cow at UFC 205, when the game’s premier promotion makes its long awaited debut on Broadway.
Things weren’t looking good for Alvarez as recently as Monday when UFC president Dana White said his next opponent would be undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov, instead of McGregor. Then, White was finally able to seal the deal with McGregor late Tuesday night and a matchup with Alvarez was made.
Then, as McGregor would say, Alvarez made the biggest financial mistake of his life by burning a winning lottery ticket and inexplicably failed to renegotiate his contract for the bout.
“He got it done by signing his last contract,” an animated McGregor answered for Alvarez when he was asked how the fight came to fruition. “He didn’t even negotiate new money for himself. Imagine that. Look at everybody up here [on stage] – they’re all dressed like me, they’re all trying to talk like me, they’re all trying to be me. Everyone in the game wants this fight. This is the luxury fight, and this guy took it on his last contract.
“Imagine that. Imagine getting the biggest fight in the history of the game, and [the UFC] saying, ‘Shut your mouth, kid. You’re getting paid what you got on your last fight, and you’re lucky you’re even getting that.’ ‘Yes, sir,’ and sign it. That’s what happened.”
Alvarez didn’t deny that he failed to hit the bargaining table in search of life-changing money after being gifted a money fight with McGregor.
“I was OK with the money,” Alvarez said. “I wasn’t going to negotiate the money (while McGregor laughed hysterically at him from across the podium), because this guy’s easy money.”
In this penny-pinching game of MMA, there’s no such thing as easy money, and you’d expect someone with 32 fights under his gold belt would understand that better than anyone.
Alvarez made a flat $150,000 disclosed salary for beating Rafael Dos Anjos in his last outing to capture the crown. His paycheck should go up slightly for his fifth UFC bout, but not substantially. Also, assuming his manager negotiated it into his original UFC contract, Alvarez should receive a percentage of UFC 205’s pay-per-view buys because he’s a champion.
After receiving his disclosed salary and top secret discretionary bonus, Nate Diaz reportedly became a millionaire after he accepted March’s last-second bout with McGregor at UFC 196. Diaz made another $2 million in disclosed salary for August’s rematch at UFC 202.
Prior to getting submitted by Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor boasted that he would “breeze past $10 million” for the bout. Today, McGregor claimed he walked away from UFC 202 with $25 million, and is expecting to close out 2016 at $40 million.
Well, at least Alvarez gets to fight in MSG!
(McGregor teaches Alvarez a hard lesson in negotiating at the 27:27 mark)