Crunching Numbers: How Fairly Are Fight Bonuses Awarded?

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grappler0000
9/2/12 9:18:56PM
The UFC's stated fight bonus system is a noteworthy form of incentivization. For extraordinary performance, UFC fighters are able to considerably augment their pay with a Submission of the Night (SOTN), Knockout of the Night (KOTN) or Fight of the Night (FOTN) bonus. Sometimes the same fighter can win two of those bonuses on the same night. Best of all, any fighter on the card can win any of the awards. You don't have to be a world champion at the top of the card to take home extra cash on a UFC fight night.

Or do you?

After going over the data, it appears you do. Or, at least, it helps quite a bit. The truth of the UFC's stated fight bonus system is that while everyone at every level can and has won, the most dramatic impact on your likelihood of earning bonus money has little to do with performance.

Before we get into which factor is the biggest determinant in being awarded bonuses, let's take a look at the kind of fighter who wins UFC fight bonuses. The numbers below are some of the statistics based on the top 20 bonus earners in UFC history:

Full Story
Cooler
9/2/12 9:22:52PM
It's not only unfair for a fighter to win two bonuses imo but they also are biased giving them out to the most famous fighters to make them sound better later on. So and so is the former champion and 5x fight of the night/sub of the night winner etc. My point is they will always award the main card guys and even the main event guys over anyone else, it's happened plenty of times.
Poor_Franklin
9/2/12 9:27:10PM
great read on a slow day!
Twenty20Dollars
9/2/12 9:56:06PM
How can the word fair be used when the awards are given out on the basis of opinion? Dana picks the winners. I don't see how you can make it fair, when it's all based on opinion and even if fans voted, it'd still be opinion.

I like that guys have won two bonuses because sometimes they deserve both. A guy shouldn't be excluded just because he won 1 of the bonuses, because sometimes the rest of the fights aren't as good and they should go to the best fights/finishes.

But, what's my opinion matter? I don't make the decisions. UFC has far bigger problems than the bonus system.
frizzzlecake
9/2/12 11:39:48PM
The fact Matt Brown has never gotten a bonus is crazy.

I would love for fan voting.
george112
9/2/12 11:43:45PM
The awards are unfair IMO. But it will get better.
prozacnation1978
9/2/12 11:58:55PM
Double bonus aren't cool

Joe lauzon winning twice

I would have gave the sub to rani yahya
KingCmb
9/3/12 12:25:41AM
fans cant choose as they would only pick fighters they know of and dont watch the prelims like it or not the vast majority are sheep
grappler0000
9/3/12 12:37:24AM

Posted by the-king

fans cant choose as they would only pick fighters they know of and dont watch the prelims like it or not the vast majority are sheep



Fans got a chance to vote at UFC 124...they chose GSP vs Kos as the FOTN.
Twenty20Dollars
9/3/12 1:47:18AM

Posted by the-king

fans cant choose as they would only pick fighters they know of and dont watch the prelims like it or not the vast majority are sheep



Which would be basically the main card fighters, which is what the article is kind of saying.

Just casual fans would vote for fighters they know, b/c like you said they don't watch the prelims and even at the events they don't show up till the main card.

Also, voting might take a bit longer and Dana usually announcers the winners at the presser.

We have to remember that guys are supposedly taken care of by Dana even if they didn't win a bonus award. I believe it was McCall that mentioned that awhile back.
ghandikush
9/3/12 2:27:19AM
not fairly awarded but fans shouldnt have a say
warglory
9/3/12 9:32:20AM
The problem with throwing around data and proposing conclusions, is that the data can be invited to sway a reader's opinion one way or another, by how the data is interpreted. The author clearly states that fighters across the board have won these awards, because this is true. This is fact #1, and really the most important fact. The author then proposed a large BUT, in the form of main card fighters getting the majority of the attention. Statistically, that may be the case, but what are the factors for this? A big one, in my mind, is matchmaking. Joe Silva is the best matchmaker in history, and continues to do the best work with what he has to work with in our current, injury prone era, so it should come as no surprise when the stacked main card, those fights people are actually paying money for, will result in the better fights (and bonuses).

Undercards have been known to be pretty damn amazing too, but we, as fans of the sport can't help but be more emotionally invested in guys we recognize doing splendid things in the cage, vs a couple of unknowns lighting things up on their own. Despite that, I think Dana has been quite fair though, with representing the undercard guys. He's not stupid. He knows these guys are the future, and if they are given incentives to train properly with the money needed to get there, they will become better fighters.

I mean rarely, do I watch a card, and then the follow up post fight presser, and am left feeling shocked that a certain someone got a bonus over someone else. Usually there are clear standouts. When two amazing fights happen, and are both FOTN candidates, I think it's natural to go with the bigger, more televised fight. Is this the right thing to do? I don't think it matters, because it's human nature. It is what it is. Besides, I am willing to bet that the fight not chosen would get some back room cash too.
State_Champ
9/3/12 10:13:25AM
Why are subs so evenly spread across the card?

I'm not sure I grasp what Luke has to say on this matter, anybody care to try and explain it?

I think he's saying that a good Sub is.... more appreciated on it's own, rather than based on who is getting subbed or doing the subbing?
pmoney
9/3/12 3:20:24PM

Posted by State_Champ

Why are subs so evenly spread across the card?

I'm not sure I grasp what Luke has to say on this matter, anybody care to try and explain it?

I think he's saying that a good Sub is.... more appreciated on it's own, rather than based on who is getting subbed or doing the subbing?



Luke Thomas reminds me of a weirdo/child molester/creep. Probably the ginger goatee.

my bad, I think he was saying subs are more evenly spread because there is a more visceral sense of technique in a submission win. Which is very debatable.
babalu46
9/3/12 11:09:25PM
I'm not sure his implication is this but my interpretation of the SOTN data is that this article shows FOTN winners are typically stand up wars and everyone knows this so when making fights the ones that you would think follow this are put on the main card.

Therefore submission and ground guys are typically lower down the card hence the even spread of SOTN bonus.