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More on Fedor Emelianenko’s pay from Affliction

There seemed to be a big to-do about Fedor Emelianenko’s official salary that was posted from the CSAC this past week. Emelianenko, on record, made a measly $300,000 for his fight against Tim Sylvia while Sylvia made a whopping $800,000. There was much speculation as to what Fedor was actually paid and now Mike Chiappetta at NBC Sports is reporting that the rest of Fedor’s money was indeed in the form of an advance signing bonus:

But a source told NBCSports.com that Emelianenko received a sizable part of his Affliction contract up front in the form of a signing bonus, and added that Emelianenko also owns the rights to his fight footage in several European countries. That second part may not mean much right now but if Affliction chooses to hold an event in Europe, they would have to pay him for the footage.

Love or hate Fedor’s management, you have to concede that they are doing what’s in Fedor’s best interest as far as the money side of things go. Making people pay for your own fight footage as well as getting advance signing bonuses before even stepping into the ring are a couple things that are just unheard of in this sport right now. Fedor’s management team is way ahead of the curve as far as MMA goes right now. Vadim Finklestein is the Drew Rosenhaus of MMA.

22 COMMENTS
  • mike wolfe says:

    In theory owning the footage is a great move and worth conceding some cash. But if the countries where you own the rights are small markets, the rights aren’t worth much. If there’s no audience for MMA in Outer Dinkastan, it’s pointless to own the rights there. Still, once Fedor has set the precedent, he can keep pushing for more markets, and other fighters will make similar demands.

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  • Evan says:

    “Vadim Finklestein is the Drew Rosenhaus of MMA”

    Tap those breaks. Drew has a huge client base.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Evan-

    So does Ken Pavia, but he isn’t doing what Vadim is doing. All I’m saying is that Vadim is setting the standard for what the best fighters in the world should be paid.

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  • Evan says:

    Adam

    Drew to me just doesn’t seen like a good comparison. If Vadim get’s about 40 fighters under his belt and the elite ones constantly start dishonoring contracts to get better ones then you’re onto something.

    Perhaps you should have used Scott Boras, the baseball Anti Christ.

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  • Handover Fist says:

    Yep that has Fedor’s managers name all over it. Sounds very similar to some of the things he wanted from the UFC.

    I have a lot of problems with how Dana White does business but I don’t blame him a bit for not caving into that guys demands.

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  • Bad Monkey says:

    Unfortunately, Drew Rosenhaus is one of the reason’s pro football is so fucked up right now. When damn near everyone of his clients are constantly bitching and holding out for more money in spite of their current contracts, that should tell what his only motivation is: $$$

    I agree that the top fighters should be paid very well for what they do, but someone has to keep an eye on any slimy agents/managers who are just out to make easy money off the fighters.

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  • Cathedron says:

    Affliction just has me confused. At this rate, I can’t see them lasting beyond three events. Every fighter will want to fight for them, but will they continue to pay such high salaries? What’s their long-term plan? To quickly build a brand and then get bought out by the UFC when the well runs dry? I really want them to succeed. I’m sick of all these substandard promotions acting like they are huge and hyping C-level fighters who couldn’t even beat a UFC scrub… in a prelim fight… in the UK. The UFC needs some real competition if we’re going to see this sport go to the next level.

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  • Evan says:

    I agree Bad Monkey…if he is indeed Drew then MMA is heading for boxing.

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  • Aleks YaYa says:

    I just totally disagree that Vadim Finkleschtein is ahead of the curve in doing what is best for his fighter.

    First off, his demands kept Fedor from fighting for several years. Fedor had nearly a year long break before he fought Lindland, then over a year long break before he fought Choi, then almost an eight month break before fighting Sylvia. This time off due largely to Finkleschtein’s unreasonable demands meant that Fedor was only paid for those few select fights he was able to work into his largely inactive schedule. Even Fedor’s management conceded the UFC offer was the most lucrative, and both Gary Shaw and Monte Cox confirmed his asking price was somewhere in the $1.5 – $2 million per fight range.

    So how is it smart to fight roughly three times in three years, when he could be fighting two to three times a year for the same money? At that amount per fight, I have to imagine the money he would have made from fighting regularly would have dwarfed whatever royalties he might enjoy from some fight footage.

    Also, we are somehow assuming those royalties would go to Fedor, and not Finkleschtein. That is a pretty big assumption given that Finkleschtein was also supposedly demanding other concessions from Bodog, Monte Cox, and the UFC that were clearly for Finkleschtein’s benefit, and not necessarily Fedor’s. Those included trying to force the organizations to cross promote with Finkleschtein’s M1 organization in Russia, and also having to sign other Red Devil fighters that Finkleschtein managed if they wanted to work with Fedor. Is it such a stretch that this fight footage would go to Finkleschtein, and not Fedor, for either royalties or to promote his own organization in Russia? Not really, and again, not setting a high standard for representing his fighter.

    Finally, the long layoff due to Finkleschtein’s demands, combined with some of those specific demands, like the ability to hand-pick opponents, truly hurt Fedor’s credibility and marketability over the past few years. Sure, everyone is back on the Fedor bandwagon after the Sylvia fight. But for the past several years he has been criticized non-stop for the past few years amongst even the hardcore fans. This loss in popularity and credibility, along with the long layoff, all due to Finkleschtein’s “superior” management skills, caused Fedor to miss out on several years of valuable marketability in the most lucrative market out there – the United States. Because of Finkleschtein’s demands, Fedor is still a relative unknown in America, when he could have been a star.

    If you ask me, Finkleschtein sounds more like a cheap shakedown artist who puts his own strange interests ahead of those of his fighter. I don’t think he sets a new standard for MMA management, and in fact, his own ego probably cost Fedor (and ultimately himself) millions of dollars.

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  • b.w. says:

    finklestein isnt looking out for fedor’s best intrest, he’s looking out for his own. if he was looking out for fedor, he would have found a way to get fedor in the ufc and a super fight with randy. at 1.5 mil and ppv incentives, its not like dana was trying to “railroad him”. in the end fedor will end up in the ufc, probably for far less than originally offered, unless fedor stops fighting again. fedor is THE best hw in mma, but he’s not the biggest draw. even in pride when he was champ, he wasnt the biggest seller, cro-cop was, and guys like bob sapp were even bigger. everyone always says fedors not in it for the money, but according to yahoo sports, one of the sticking points finklistein had with the ufc signing fedor was that they didnt want fight one person……..tim sylvia. so then he ends up fight sylvia anyway, for no telling how much for sure. i beilve that fedor isnt in it only for the money, but im sure he does care about how much he makes. he’s only human (maybee).

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  • Corey says:

    Drew Rosenhaus of MMA????

    Give me an f’n break…

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  • HexRei says:

    @#10 God, do we have to rehash this already? The sticking point was that Fedor needs to be able to compete in Sambo tournaments. He is a Sambo Master and a national hero. Dana’s contract precluded this, and neither would budge on the issue. It certainly had nothing to do with his agent’s skill or lack thereof.

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  • Chris says:

    If Fedor is making it a priority to own his rights to his footage, its likely he envisions himself promoting his own fights sometime down the line. Perhaps, he got rights to footage in Eastern European countries where Affliction wouldn’t plan to host a show in the near future, but he plans to promote a fight of his own. Then, such a deal is win-win as Affliction can hold onto some cash (this is important given how fragile nascent MMA promotions are), and Fedor can potentially be an Eastern European equivalent of Golden Boy, thus making money unheard of by other fighters.

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  • b.w. says:

    #12. if the sambo tournament was the only or main sticking point in the end for fedor not signing with the ufc, then shame on dana. i just dont think that it was. i think the final stickler was the exclusive contract. dana wont sign a fighter without one and fedor/and or his management wont sign with one. oh well, this is something we’ll have to agree to disagree. i am though looking forward to fedor vs andrei and have to give credit to affliction and finklstein for this one.

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  • BadMonkeyMW says:

    Sweet Jesus #9, write a freakin’ book! If you really want write so much, send your resume into Sam or one of the MMA mags. Otherwise, edit it down a little, Hemingway!

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  • HexRei says:

    @#14

    Yes, but the main issue with the exclusive contract was that it included all combat sports events- including Sambo. Fedor has never had a problem being basically exclusive to one MMA organization, he was exclusive to Rings for his first eleven fights until 2002 and had an exclusive contract to Pride for most of the rest of his career until its dissolution in 2006- the one exception being his Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye fight which he had special arrangements with Pride to do.

    So I doubt that the exclusivity was the issue, the problem is that Pride’s exclusive contract let him compete in Sambo still- and Dana’s didn’t.

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  • Evan says:

    HexRei if I remember right PRIDE had a major problem with him doing Bodog.

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  • mike wolfe says:

    I’ll bet that Fedor screws around with occasional fights in various orgs until he starts getting worried about his age and diminishing skills. Then he’ll make a deal or deals, possibly with UFC, to fight more frequently so he can make some money before it’s too late. Next time UFC negotiates with Fedor and/or his management, they should have some Russian nationals involved for them. The language and cultural differences complicated the situation last time, imo.

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  • stevefiji says:

    What best interest? Hibernating the guy for almost 3 years from the US market which they NOW obviously see as critical to his exposure…. or maybe having him fight donut after donut over this time frame…or maybe giving him rights to video when anybody can see it free online and news services aren’t paying for the footage since they are performing a PR service. Yeah… there are HUGE dollars in owning the Eastern Bloc rights to a Fedor/Sylvia fight in the future years…. maybe i am wrong, but i just don’t think so.

    Or maybe they just wanted him to be able to fight his beloved Sambo… nice to be looking out for his happiness… Well, he fights donuts for 3 years in pure MMA, loses luster, takes hit as a person who runs away from the best fighters and drops down on all the P4P rating…. and i am sure that didn’t make him all too happy. Any way that you cut it, his managers suck eggs and did him no favors at all.

    They are NOT ahead of the curve ground breakers. I mean really, how hard is it to say “pay me in advance!” or i go hibernate him for 3 more years and if you, T-shirt guy want to have even a remote chance to ever experience the thrill of have a second show, you will do that… or your ugly shirts will stop selling in 1 year w/o UFC support. So how taste my Fedor? That’s just common sense against a powerless T-Shirt Guy. Not impressed at all.

    and to @9… i love a truly well written post with many insightful comments… keep it going bro, no one has a monopoly on legitimate ideas and any additions to the main article that are valid are most welcome by me.

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  • ihateemo says:

    @ #9

    Great post. Everything I wanted to say.

    As an elite heavyweight, Fedor deserves the money he earns from fighting. However, using Fedor as some kind of golden goose to force big companies like the UFC to cross-promote with his own organisation clearly shows to me that Finkelstein is more interested in himself. Dana White was right to shoot down that nonsense.

    If anything Finkelstein is the Don King of MMA. Bad for fighters and bad for the sport.

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  • Nate says:

    How can anyone say that agents are bad for any sport? Agents are in EVERY sport. Hockey, Soccer, NBA, Football, and they should be in MMA.

    Without agents, the fighter has no leverage. Since when have you heard a fighter say anything but: “I love to fight, I’ll fight whoever and whenever the UFC says”. They are owned.

    Fighters = 1) just want to fight 2) pray to make good money
    Promotions = 1) make money or die 2) hopefully have good fights, it doesnt matter as long as things are profitable

    Since when have you heard of a company run like a monopoly that plays fair? ATT, Microsoft, Standard Oil, your local cable company.

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  • Nate says:

    #9 has a great argument, well put together. Props all around.

    But I agree with the article & what Adam said.

    Luckily we both want and care about the same thing: The Best MMA fights and promotions, forever.

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