Tim Elliott refused to agree to a catchweight fight with his opponent Pietro Manga yesterday after the fighter failed to make the 125lb flyweight limit at the UFC On FOX 26 weigh-ins.
In doing so, Elliott lost out on the possibility of his win bonus, which makes up half of his paycheque, plus the opportunity to take 20% of his opponents $10,000 salary, and that wasn’t any easy decision to make for the cash-strapped fighter.
“It hurts,” Elliott admitted to bloodyelbow.com. “I just bought a house in Las Vegas, had a very expensive training camp, brought training guys out, did a lot of work, and paid a lot of money to get the very best training that I could possibly get. And now I’m getting half my paycheck.
“I have a two-year-old daughter — somebody that relies on me to make this a career. I don’t fight because I like to fight; that’s part of it, but this is a job, and I’ve worked very hard to get to where I’m at, and I feel like I should be compensated. I always make weight; I’ve taken fights on short notice, as well. That’s part of the game. If you can’t make the weight, you don’t say that you can. He said that he could make the weight – they asked him several times, they always do – and he couldn’t do it. It’s very frustrating.
With that in mind, why exactly did Elliott opt out of the catchweight bout?
“If he was closer, I would’ve accepted the fight. But to get 20 percent of his measly $10,000, I worked too hard for that. That wouldn’t cover my training camp; not even close. So no, I don’t want 20 percent of his nothing pay.
“The thing is, if he was making the money that I was making, then I would’ve taken the 10 percent. But this was his first fight in the UFC. He fights guys once every two years in England — old, washed up guys with terrible records. He has zero notable wins. He was getting paid exactly what he deserved, which was $10k and $10k, I think. So no, I don’t want $2,000 to fight a fat boy who can’t make weight. It’s not a smart career move. There was a time where I would have; I’d fight anybody, anytime. I was that guy, I was the go-getter, I wanted to make a name for myself. But them days are over. Now it’s time to be wiser and older in the sport, and I think most of the good guys would’ve done the same — but I think they would expect their compensation, as well.”
Elliott’s team are still campaigning to get the UFC to pay him his bonus money, but the fact he turned down the catchweight opportunity is likely to count against him, so he’s fairly certain he won’t be getting it and is now looking to make up for it by getting back in the cage as soon as possible.
“I need to fight. This is a job, and if you don’t work, you don’t get paid — or if your opponent doesn’t make weight, you don’t get paid. It’s not a guaranteed paycheck. If they wouldn’t have found a replacement, I wouldn’t have gotten any money — no show money, no money to pay for camp. I’d like to fight as soon as possible and get the money I deserve.”