Fedor vs. Hendo- future on the line for both?
This should come as no surprise to anyone. The writing has been on the wall since Zuffa purchased StrikeForce.
It’s no secret Fedor is paid big bucks to fight. The UFC backed a solid gold Brinks truck up to his front door in an effort to secure his services, in turn forcing StrikeForce to offer their first born males to
the russian m M-1 Global. What many might not know is, Hendo is also paid, P A I D! As the Wu famously said-‘Cash Rules Everything Around Me, Cream get the Money, thousand dollar bills yall.’ Hollywood Henderson left the UFC over money issues, only to land at StrikeForce on a king size bed made of 1000 dollar bills. The numbers for Fedor and Hendo have been leaked prior to their upcoming bout. For the main event of Fedor vs. Hendo, the payout is 2.2 million dollars. 800K for Hendo and the remainder for Fedor (not positive those are accurate numbers, they are close). For a comparison, the entire Challengers 17 fight card salaries totaled $96,500. The last UFC event (UFC 132 Cruz vs. Faber) was around 1 million. Those are the entire card salaries, we still don’t know how much the rest of the Fedor vs. Hendo fight card will cost.
Needless to say, Fedor is coming off of 2 losses. The first loss can be overlooked on it’s own (everybody gets caught) however, when you add it with the second loss, (a brutal beating at the hands of Big Foot Silva) Fedor doesn’t look like the HW King of lore. Hendo on the other hand is coming off of a KO victory over Rafael Cavalcante for the StrikeForce LHW Belt, his second KO victory in as many fights. 2 KO’s, Hendo should be the man right? Wrong, sadly, Dana White is proving to be correct once again. The UFC passed on resigning Hendo due to his lack of drawing power versus Hendo’s perceived worth. The numbers bear out Dana White’s assertion. Hendo hasn’t brought the numbers, undercard fighters have drawn better number in terms of viewers consistently. As great as Hendo is, his star power is low, for whatever reason, he seems unable to cross that barrier to superstardom, or even stardom for that matter.
Lets put this into perspective, Hendo is considered overpaid (I don’t think he is, good on him for squeezing every dollar out of StrikeForce, the man is a legend he deserves a payday), Fedor is overpaid. That is just a fact, the
russian m M-1 Global deal StrikeForce was forced chose to sign is crippling. Fedor seems to be at the tail end of his career, he himself has considered retiring in the past 6 months. Hendo is pushing 40, how man years does his body have left? With those facts in mind, Zuffa has said that the loser will be cut. In Hendo’s position, he won’t be resigned. Fedor’s contract will be cut and he will be released. I’m betting the best case scenario for Zuffa is Hendo KO’s Fedor, thus releasing them from the russian m M-1 Global’s stranglehold contractual obligations, thus giving them the ability to play hardball with Hendo once again, which will most likely lead Hendo to sign with another promotion. Boom, kill two ducks with one chicken.
In one fell swoop, Zuffa will have released a sizable portion of their payroll, gotten rid of Dana White’s biggest failure (not being able to sign Fedor at the height of his carer) and handled the Hendo contract situation. Fedor is the only one in this scenario I see getting the short end of the stick. Hendo will command a hefty price tag which some promotion will happily pay. The UFC cleans house. M-1 Global still has their Showtime deal. Fedor will be considered done. If he chooses to continue fighting, his price tag will be considerably lower, M-1 Global will lose it’s
golden goose leverage bargaining power to force negotiate cross promotions with any promotion willing to sign Fedor.
If Fedor wins (it must be a spectacular win), Zuffa is screwed. They will be stuck with Fedor until he loses again (expect M-1 to try and renegotiate their contract, again for the 13th time) paying that hefty wage each time he graces the Octagon. The LHW Belt will lose what little lustre it held, with Hendo gone, they will need to do another elimination bout for the eventual LHW Championship bout to crown a new champ. Effectively cementing the belt as ‘paper’.
Come Saturday night will Dana White be celebrating or crying? Will this be te last time we see ‘The Last Emperor’ in the cage? Will Hendo deliver a highlight reel KO? I don’t have an answer for any of those questions, I do know I’ll be watching on the edge of my seat Saturday night.