Contract on the Line in Ottawa

ufc-fn89It is a new phenomenon in the world of MMA that many of the biggest leagues in North America have been dealing with for a while.

Free agency was the start of a new world in sports as it created a new balance of power in sports where the owners couldn’t just pay whatever they wanted and keep their best players.

Instead, they now had to compete with other teams to pay players what they thought they deserved.

Since the establishment of free agency parity in the major leagues has increased while player salaries have gone up dramatically.

MMA is still a young sport that is only beginning to develop into something resembling a sport close to the big sports.

That includes the idea of free agency throughout the sport, and although it works differently it still has a similar outcome or at least fighters hope it will.

In the UFC one of the biggest criticisms in recent years has been the pay for the fighters as some earn around $1,000 a fight.

Even if you are an active fighter that is not nearly enough to live off of and so those fighters have to take on another job.

That cuts in on training which doesn’t help them move up the rankings and into the better-paying fight slots on cards.

It is a tough way to make a living and although the biggest fighters and headliners earn enough to live off of one fight there are much more just struggling to get by on what they get paid.

These fighters entering a bidding process for their services are not going to do much but when bigger names are doing just that it might just help everyone.

Fighters sign a contract with the UFC for a certain amount of fights, which includes other incentives for performance.

Once that contract is up they have the ability to negotiate a new contract and for years, it was always an easy decision because the UFC was the only good promotion on the scene.

With a few more promotions around things are beginning to change and fighters are letting their contracts expire and starting a bidding war between these promotions.

Not many of the biggest names have done this but heading into UFC Fight Night 89 one was about to with the main event making a massive difference.

Rory MacDonald was in the midst of negotiating a new contract when those negotiations broke down.

He made a decision to fight out his contract and negotiate a new contract after the fight.

That fight was the main event at UFC Fight Night 89 in his home country as MacDonald went into the night betting on himself.

A good showing and he could ask for more money from the UFC with more control over negotiations.mma-sidebar.fw

A loss would take away all of the power from MacDonald and whatever the UFC wanted to offer was likely what MacDonald was going to take to stay in the UFC.

Of course, other promotions might have offered him a big contract regardless but MacDonald was hoping to earn a big new contract with a win at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa.

Standing in his way was Stephen Thompson who had seen his own rise towards the title.

Thompson had gone through his UFC career with only one loss and had finished five of his six wins in the promotion.

His awkward karate style has made all of his fights exciting and has made him one of the fighters to watch as a future star.

He continued his run to the title but likely needed one more win and he looked to get it against MacDonald.

The fight, on the surface, looked like a potential fight of the year candidate as two fighters that know how to put everything out there were set to face-off.

It wasn’t the great fight that many were expecting as once again it was the awkward style of Thompson that kept the fight without much action.

MacDonald clearly had a plan coming in to try to stay away from Thompson’s kicks and range but that plan didn’t work.

Thompson was able to land his kicks and punches while MacDonald couldn’t seem to counter anything or land anything of himself.

It was simply not an exciting fight with both fighters circling around and Thompson landing just enough to take the win.

Now MacDonald goes into some unknowns as he bet on himself in this fight in order to gain a new contract with a bigger payday from the UFC.

That performance won’t do it and it might make his free agency a little more interesting as a promotion like Bellator could offer him a lot to jump ship making him the biggest fighter to move promotions and possibly kick-starting a new free agency era in MMA.

Meanwhile, Thompson took the win in a good, although not great, showing that gave him the longest winning streak in the division.

He will likely see the winner of the next welterweight title fight between Robbie Lawlor and Tyron Woodley as his big win has put him right in the title conversation.

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