Earlier this month, in the co-main event of UFC 227, Henry Cejudo did the unthinkable, and swiped the UFC flyweight title from the waist of seemingly unbeatable champion Demetrious Johnson. While this was a career-changing win for Cejudo, however, it did not come with a career-changing payday.
Instead, Henry Cejudo’s trainer Eric Albarracin says the fighter took a pay cut for this fight with Johnson.
”To tell you the truth, Henry did not get a lot of money for this fight,” Albarracin told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani this week (transcript via MMAMania). “Everybody told him ‘Don’t take the fight.’ No one knows this but Henry had a very low … almost took a pay-cut to take this fight.”
”They were like ‘Well, you don’t have to take it, but if you don’t they’re gonna give it to ‘Formiga.’ And then Pettis and Benavidez hadn’t fought yet, so it could have been the winner of that. And then TJ, so that’s three fights, it could be a year and a half, two years. So Henry goes ‘You know what, I’m not in it for the money. I’m in it for the legacy. I’m taking this fight now, I don’t care what the money is.’”
”And he took the fight on a … he didn’t really like, he didn’t really negotiate anything. Everybody was saying you shouldn’t be taking it for less than this much. He’s probably fought for the lowest salary for a title for a long time. [He] probably got paid less than Sage Northcutt.”
For context, Henry Cejudo was paid $55,000 to show and $35,000 to win for his next most recent fight, a decision defeat of Sergio Pettis (via TheSportsDaily.com). He was paid an additional $5,000 for wearing Reebok. Sage Northcutt’s last disclosed payday, meanwhile, was $80,000 to show, $80,000 to win, plus an extra $5,000 from Reebok. So unless he got a raise, Cejudo was already paid less than Northcutt.
Are you surprised to hear Henry Cejudo took a pay cut for his historic UFC 227 win over Demetrious Johnson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/24/2018.