The California State Athletic Commission has released the official fighter payroll for “Strikeforce: Evolution”, which took place at the HP Pavilion on Dec. 19 in San Jose.
The king of the cage, the man taking home the most money for the night, despite being KTFO by Scott Smith was Cung Le. A sweet $150,000 paycheck should help ease Cung’s pain of suffering his first professional defeat.
On the other end of the spectrum was Daisuke Nakamura. This Japanese Pride and Dream veteran received only $200* (yes – two hundred dollars) for his unanimous decision loss to Justin Wilcox in their preliminary card bout.
The total fighter payroll for “Strikeforce: Evolution” was $481,200.
One fighter whose paycheck took a hit was Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. After knocking out heavyweight opponent “Iron” Mike Whitehead, Lawal had a little in-cage celebration by “poppin’ bottles”, or rather Rockstar Energy Drink (pink colored), and pouring it all over his head. This did not sit well with commission officials, who fined him 10% of his purse.
Official “Strikeforce: Evolution” fighter payroll:
- Scott Smith: $55,000 (no win bonus) def. Cung Le: $150,000
- Gilbert Melendez: $55,000 (no win bonus) def. Josh Thomson: $30,000
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza: $65,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus) def. Matt Linland: $50,000
- Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus) def. Mike Whitehead: $30,000
- Antwain Britt: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus) def. Scott Lighty: $5,000
- Justin Wilcox: $5,000 (no win bonus) def. Daisuke Nakamura: $200
- Alex Crispim: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus) def. A.J. Fonseca: $2,000
*Editor’s note: I have still not been able to find a reasonable explanation for Nakamura’s ridiculously low paycheck. I do have an email in to Strikeforce officials and will update this if I get an explanation.