“I’m not sure if it was just me, as I am admittedly one who tends to overanalyze things, but there was something in the air at the post-fight press conference for UFC Fight Night “MacDonald vs. Thompson” on Saturday in Ottawa, Ontario. Aside from the buoyant optimism of Stephen Thompson — who, I might add, comes off very much like a glimpse of Sage Northcutt 13 years in the future — a sullen, pensive atmosphere persisted.
Maybe it was how Director of Operations for UFC Canada Tom Wright started the conference by innocuously clarifying that the bonus winners would be getting paid in American dollars, not Canadian. “Oh, U.S.?” Donald Cerrone asked jokingly, which would have been easy to dismiss as just a joke if it weren’t for his later comments. It was an important distinction to make, as $50,000 CAD is in the range of $39,000 USD.
On the one hand, it’s weird to consider that a difference of roughly $11,000 would be a big deal for professional athletes at the highest level of their sport, since we’re generally accustomed to the idea that they are all comfortably wealthy, if not excessively so. On the other hand, that difference between $50,000 Canadian and $50,000 American is about as much as Joanne Calderwood was guaranteed to make in her last fight. Think about that for a second; the show money for one of the brightest talents and more recognizable names of a division can be swallowed up in the exchange rate of a fight bonus…”