UFC puzzled at Khalidov's rejection of 20/20 offer

source: fightersonlymag.com
 

Chechen fighter Mamed Khalidov boasts a five-fight win streak, a 25-4-2 record, wins over Matt Lindland, Igor Pokrajac, and Jorge Santiago, and a fan friendly style. The star of Polish promotion KSW makes very good money for the sub-UFC circuit, a reported $30,000 per fight, plus sponsorships.

However, when Khalidov received a four-fight UFC offer beginning at 20&20, he referred it as 'laughable' and 'humiliating' apparently hoping for something closer to Michael Bisping money.

The response was puzzling to the UFC, as reported by Fighters Only.

“If you look at the conditions for the first and second fight, they are not really acceptable. If they were decent then I would accept. I'm not saying that everyone knows who I am, but I'm not anonymous,” said Khalidov.

Michael Bisping for one fight gets about $500,000 and is lower in the rankings. I understand that he is a star there and has taken time for the money. On the other hand I can not agree to humiliating terms."

“UFC expects spectacular fights… I have proved by fighting in EliteXC, in the US, in Japan, that I can fight this way and I do not think I need to prove it once again… I know that this is a business but if they do not see me as a player worth big money, it makes no sense to fight there.”

Fighters Only spoke to a source on the Zuffa side who said that Khalidov’s comments were puzzling considering that he was offered a 20&20 deal. His first fight, if he won it, would be worth $40,000. If he lost he would get $20,000 - less than his KSW rate but more than UFC newcomers who are unknown in the US.

“With all due respect to Khalidov his claim to be higher in the rankings than Michael Bisping is in itself laughable,” says the source. “Who has beaten really?”

As of now the offer is still on the table for Khalidov but Fighters Only has learned that the financial terms will not be altered. He can either accept the $20,000/$20,000 four-fight deal or elect to remain with KSW.

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Recent Comments »

markiz site profile image  

6/12/12 11:22 AM by markiz

Actually lands of hopes and dreams and other fairly tales are out of the window too. Because he's already in one. Coming to Poland from his native Chechenya (a country where shit more often hit the fan than it doesn't) he made his cindarella story here. Poland is far from a land of hopes, but for Khalidov it became one. Not only he's not living in a warzone anymore, he also got his education and very succesfull career going on here. Since he's a family man in his early thirties, wealthy one, by any standards he doesn't need another land of hopes.Realistically speaking, given his position it would be very hard to make more money in the UFC than he is making here, even in long term. Starting like any other foreign unknown foreign fighter he would have to pull Jon Jone-esque style of career to do that. Lots of wins in a spectacular fashion.And given his style he may as well go 0-2 in the UFC and be cut, then all of his myth here will go out of the window.To sum it up - from Khalidov's point of view it's all about money vs ambition. No doubt his managers will do everything they can to keep him in KSW ( cuz they may well go out of buisiness without him) so they offer will surpass everything is avaiable from the states. I just hope he will try and go for it.

DamnSevern site profile image  

6/12/12 10:03 AM by DamnSevern

 ^great post

markiz site profile image  

6/12/12 10:00 AM by markiz

Actually Khalidov's situation from buisiness point of view is quite complicated. I'm not surprised that he's not that fast to take UFC offer at all.Over the last 2 years MMA has become quite big thing in Poland - thanks to Mariusz Pudzianowski and his flying circus - freakshows with this guy created mainstream interest and it kinda accidentally sparked interest in MMA and especially Khalidov.Before or after the freakshow people saw this guy with a beard doing some stuff straight out of movies and so it caught on. Khalidov became mainstream celebrity in here. Even people with no interest in the sport whatsoever know who he is. After the last KSW his situation got even more complicated, because he made slightly larger TV numbers than Pudzilla freakshow. Overall interest in freakshow is going down, while for Khalidov fights it's goin up.He's reportedly paid around 30K for a KSW fight, but he's in a so good position right now he can demand at least twice that for his next KSW apperance maybe even three times as much. That makes 20+20 UFC offer less attractive. Also if Strikeforce or Bellator were to put up non-exclusive contracts for him, even for less money it would make sense, cuz he could still make huge bucks in Poland.As far as UFC offer goes - 20+20 is very good for a fighter his caliber. That's without a question, but only if you look at him purely as a fighter.He's actually more than that and I don't thing Zuffa guys realize Khalidov's true worth.The guy is a key to new blossomin market. Right now we've got 2 events in a mainstream TV. Both doing good numbers - even without a freakshow fight or Khalidov, KSW did 2.7 million viewers. KSW cards are generally speaking abysmal. It's 7 fights, 2 maybe 3 good ones, 1 freak show, the rest is utterly shit. Yet the numbers are good, venues are sold out, money is flowing like crazy.Now if I was dfw, I'd look into this a bit further than wikipedia and youtube. UFC card in Sweden with Gustafsson did very good. Similar card in Poland with Khalidov as a main or co-main event, with proper TV deal and promotion = 20-25 K venue sold out, 4-5 million watchin at home, maybe even more and that's huge money even by UFC standards. The guy doesn't need to be built up either. His name is already so well established here, that you could match him up with anybody and if he won in a spectacular fashion you've got a guaranteed sequel in a matter of months. KSW guys realize that and since they're also his managers that's not good at all. edit : sorry for the structure, I've edited the post and html shit kicked in

12 site profile image  

6/11/12 4:52 PM by 12

what is the attendace of the events he fights @? whats his tv rating in poland when he fights. how popular is he ? $20,000 and you get a into a new country,dana will spend more money on the co jet in 6 hrs of travel

12 site profile image  

6/11/12 4:39 PM by 12

lol at a strikeforce offer

fightharder site profile image  

6/11/12 4:23 PM by fightharder

Thanks for the answer Steve. Should have been pretty obvious to me ofcourse. Still i do not understand the reluctance from the casino's to at least take the sportsbooks online.Sponsorship from them would really help Ufc fighters.Anyways i thought a few of the bigger sites where able get involved supporting fighter but then tge whole Irs debacle happened and the had to pull out.Once again thx for the post

Steve4192 site profile image  

6/11/12 1:57 PM by Steve4192

Most gambling sites are banned because the brick and mortar casinos that many MMA events are held at do not want to advertise the competition.  Strikeforce was able to do it because they didn't hold events at casinos, but Bellator and Zuffa both hold tons of events at casinos.

fightharder site profile image  

6/11/12 9:11 AM by fightharder

Listen,First of all if you really believe Sonnen would fight for free that i really have a hard time taking anything you are saying serious (which would be a sad thing because a lot of the things you say make sense).That being said i was not discussing the ''fairness'' of the offer (the concept of fair is extremely relative so i rather not go into a whole discussion about the fairness of fighters pay/contract and who's situation is comparable to the other). I was just saying that the offer does not make good business sense. You are asking a guy to basically throw away his security and comparable coisy financial deal for taking a shot at the top. Since he is already of a certain age i could respect it if he would choose the security.Look i rather have Khalidov in the UFC as well. I am not an extreme fanboy but i do think he is an entertaining fighter. But i would totally understand if if he would chose not come to do UFC under these terms. Personally,if i was his business manager i would only recommend it if i know the relationship with KSW and the polish sponsors is so solid that i pretty much know i would be locked into a similar arrangement if the USA deals fall through after two fights.What bothers me most about the deal is the sponsorship Khalidov supposedly will get when joining the UFC. First of all he is not the most marketable guy for a USA based companies and second of all what sponsors really. I personally think the sponsoring environment for UFC fighters is still pretty bad. You would think that things would change with the Fox deal but i personally have not seen this at all.Would appreciate if someone has some more insight and can prove me wrong but i personally think the poker-websites provided the best sponsor opportunities for MMA fighters and all those deals seem to have fallen through.I also do not understand why there isn't more sponsoring of MMA fighters by sport betting websites?

NorthFromHere site profile image  

6/11/12 8:55 AM by NorthFromHere

Who the hell knows what's the truth in this. Most of the talk is just KSW=Khalidov's management's trying to get a better price for their golden boy imo.

john joe site profile image  

6/11/12 8:31 AM by john joe

why on earth would anyone take a strikeforce offer - from zuffa, no less - rather than a UFC offer? That makes no sense. Also theres no way that Strikeforce - owned by zuffa - is offering more money than the UFC. Bellator could maybe match 20/20 but Rebney is careful with the purse strings so i guess its still between UFC and KSW for Khalidov