A giant novelty check with a very real prize awaits the winner of the Bellator MMA featherweight grand prix on Saturday.
Bellator 263, which takes place on July 31 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., will conclude the organization’s featherweight tournament. To the victor belong the spoils – the winner of the Patricio Freire vs. A.J. McKee clash will earn a tournament title, the promotion’s featherweight championship strap and a $1 million check. Both finalists will also earn large payouts simply for competing in this bout, as the only two on the card that will clear six figures no matter the result. Current two-division king Freire will take home $250,000 to show, and his win bonus is $1 million; his opponent McKee will earn $150,000, plus the possible $1 million prize. The California State Athletic Commission released the event salaries, as first reported by MMA Junkie on Friday.
The next top earner of the card is two-time 145-pound title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez, who will collect a $61,000 purse, with the possibility of taking home an extra $30,000 with a victory. After that, three other fighters in Bellator stalwart Georgi Karakhanyan ($70,000), ex-lightweight champ Brent Primus ($50,000) and Kiefer Crosbie ($50,000) will reach the mid-five figure mark regardless of the result. Of note, Primus, Crosbie, Luis Muro and Karakhanyan all maintain contracts that do not offer win bonuses, instead earning their full shares upfront.
Other Bellator 263 competitors that can cross the $50,000 salary threshold with wins include Mads Burnell ($26,000 to show, $26,000 to win), who will be meeting the aforementioned Sanchez. The unbeaten Usman Nurmagomedov will make $30,000, plus a possible win bonus of an extra $30,000, by taking on Muro. Lastly, Goiti Yamauchi ($32,000 to show, $32,000 to win) and Christopher Gonzalez ($31,000 to show, $31,000 to win) can also eclipse that mark by defeating the other – their salaries are nearly equal, despite this being Yamauchi’s 16th Bellator outing compared to Gonzalez’ sixth.
Note: The disclosed purses reported by state athletic commissions do not include any performance-based or discretionary bonuses that may be awarded to a fighter by the promotion. Additionally, the reported figures do not reflect any deductions made by the commission for taxes, insurance, etc., and do not include any sponsorship money that a fighter may acquire for their performance.
Bellator 263 Salaries:
Patricio Freire ($250,000 show, $1 million win)
A.J. McKee ($150,000 show, $1 million win)
Emmanuel Sanchez ($61,000 show, $30,000 win)
Mads Burnell ($26,000 show, $26,000 win)
Usman Nurmagomedov ($30,000 show, $30,000 win)
Luis Muro ($26,000 show, $0 win)
Brent Primus ($50,000 show, $0 win)
Islam Mamedov ($10,000 show, $10,000 win)
Goiti Yamauchi ($32,000 show, $32,000 win)
Christopher Gonzalez ($31,000 show, $31,000 win)
Vanessa Porto ($15,000 show, $15,000 win)
Ilara Joanne ($13,000 show, $13,000 win)
Gadzhi Rabadanov ($25,000 show, $25,000 win)
Daniel Carey ($10,000 show, $10,000 win)
Khasan Magomedsharipov ($25,000 show, $25,000 win)
Jonathan Quiroz ($10,000 show, $10,000 win)
Johnny Cisneros ($4,000 show, $4,000 win)
Joshua Jones ($4,000 show, $4,000 win)
Georgi Karakhanyan ($70,000 show, $0 win)
Kiefer Crosbie ($50,000 show, $0 win)
Brian Moore ($25,000 show, $25,000 win)
Jordan Winski ($10,000 show, $10,000 win)