Sardor Babayanov’s career accomplishments to this point apparently haven’t resulted in an especially lucrative contract with ONE Championship.
The unbeaten welterweight made his professional debut last year and stopped Shokhzkakhon Tukhliev with strikes in the first round under the Muradov Professional League banner, which is a major promotion in Babayanov’s native Uzbekistan.
Another first-round finish against Alikhan Batyrgaliev at Octagon 41 in Kazakhstan earlier this year brought Babayanov’s record to 2-0 and set him up to join ONE Championship, but the pay structure for his expected promotional debut in November has raised a few eyebrows.
Atakulov MMA Bearsclub released Sardor Babayanov's ONE contract which says he's making $1.5K/$1.5K for his promotional debut. pic.twitter.com/iXFpS0Rvhn
— Al Zullino (@phre) October 4, 2023
The contract for Babayanov’s debut is admittedly for one of ONE Championship’s weekly Friday Fights events in Bangkok rather than one of the promotion’s major cards, which typically have a bigger focus on MMA bouts. However, considering how contentious a topic fighter pay is, the numbers from the contract are still quite surprising.
ONE Championship has made major strides in the combat sports landscape over the last few years thanks to its focus on offering a variety of high-level striking and grappling contests in addition to MMA.
The promotion’s financial backing and reported profit margins have faced some scrutiny, and it will be interesting to see if the release of Babayanov’s contract will result in any sort of response or encourage other fighters to comment on the subject.
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