Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos Says Mike Tyson Owes Him $50K| But Can He Collect?

Image Credit: SunSport Twitter Screen Shot

Junior Do Santos is not feeling the baddest man on the planet, “Iron” Mike Tyson.

The former UFC heavyweight champion, who had an excellent run for the championship from 2008-2012, came up in the era of multiple performance-based bonuses.

Bonus Life

The UFC issues a Performance of the Night bonus to the athletes who put on the best and most exciting individual performances. However, during Dos Santos’ prime, there were extra bonuses like Submission of the Night and the Knockout of the Night.

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At $50,000, for every UFC fighter specializing in finishing their opponents, the now-discontinued bonus amounts are truly missed.

Just ask Junior Dos Santos, who felt that Mike Tyson, intentionally or unintentionally, stopped him from attaining one of his bonuses.

“Back in the day, Mike Tyson took from me $50,000 because of Dana White!” said Dos Santos to The Sun.

“When I fought Mark Hunt, I had two Bonuses of the Night — Best Fight of the Night and Best Knockout of the Night, and Mike Tyson was there watching the fight, and at the press conference after the fights, Dana White said, ‘Junior Dos Santos has won two bonuses of the night. Best Fight of the Night, and Best Knockout of the Night.’

“But I was asking Mike Tyson, and he told me to give the Knockout of the Night to somebody else!”

Mike Tyson is definitely an influencer, but using his power of persuasion to subvert some paper from Dos Santos’ pocket?

Say It Ain’t So, Mike

“He said, ‘Why give two bonuses to just one guy?’ So he took away from me $50,000. So he owes me $50,000! He deprived me of that. But it was normal back then to have two bonuses on the night, and sometimes some guys got three!”

At UFC 160 back in 2013, Dos Santos knocked out MMA veteran Mark Hunt via a spinning hook kick in the third round. The two both won a Fight of The Night bonus for their war.

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However, after four knockout losses in a row, Dos Santos was released by the UFC last March. Still, Dos Santos feels some kind of way about losing half of $100K.

“The fight was really good I went three rounds with Mark Hunt, and in the end I knocked him out with a spinning back kick. They should have given me the two bonuses. For me, it was a lot, but for the UFC, maybe not.”

However, Dos Santos also blames Dana White for not honoring the bonus at the time.

“It showed a lot the personality of Dana White, because the UFC is so big and if Mike Tyson says someone else should get the Knockout of the Night, then the UFC should have given an extra bonus to someone else but still should have given me mine. They just took it away from me.”

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Mike Tyson is the youngest fighter ever to win a heavyweight boxing championship. Tyson is one of the best heavyweights of all time, and he certainly is the most notorious. He has a cult following within the fight business, especially mixed martial arts, where he is an icon for his in-competition ferocity.

Now the real question is will Dos Santos be able to collect?

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.