Extra expenses not ideal, but Garrett Armfield makes case for early UFC fights overseas

Garrett Armfield has a cautionary tale for fighting overseas – but not one that comes with any regrets.

While the specifics vary based on country, it’s long been known that fighting internationally is not always all it’s cracked up to be – particularly from a financial standpoint. Whether fighters from outside America are coming to the States, or American fighters are taking bouts overseas, they’re going to be hit with additional income taxes.

Additionally, in most cases, the UFC only pays expenses for the fighter and one corner for an international fight. So if Armfield wants his full normal team with him outside the country, he’s out of pocket for the excess.

Along with what often can be a difficult task on fight night in enemy territory, the financial hurdles make taking international fights hard, particularly for fighters early in their careers. But Armfield thinks of it as an investment in his career.

After a short-notice UFC debut loss to David Onama nearly two years ago, a pair of cancellations had Armfield in need of a fight a year later – and he took one against Toshiomi Kazama in Singapore so he could get back to work.

“I think they support us 100 percent: Go fight in a beautiful city and go on a cool resort and they pay for you and one (other) flight,” Armfield recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “But to be transparent, I did pay for my other corner to go with, and that was a pretty pricey thing. And then Singapore did take 15 percent. So I did have a lot of expenses with that fight, but I think it was a huge moment for my career – and I hadn’t fought in a year, either.

“When I first got the Singapore call, Trey was like, you know, it’s not a bad fight, but we can go fight in Vegas. It’s way easier and puts you on a different card. But for some reason, I was like, ‘Nope. Nope. We’ve got to do this.’ So I’m glad I took that.”

Armfield knocked out Kazama in the first round. In January this year, he won his second straight with an upset of two-time “Ultimate Fighter” winner Brad Katona in Canada.

And while that fight was in Toronto, meaning just a few hours in the air from Armfield’s Florida base compared to Singapore, it still was international. That almost certainly means Armfield (10-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will be glad to be in Las Vegas next week when he takes on Brady Hiestand (7-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) at UFC on ESPN 58.

“I feel like there’s two ways of looking at it. They could definitely financially (support us more). There’s other ways – like, they could pay for a second equipment or whatever,” Armfield said. “But at the same time, I really believe in the thing that this is an opportunity, not a career. I really agree with that statement, so I’m here to take every opportunity that I can.

“It doesn’t matter how much money it’s going to cost. I know everything’s going to be OK in the end. If you love what you’re doing, you’re good at it, you’re going to make some real money one day. So if I’ve got to pay the expenses up front now to go show my burn out to the world, it’s investments for now for a bigger payout whenever I am a top-five fighter. Whatever it may be, wherever my prime is, that I know the money will follow, so I’m here to invest myself and fight wherever against whoever. (I’ll) go to Australia and (taxes can) take 40 percent of my money. I don’t care. I’m here to be a fighter’s fighter.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie