Outside of their fight purses, the other potentially big way these warriors make money is through sponsors. The way those sponsors justify shelling out the cash to the fighters? Having their sponsored fighter walkout wearing the shirts and fight shorts.
This week, we’ve heard both good and bad news for UFC fighters in the world of sponsorship.
Silver Star Casting Company recently picked up Forrest Griffin, and designed his shirt (pictured above) for UFC 106. Silver Star have been impressive in picking up fighters – and their casting some of he UFC’s best. Their roster now includes Lyoto Machida, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans, Rich Franklin, Clay Guida, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and even the world’s best boxer, Manny Pacquaio.
Ecko Unlimited has also made inroads in the world of MMA, sponsoring Miguel Torres, Michael Bisping, Frank Mir, and in the boxing world, recently dismantled Miguel Cotto at the hands of Manny Pacquaio. Ecko is already giving back to MMA. Torres and Mir both shot Ecko ads encouraging New York to make MMA legal. Of course, MMA in New York would help their bottom line, but that doesn’t mean the ads aren’t a good thing. Few other clothing companies have invested in such a cause.
RVCA, who sponsors Fedor Emelianenko, and Clinch Gear, which is owned by Dan Henderson, have reportedly been banned from the Octagon. RVCA’s only major UFC fighters are BJ Penn and Vitor Belfort, who are unlikely to have trouble finding new sponsors.
Clinch Gear, which was likely kicked out because of the UFC’s contract dispute with Henderson and his rumored deal with Strikeforce.