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Jon Jones’ manager speaks out on UFC sponsorship criticism

Since the story broke late yesterday on the UFC being the sole sponsor of Jon Jones there have been many opinions, mainly against the UFC promotion for ‘favoritism.’ Today, Jon Jones manager, Malki Kawa spoke on the turn of events that lead to this deal, and what he hopes will come from the exclusive UFC sponsorship.

“Jon went on the record and said he has a vision and a goal of being sponsored by Nike. So when we were doing our marketing strategy, talking about what route to go, we figured that as opposed to doing something with an MMA sponsor and jeopardizing a potential deal with Nike or Adidas or Reebok or Under Armour, we would pass on the endemic sponsors that are in MMA right now. That was really how it happened. The UFC didn’t contact us and say, ‘Hey, we’re interested in putting Jon in our shirts and shorts. Let’s get into a bidding war.’ That’s not what happened. It’s nothing like that. It was our decision to not go in with any other sponsors”

Jon Jones and camp seem to be straying away from what the business world would call an ‘MMA sponsor’ and go for global sponsorship signings. Before the deal with the UFC reached fruition Malki says Jones and himself were in negotiations with numerous companies, but ended them so as not to conflict with possible future preferable sponsorship partners. Malki said to look at Georges St-Pierre for an example as to what Jon Jones plans to accomplish.

“You notice Georges St-Pierre came out for a long time in plain shorts and just an Affliction shirt and never really had any sponsors. It was just part of his objective to be sponsored by certain sponsors. We just decided to do our own thing, as well. I can pretty much bank on the fact that with a victory this Saturday, by the end of the year Jon will be sporting a major shoe company’s brand. Whether it’s Nike, Under Armor, Reebok or Adidas, one of those four companies will be on Jon Jones.”

So for now it looks like Jones is coming out the victor in this deal. He has reduced his headache in terms of multiple sponsor and who he has to thank after fights and in interviews, while keeping himself open to having the sponsors he dreams of.


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