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Ryan Jimmo on UFC’s Reebok Deal: “It’s Become an Abusive Relationship”

Ryan Jimmo on UFC’s Reebok Deal: “It’s Become an Abusive Relationship”

Ryan Jimmo won’t lack experience when he steps into the Octagon this weekend, to face Francimar Barroso at UFC Fight Night 67. While it’s his first trip to Brazil (he enjoyed several trips to South America in his days as a karate competitor), the fight will mark the Canadian light heavyweight’s seventh appearance in the UFC in the last three years.

Unfortunately, the katateka has become better known for his candor against the UFC’s recent changes in sponsorship policy than for his in-cage success.

On The Parting Shot Podcast with James Lynch and Carlin Bardsley, Jimmo expressed his differences with Dana White’s recent explanation of the new agreement with Reebok.

“It became apparent to everyone who saw those numbers that this has become an abusive relationship,” Jimmo said. “It’s a very lopsided, abusive relationship and that deal was made without any of our consent.”

“NFL, MLB, the NHL, they have group negotiation,” he explained. “They have player’s associations where the can negotiate with the NFL (etc.) and have a little more power. We don’t have that. Being owners, they’re going to have a different philosophy. They’re going to want to save as much money as possible. But that’s going to hurt us.”

Jimmo claimed that the gap between owner and fighter is so great, “they could double every fighters’ purse and not even notice a difference… they could be the greatest Santa Clauses in the world, and they’re choosing to starve people.”

To further his career, Jimmo recently made the switch from Blackzilians to Power MMA, and feels the change will pay dividends this weekend against Barroso.

“Blackzilians has a lot of guys who like to stand and bang,” he explains. “At Power MMA we have a lot of wrestlers. So even in that, it’s like night and day.”

But it wasn’t just a matter of technique, according to Jimmo, who will be fighting in Brazil for the first time.

“It’s a different kind of human, gym atmosphere. Blackzilians wasn’t the right fit for me, the way they looked at training. The methodology behind the organization wasn’t where my mind was.”

The full podcast can be heard here.

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