The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s agreement with Reebok officially begins this summer, and the promotion confirmed some details today.
UFC fighters and their corners will be required to wear UFC & Reebok co-branded uniforms during bouts and in the lead-up to their bouts. Most ways that fighters have been sponsored will become a thing of the past.
In return, they will be compensated (mostly) on the basis of seniority:
- Fighters with 1 to 5 bouts will receive $2,500 per fight
- Fighters with 6 to 10 bouts will receive $5,000 per fight
- Fighters with 11 to 15 bouts will receive $10,000 per fight
- Fighters with 16 to 20 bouts will receive $15,000 per fight
- Fighters with 21 bouts or more will receive $20,000 per fight
- Title challengers will receive $30,000 per fight
- Champions will receive $40,000 per fight
In a report in MMA Weekly, Lorenzo Fertitta insists that fighters will benefit from the agreement, noting “the only revenue coming through from Reebok that is not included to be distributed to the fighters is being used to cover direct operating costs for this program.”
After making the announcement of the partnership, UFC President Dana White told Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting the promotion “wasn’t making a dime” off the Reebok deal. He vaguely described the deal as part of “taking this to the next level.”
Response has been mixed. Some observers describe hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for prominent fighters.
UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub lashed out on Twitter, claiming the deal will cost him dearly:
Brent Brookhouse, Assistant Editor of MMA Junkie, described a similar scenario:
One ranked guy I know made around $180k in sponsors last year. Based on # of fights he’d be set to make $15k for same work this year
— Brent Brookhouse (@brentbrookhouse) May 6, 2015
“I don’t think it’s bad,” former UFC fighter Bristol Marunde said in a Facebook post. “For some guys that had friends who sponsored they used to get more. But for other fighters that don’t have a big draw and don’t want managers, etc it’s great… $2500 isn’t bad for 1st UFC fight and you don’t have to chase down sponsors.”
The deal goes into effect in July of this year.