It’s taken some prying, but finally UFC champ Jose Aldo has voiced his opinion on the Reebok sponsorship deal and how it impacts fighters. In an interview with the Brazilian outlet Combate -translated by BloodyElbow – the king of all featherweights pulls no punches when asked his thoughts on it.
“First of all. It’s shit. Everybody has been talking about it. We, athletes, are losing a lot. They said we would be like NBA or NFL athlete, but that doesn’t apply, because we are not paid monthly like they are. It doesn’t matter how much we will be paid, all athletes who had sponsors are losing money. That’s a huge setback for us. We live for each fight, we have to keep fighting and nobody fights more than three times a year. Not a champion, anyway. Even the value they measured doesn’t match what our sponsors were paying us. That is great for the UFC, but not for the fighters. I see a lot of athletes losing too much. If you are a beginner there is not that big of a hurry to get paid, but it still isn’t that much. Not enough to get them by at least. I don’t like it. Ever since they started talking about this, I asked to see what they were offering us and I never thought it was interesting, especially for the champions.”
Aldo is in a far better position than most, given that he’s the champ and commands a certain salary just to show up. And, thanks to the promotional mojo challenger Conor McGregor has added to the equation, Aldo should be making a boatload of money the next time he shows up for work. Of course, all of this means that Aldo didn’t have to voice his opinion in such a negative fashion, and did so because he felt strongly for the plight other fighters will now be suffering due to the loss of all other sponsors.
In other words, props to him for speaking up.