(RIP, @XBOX mouthpiece. / Screencap via MMATKO)
When the UFC and Reebok announced their six-year uniform agreement at the beginning of this month, we could only speculate at how good or bad this would be for the UFC’s fighters, based on the few details that were available. The reported “tier system,” of paying fighters according to their official media rankings (LOL, SMDH) was still a mystery, in terms of how exactly the pie would be divvied up.
But of course, CagePotato is just a mid-level MMA blog trying to find its way in this world with zero access to Zuffa executives. The crazy part is, the UFC’s own stars are still in dark about what the sponsorship agreement will mean for their finances, two weeks after the announcement was first made.
Case in point: MMAJunkie published an interview with Demetrious Johnson yesterday, in which the long-reigning flyweight champion wondered aloud what the UFC’s new sponsorship landscape will mean for his existing sponsorship with Xbox, which is now basically deceased; Johnson will not be able to wear Xbox logos in the Octagon when the UFC/Reebox partnership officially kicks in next year. Johnson’s comments were somewhat shocking, because it seems like he knows as little about the Reebok deal’s specifics as we do. Here are some choice quotes…
A guy like Nick Diaz, for example, comes out with all his Metal Mulisha, all his sponsorships,” Johnson said. “Let’s say from those sponsorships he makes like $80,000 to go in the octagon. That’s a nice payday just for wearing sponsorships.
“Lets say the UFC says, ‘Hey man, you’ve got to wear Reebok tomorrow.’ And he says, ‘OK, that sounds good. Here are all my pay stubs and my contracts for my last fight. They’re paying me $80,000, so what’s Reebok going to pay me?’ They say, ‘You’re ranked second in the world, so we’re going to pay you $2,000 to wear Reebok.’ For me, I think that’s not necessarily fair because there’s basically $78,000 that’s unaccounted for. If UFC’s going to compensate me with the same amount, that’s fantastic. If not, that’s a big boo-boo”…