The UFC has now informed fighters how much they will be earning per fight in sponsorship money courtesy of their uniform deal with Reebok which begins in July.
As we’ve previously discussed, the UFC are implementing a tiered set-up based on how many fights each competitor has in the Octagon and in Zuffa’s other former promotions like Strikeforce and WEC.
The deal with Reebok means that fighters can no longer secure their own sponsors for their clothing inside the Octagon, during fight week and at other UFC events.
Here’s how the pay structure breaks down financially per fight from July onwards:
- 1-5 Fights = $2,500
- 6-10 Fights = $5,000
- 11-15 Fights = $10,000
- 16-20 Fights = $15,000
- 21+ Fights = $20,000
- Title Contender = $30,000
- Champion = $40,000
(In addition fighters will also get a cut of Reebok merchandise sold with their name and likeness.)
“The above outlined compensation structure will result in UFC distributing the vast majority of the revenue generated through the AOP directly to the athletes,” a message sent to all fighters currently under contract with the UFC reads. “We continue to believe the introduction of the official outfitting kits for our athletes is a beneficial investment, which will elevate and create long-term value for you, the UFC brand and the sport.”
Since it was first announced the UFC have been putting a positive spin on the Reebok deal, claiming it was going to be beneficial for their fighters, but so far the word from those brave enough to stick their head above the parapet is that it’s something of a let-down as many were earning more than this from their own sponsorship deals.
For instance, UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub stated on Twitter earlier today that, “I’ve made six figures in sponsorship in each of my last 6 fights.”
That’s sum isn’t typical though as Schaub is a fairly high profile fighter these days thanks to his popular ‘Fighter And The Kid’ podcast, frequent appearances on Joe Rogan’s podcast and work with FOX Sports.
However, even up and coming fighters are potentially set to take a hit from the deal, with Roger Narvaez, who’s currently only 1-2 in the UFC to date, voicing his dissaproval by saying, “Wow 2500$ for my next fight for reebok sponsorship. ….i mad twice that off 1 sponsor my last fight!!!! Sucks!”
Meanwhile, Matt Mitrone addressed one of several elephants in the room by pointing out that all this wasn’t exactly great publicity for the UFC’s latest high profile sponsor.
“Congrats @Reebok, you got the deal of the century. Unfortunately, it was at the cost of the fighters. Hope the bad press is worth it. @ufc”
Nevertheless, the UFC’s brass are sticking to their guns that this is the right way forward for the company.
“Certainly we knew going into this thing that you’re not going to make everybody happy,” UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told FOX Sports today. “That’s an impossibility. What we tried to do was get as much input as we possibly could by talking to managers and fighters over a 12 to 18 month period and literally creating a database for where we felt the market was for fighters that were at different tiers.
“We though we did a pretty good job of replicating the compensation that they were getting. Also when you look at it from a risk/reward standpoint, these are guaranteed payments. They’re not going to have to run down sponsors, maybe not get paid. This money will be paid 10 days after the event and they’ve adhered to the athlete outfitting policy.”