The Reebok era is officially over as of today and the UFC will now embark on a new multi-year clothing deal with the Venum brand.
The new Venum branded UFC gear will be unveiled in full next week and will then be seen for the first time in the Octagon at the UFC Fight Night event on April 10th.
“As good as the Reebok product was, Venum has taken this up a notch with just the quality of construction [and] the thoughtfulness of how our athletes will use the products,” the UFC’s Lawrence Epstein told ESPN.
Despite the UFC’s enthusiasm for the product, the deal is apparently worth less than the organization’s previous six-year agreement with Reebok, which isn’t great news given that there was already a lot of frustration amongst fighters as to the relatively low amount of money they were making from the previous deal compared to the old days when they were allowed to find their own clothing sponsors.
That being said, fighter’s will see a very minor increase in their overall pay from the Venum deal.
For instance, champion’s will now receive an extra $2,000 per fight, giving them a total of $42,000, while title challengers will also see the same increase, going from $30,000 to $32,000.
UFC veterans with 21 or more fights move up $1,000 per fight, from $20,000 to $21,000, while it’s a similar story for those with 16-20 fights ($16,000), 11-15 fights ($11,000) and 6-10 fights ($6,000), whose figures also reflect a $1,000 increase.
Meanwhile, those on the lowest rungs of the ladder, 1-3 fights ($4,000) and 4-5 fights ($4,500) are only seeing a $500 rise per fight.
“This is not a profit center for us,” Epstein explsined. “Whether it’s cash out the door or where it’s product, we’re delivering it to the athletes. All the value is essentially going to them. We’re not really making anything on this. We do feel the look and feel of the product itself is great for the UFC brand, but when it comes to cash it’s all going to the athletes, whether in actual cash or product.”