Bellator drawing a crowd?
With the end of June nearing, the shadow being cast on the UFC by its now only sports brand sponsor, Reebok is definite.
MMA fans across the world, unless living under a boulder, will have heard about UFC fighters having a rough deal in terms of sponsorship pay-outs and fight purses. We are yet to see the biggest and most popular fighting promotion the UFC slow down or cease to gain momentum because of the changes in a zero-brand fight week policy being put in place, but is there a change on the card? Are we about to see a new kind of MMA bout – UFC vs another MMA promotion?
When the UFC became a much more household name within the mainstream media in 2006, later merging with Pride FC and purchasing WEC and Strikeforce, no rival promotion have been of any significant competition.
Reebok’s deal with the UFC sees fighter’s paychecks differ from experience. At the very bottom of the pay brackets would see UFC newcomers (regardless of any previous MMA experience and or professional fight records) manage to scrape together a very small amount of cash for each fight.
This deal has had an impact on the entire MMA scene surrounding the UFC and many fighters have splurged their opinions across various social media. With rival promotions, such as Bellator still allowing for the ‘nascar’ effect, having banners, fight shorts, caps and shirts for sports brands and the likes used for promotion.
— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) May 6, 2015
Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock drew a crowd of nearly 2.5 million viewers, the highest ever for Bellator, despite its controversy and conspiracy for match fixing and also lackluster performance, it speaks volumes that MMA fans globally want to watch the best fighters, the biggest names and the most exciting bouts – regardless of the promotion.
If the deal with Reebok sees the UFC put off less experienced fighters, who we all know can be some of the most entertaining to watch, perhaps there could be a rise in its competition? Will there be a big name rival promotion knocking on the door of the UFC?
For now, we sit back in anticipation for the fights ahead – lets see where we end up.