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Reebok in the UFC

UFC Champions Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey – photo credits MMA Weekly

Reebok in the UFC

The UFC - Reebok.
The UFC – Reebok.

Reebok’s 6 year contract with the UFC is a little less than three months away. The much talked about and controversial pay brackets were originally based on the media rankings, something which has proven to be baffling at times and even manipulated where necessary. Fighters, managers, fans and even the media were not anywhere close to happy with this decision. The UFC listened.

Today things were tweaked. We won’t know exactly how well the following theory works until we start seeing some paychecks but this new system seems entirely based on previous UFC experience.

The new tiered system replaces rankings and instead will use the fighter’s number of bouts in the octagon, with different tiers (1-5 fights, 6-10 fights, 11-15 fights, and 16-20 fights). Exceptions are made in the event of title fights, with champions and title challengers receiving greater compensation.

With any system there will always be loopholes. Gleison Tibau is a UFC veteran with 25 UFC bouts under his belt, and of course will start in the highest pay tier. Flip the coin, Cat Zingano (who we know is a very exciting new fighter, very marketable) with her three UFC fights begins in the lowest.

This monetary incentive based on experience within the promotion gives fighters a solid goal to aim for. That being said, bringing in new fighters from different promotions, Bellator for example, will be considerably more difficult. A fighter sponsored from head to toe within the ranks of Bellator would not be able to bring any of his sponsorship – leaving that money behind. Could this see a dip in the new talent being introduced to the greatest fighting promotion in the world?

Another point to consider would be the constantly moving roster of the UFC. To qualify for ‘Reebok money’ you must fight. The same experience tier that gets higher pay may see less bouts, not simply due to age but also qualifying opponents, where younger or less experienced fighters would be fighting more frequently due to the dynamic matchmaking of UFC debutantes. Just another headache for both the UFC and Reebok to consider.

No matter what rules the UFC and Reebok put in place for televised events, we know the best athletes in MMA will be training in Venum. Head over to our store to see what’s on offer.

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