When the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced they struck a deal with Reebok late in 2014, fighters were cautious to celebrate that they would be getting guaranteed money. After several revisions to the payout, the details became final and fighters were pissed.
UFC women’s bantamweight perennial contender Miesha Tate recently came out and stated that she would be losing up to 90% of her usual income after her fight night was said and done. UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo wouldn’t be hurting financially, but he believes the deal is negative for the growth of young fighters.
However, one flyweight seems to be in favor of the deal and claims that he will actually be making more sponsorship money than he has in a long time. Joseph Benavidez recently sat down with Submission Radio and explains why he favors the Reebok deal rather than dealing with sponsors directly.
“Oh, well two aspects; for me the numbers are great because I’m a veteran and because I wasn’t getting any money for sponsorships before,” Benavidez said. “Like I’m in the 15 grand sponsorship tier I think for two more fights. And I don’t remember the last fight where I got 15 grand in sponsorships in a fight. And I don’t know if that’s the sponsors I was getting, or the managers I had or whatever. Because I was surprised when other people who weren’t as highly ranked as me or maybe as popular, saying “oh I got way more and that’s not going to cut it. I was getting this much more for fighting”. It was surprising. But for me, the money aspect works for me. But that’s not going to work for everyone.”
Benavidez explained that he is aware that he is likely in the minority when it comes to approving of the Reebok deal, but he’s fine with it just the way it is.
“I know that’s not going to work for a big percentage of the guys. For a small percentage of the guys it’s going to work financially, and I’m one of them. So I can’t complain about that. But as far as the deal as a whole, no matter where you’re at, whether it’s positive, or negative, money-wise, I just think it’s the right thing moving forward,” Benavidez stated.
Dana White has gone on record saying that the deal will help legitimize the sport in the eyes of the mainstream viewers and Benavidez proceeded to dive into the subject, backing the UFC President up.
“And it just legitimizes the sport even more as far as bigger endorsements coming in and everything else. It’s just at that time in the sport where there’s changes going on, we happen to be a part of it. You know, this sport’s still young. So that’s how some of the guys need to look at it. Whether you’re missing out on money or not, in a few years, new guys coming in, they won’t even think twice about it because that’s the way it is. In 10 years and 20 years, that’s the way it is. You know, you come in a s a rookie, you come in as this, and this is what you get paid. But I think it’s the right thing to do, regardless of people’s money in this and that. For moving forward for the sport as a whole, you know it’s just the right decision.”
What do you think of the deal? Is it good for the fighters? Does it need more revisions? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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