This week, during the 2017 UFC Athlete Retreat, UFC lightweight Kajan Johnson took a bold step as he stood up and aired his grievances to a Reebok rep during the man’s presentation. Johnson explained that he, like many other fighters, is losing quite a bit of money thanks to the Reebok deal.
Following his time with the mic, Johnson was pulled aside by UFC officials, who spoke to him about the situation, and ultimately ended up calling an impromptu session with the fighters to discuss the situation in a conversation which Johnson described as being productive.
Above, you can now see clips of Johnson confronting the Reebok rep, who Johnson has since apologized to, regarding the UFC-Reebok deal.
Kajan Johnson reflected on the impromptu session between the UFC and the fighters to BloodyElbow, saying:
“It was really, really productive,” Johnson said. “There were a lot of people that were speaking up. I spoke a little bit at the beginning, but I didn’t have to say very much; I just had to create that situation. And then the room just took over. There were guys like Joe Lauzon talking about numbers. Sara McMann was really vocal, giving a lot of great solutions and ideas that we can use to work around the deal that’s currently in place to put more money in fighters’ pockets.
“I don’t think it’s ever happened before that that many fighters have sat down and had an open and honest, back-and-forth conversation with high-level UFC executives outlining the problems and then trying to find solutions to those problems that work for both the company and the athletes.”
With that being said the UFC, Reebok, and the fighters, now of course need to work out a new deal before the fighters are content.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/23/2017.