Jose Aldo does NOT hold back his thoughts when it comes to the recent developments of the UFC and Reebok sponsorship deal. After details were released of the payout structure and amount, fighters have taken to social media and interviews to voice their concerns.
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo pulled no punches when he was asked what he thought about it, and this may be the representative the fighters need.
“First of all. It’s shit. Everybody has been talking about it,” Aldo told Combate. “We, athletes, are losing a lot. They said we would be like NBA or NFL athlete, but that doesn’t apply, because we are not paid monthly like they are. It doesn’t matter how much we will be paid, all athletes who had sponsors are losing money.”
Miesha Tate has mentioned she will be losing over 80% of her sponsorship money because of the recent Reebok deal, and she also believes that the deal is not fair to women. UFC light heavyweight Brendan Schaub usually rakes in over $100K in sponsorship money, but he will only be pulling in $10,000 from Reebok the next time he steps into the octagon.
“That’s a huge setback for us,” Aldo continued. “We live for each fight, we have to keep fighting and nobody fights more than three times a year. Not a champion, anyway. Even the value they measured doesn’t match what our sponsors were paying us. That is great for the UFC, but not for the fighters. I see a lot of athletes losing too much. If you are a beginner there is not that big of a hurry to get paid, but it still isn’t that much. Not enough to get them by at least. I don’t like it. Ever since they started talking about this, I asked to see what they were offering us and I never thought it was interesting, especially for the champions.”
Aldo goes on to explain how a fighter’s union could possibly stop the Reebok deal from taking place, but he doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.
“If we are going to talk about something, that does not depend on just me being the champion, or Cain Velasquez, or any other champion. If we had a union for fighters, and we were all together, like in the NBA, this would’ve been different. But fighters are not united. Today I have a price the event is willing to pay to have me, but there are other fighters out there willing to fight for spare change if I don’t want to, and that is not even their fault. The UFC brought the sport to where it is today, great, that’s their merit. But if athletes were more united and had a union to protect them, I don’t think this would happen.”
Jose Aldo is financially comfortable and he isn’t worried about himself; Aldo is concerned about the up-and-comers of the sport who don’t make as much money as he does.
“When I speak about this, I don’t speak for myself. If I say this might be good for Aldo, yeah, sure it can, I would make good money, I could say that. But when I look at other athletes, like I do at my gym, they need me and Andre Pederneiras to start helping them, because that’s a bad thing that they are doing to them. It gets really bad for up and comers or guys who are trying to reach the top. I’m not talking about me, I’m all right, I’m the champion and I have a high price. Aldo hasn’t become the champion now, he has been the champion for years. But for the beginners, it’s really bad.”
Do you think Jose Aldo is right? Could a fighter’s union stop the Reebok deal from taking place? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Translated By: Lucas Rezende of Bloody Elbow
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