Leave it to Chael Sonnen to introduce a completely different point of view to the Reebok/UFC sponsorship fighter payout situation.
Earlier this week, UFC officials released the specifics of how much fighters would be getting from having Reebok exclusively sponsor them for their fights. While long-time UFC fighters were happy with the deal, most of the fighters with only 1-10 fights in Zuffa claim they wouldn’t be making enough.
While on MMA Junkie Radio, Chael Sonnen brings up the idea that fighters should never have had sponsors in the first place. “As fighters, we never should have been able to get our own sponsors,” Sonnen said. “If you pay for the camera and the lights and venues and take all the risk and are the entrepreneurs, you get all of the revenue. (UFC President) Dana White broke that cycle a number of years ago because the UFC was so small that he was ashamed of what he was having to pay his guys. So he said, ‘Get money wherever you can. I’ll approve every sponsor, and I want you guys to have every dollar.’ I was there when he gave that speech to the fighters in 2005.”
Sonnen went on to break down as to why he thinks that the fighters should never have received money from sponsors in the first place. “Now, you get a major sponsor like Reebok. Imagine if that happened with any other executive producer of a television program. They’re going to get the money. Instead, the UFC is paying it back out, and people say, ‘Oh, that’s not enough.’”
It seems as if the Reebok/UFC deal is in effect with no plans of changing and Chael Sonnen is perfectly fine with that.
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