Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

The UFC Civil War

Taking a look at the UFC Reebok deal, and how it hurts the fighters.

In case you haven’t heard, the UFC has partnered with Reebok and has instituted a roster wide outfitting policy. The policy was primarily designed to give the UFC’s athletes a more professional look. You can find the details for the UFC Reebok deal here.

If you are reading this, chances are you are an avid UFC fan, and follow many of their athletes on social media. Many fighters have spoken out publicly about their displeasure concerning the new outfitting policy, and the fact their earning power has been diminished by loss of sponsor flexibility. Here’s the problem – they are professional combat sports athletes that train day in and day out to find a way to win.

I understand what the UFC is trying to accomplish. The Reebok uniforms certainly look professional, and bring a certain legitimacy to the brand.  However, trying to tell a trained combat sports athlete what to wear, when and wear to wear it, and to leave money on the table – eventually it won’t work. Fighters find a way. The newest trend seems to be enhancing their Reebok gear with patches from other sponsors. The consequence? A stiff fine.


MMA is not exactly a civilized sport. A fine is not going to stop a trained killer. Fighters will pay the fine, plan it in their budget along with what they already have to pay toward their managers, coaches, and training partners, and move on. I would certainly like to know how much the fighters are getting from their other sponsors to put a patch on their Reebok shirts. Assuming the fighters are businessmen, I’m assuming the sponsors are paying more than the fines they incur. I would love to know.

Besides the training the guys/girls already endure, many grew up fighting for what they believe in, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon because of an outfitting policy. The UFC roster is beginning to rebel more and more, and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. Fighters are who they are, and fighting is what they do, which is is why we choose to tune in, and we’ll keep tuning in as this unfolds.

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