It’s safe to say not everyone was jumping for joy after the payment figures for the UFC-Reebok uniform deal were revealed, and it sounds like the unveiling sent some inquiries Bellator’s way.
Last week, the UFC relayed to its roster how much fighters will get paid per bout, once the Reebok uniform agreement kicks off in July. Some fighters were quick to praise the deal, while others claimed they were making more under the old system, or questioned why they weren’t involved in negotiating the deal. It should also be noted that fighters will make revenues from the sale of their Reebok branded clothing.
While it remains to be seen just how much UFC fighters will generate from the deal in the coming months, the MMA world continues to weigh-in on the agreement. Recently, Bellator President Scott Coker talked to MMA Fighting about the situation, and the promoter (and former ZUFFA employee) noted that he can’t speak for the UFC’s “corporate strategy.”
Coker did say that the UFC is going to have to “handle” a situation, whereby, some fighters could be making considerably less in sponsorships. The Bellator boss also relayed the following:
Managers and fighters. A lot of questions are, ‘What’s your policy on sponsorships?’ I say, ‘Look, I can’t engage in any kind of conversation with you guys. When you’re free, give me a call.’ But the phone’s definitely been ringing.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how this plays out, in terms of the free agent marketplace. Bellator’s sponsorship policies remain fairly wide open, as fighters can secure deals, as long as they don’t conflict with the promotion’s own agreements. Bellator also doesn’t currently tax sponsorships either, unlike the UFC.
But, since Bellator does not have the market share of the UFC, sponsors may not be willing to pay out as much. It will depend on the fighter, and how big of a name they are.
Bellator’s next event goes this Friday in Temecula, California. In the main event, middleweight champ Brandon Halsey will take on UFC vet Kendall Grove.