It appears Nike no longer wants a piece of the MMA game. One month after UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones announced the athletic clothing giant declined to extend their endorsement deal with him, former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva (pictured) has suffered the same fate.
Silva’s not shedding any fake tears like Jones, however. It appears the Brazilian is inching closer to inking a deal with Adidas.
“I’ve always been a fan of Nike and really like the brand,” Silva told Brazilian website Combate. “The company gave me the opportunity to fulfill a dream. Thanks to Ronaldo and Corinthians, I had the opportunity to work with the Nike team. It was great, really enjoyed it. Are the memories and nostalgia. Now we’re in a nice relationship with Adidas. It has nothing right, and we will see what will take going forward.”
Silva was the first UFC superstar to score a global endorsement deal with Nike. He’s been donning the world famous Swoosh since at least 2009.
Nike later inked Jones to a global sponsorship contract in 2012. Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos was brought on shortly after, but his agreement was a regional one focused in his homeland of Brazil. It is unknown if JDS is still with Nike.
If Silva comes to terms with Adidas, he’ll join fellow middleweights Robbie Lawler and Luke Rockhold to don the three-stripe brand. However, UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and lightweight champ Anthony Pettis also have deals with Reebok.
Reebok and Adidas are owned by holding company Adidas AG.