Reebok’s exclusive uniform deal with the UFC doesn’t officially kick in until July 6, but the two powerhouses have already made a significant tweak to the pay structure.
According to SportsBusinessDaily.com, fighters will now be compensated from Reebok based on tenure in the UFC (which includes prior WEC and Strikeforce bouts, but Pride fights are not counted). The report was essentially confirmed when UFC VP of public relations Dave Sholler retweeted the article.
When the six-year, reported $70 million deal was first announced in December, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said the “vast majority of the revenue” from Reebok would go directly to the fighters.
UFC athletes were to be paid according to their ranking. Champions would pocket the largest checks, and everyone else was tiered based on current ranking (1-5, 6-10, 11-15 and 16+ receive a flat salary).
Reebok and the UFC will still work off a tiered system, but it will now go off 1-5 UFC fights, 6-10 UFC fights, 11-15 UFC fights, 16-20 UFC fights and more than 21 UFC fights.
However, for title tilts the challengers and reigning champions will receive greater compensation.
Once again, no specific financial numbers were disclosed.
Originally, fighters were to receive a 20 percent cut on the back end for anything Reebok sells that contains their likeness. No word if that piece of the financial pie is still in place.
This new model takes most of the subjectivity and conflict of interest out of play because UFC rankings are based on media votes.
In the meantime, Reebok has wasted no time in inking several UFC stars to deals before July. UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones, bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey, Anthony Pettis, Conor McGregor, Paige VanZant and Johny Hendricks have been sporting Reebok gear for months.