While the newly inked Reebok uniform sponsorship deal has been hailed by the UFC as their most significant achievement since the FOX broadcasting deal, several of the promotion's top fighters, including Chris Weidman, are concerned about how this will impact their relationship with established sponsors.
The middleweight champion explained to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani that was not one of the fighters consulted on the UFC uniforms, and was actually only made aware of the details the morning of the actual announcement.
"I honestly didn't know about this. I found out late [Monday] night. I knew we were doing a press conference; I knew it had something to do with apparel, but I didn't find out - Dana called me two days ago; I missed his call, called back but we missed each other. I didn't find out what was really happening until [Tuesday] morning, really."
When asked about his relationship with the ‘Bad Boy' brand, Weidman appeared uncertain.
"I told Lorenzo [Fertitta] that I was sad - I've been working with Bad Boy for 4-5 years now and became synonymous with it. Now to support another brand is definitely weird to me. I feel bad but I fight for the UFC and I'm a company guy. I think this is a great step for the UFC."
While he was initially concerned, Weidman admitted he has since weighed the pros and cons of the new deal and believes its long-term benefits outweigh the short-term potential faults.
"When you first start hearing about it, you start worrying that you will lose money. Then you find out all the details about it and I think you get excited. You are finally lined up with a world-renowned apparel company in Reebok. It will help out the sport be taken more seriously, especially in the United States - and worldwide.
"It is going to be clean cut and dry; you know what you are getting based on where you rank. It gives incentives - now I want to be champion forever for another reason."