The official Reebok payouts recently came out, and to many pundits and fighters in the sport, it was significantly lower than expected. While there were many outraged competitors, UFC middleweight Josh Samman actually put out an interesting and level-headed take on the entire situation.
Now that they have had more time to think about the deal after the memo was sent, more UFC stars have started talking about the UFC deal.
"Well, I'm going to make a lot less. Other than that, I can't say much about it," Gegard Mousasi said. "I'll be making 4 or 5 times less, it's a big difference"
While there's a huge shift and a lot of potential dollars to be lost, the middleweight contender is still banking that these numbers wouldn't be his final income. After all, the UFC changed the original tiering based on the rankings and there's still a few months until it's officially implemented.
"I don't know, maybe they are going to change something still. I don't know, I hope so," he states.
If it doesn't change though, Gegard at least is still fortunate to be one of the few fighters who have solid cash flow from outside of his MMA career.
"Well I have other incomes. I have my buildings that I am renting. I have other incomes apart from my fighting, so this is just a bonus, fighting," he states. "Yes, it's definitely (important to invest your fight purses into other things). With fighting, it's difficult to do something else because we've been doing this for a long time. You're not going to be a doctor suddenly.
BE Analytics: Breaking down the Reebok money
Paul Gift crunches the numbers for the new Reebok sponsorship tiers to show fighters and fight fans what the UFC world may look like.
Frankie Edgar on the other hand, understands the UFC's decision, but will now bank on his team to offset the potential sponsorship dollars that he will be losing.
"You know, it's part of the business. UFC is still fairly a new business, and it's kinda growing," the top featherweight contender explains. "In new businesses there are growing pains and it's something we have to do, and to adjust and get used to."
"It's tough to say," Edgar said when asked if he'll be losing a lot of money on each fight. "Initially, yeah, I'm not making money right of the bat, but you can still make money outside of the cage. So I'll definitely put a squeeze on my manager to try and make up that money a little bit.
Like Edgar, his most recent opponent in Urijah Faber knows that this is a good deal for the promotion. Even with his other ventures and clothing companies such as Torque likely to take a hit, he says he's not going to sweat any of it.
"It will definitely affect me (and my businesses), but that's what business is about. It's about adaptation and that's what the UFC is doing by incorporating the Reebok deal," Faber said. "I'm a brand myself, and I have companies that are built on my brand. I'm playing on their world, so it's all good."
"I'm not going to whine or complain. I'm going to get some money from Reebok. Is it less than what I'll be getting when I fight? Yes, but I learned a long time ago not to worry about money," Urijah says, stating he will simply adjust his business plans for when the deal gets implemented. "Money comes to me frequently and easily, and it's my friend.
UFC champion Demetrious Johnson also had a calm and diplomatic reply as he was asked about it during a Fan Q&A in Manila.
"Sometimes I sit down and ask, when is it enough money? What is that magic number that is going to make everyone happy? It's very hard to find that number," Johnson said, who also mentioned he's still looking to discuss with X-Box about possibly supporting him outside the cage.
"I'm happy with the Reebok deal because we don't have to go out and try and bargain with different sponsorship companies," he continued. "I'm just going out there rocking Reebok, and I'm getting paid where I'm at, whether I'm a champion or in my 20th fight in the UFC. It's cut and dry."