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Miesha Tate, Bryan Caraway on Reebok: I'm losing 80-90%, it's unfair for Women's MMA

Bantamweights Miesha Tate and Bryan Caraway discuss the numbers released on the Reebok deal.

Photo by Anton Tabuena for

Popular UFC bantamweight Miesha Tate weighed in on the official Reebok numbers, and like Mousasi and other UFC stars, she states that she's about to lose a big chunk of what she made prior to the exclusive uniform deal.

"Honestly, I’m not that excited about the numbers," Tate said. "I’m taking a big loss on my sponsorship dollars, so I’m definitely going to be making nowhere near as much."

Apart from the actual dollar value, she also isn't a fan of the new tiering system based on the number of fights.

"I think it’s a little bit unfair for Women’s Mixed Martial Arts because we’ve barely been in the UFC very long," she states. "We don’t have the same number of fights as the guys do, because they wouldn’t let us in forever, you know?"

"The UFC has been around a long time, but Women’s MMA in the UFC has been there for a little over two years so it’s not fair," Tate continued. "There are guys like Clay Guida and Cowboy Cerrone, they’ve been fighting for the UFC for a long time so they’re going to have more fights because they’re men and they’re allowed to fight in the UFC for a long time. The women have not had the same opportunity."

With the previous tiering system based on rankings, Tate would've had a higher payout from Reebok as she currently sits as the #2 bantamweight. A popular fighter like her still would've taken a bit of a pay cut in that system, but now she's likely to lose a significant amount of sponsorship dollars.

"I probably have the most fights (among the female fighters) because of Strikeforce, and I’m still only on the second tier, so I get 5000 dollars," she exclaimed. "So I’m losing probably 90% or like 80% of what I make in sponsorships, so that hurts."

While Tate didn't give specific values, her partner and long time coach, Bryan Caraway gave a clearer idea on how much the two of them are going to be losing.

"I’m probably losing 5-10 thousand in sponsorship dollars every fight. I think Miesha has been making more on sponsors than what the champion will be making at the Reebok deal," Caraway claims. "$20,000 more probably, roughly 20-25 thousand more than what the champion will make now."

Champions are listed to get a payout of $40,000 from Reebok. With their statements, that computes to Tate dropping from somewhere around 60-65 thousand a fight down to $5000. It's a tough pill to swallow, but Tate is still hoping that maybe these aren't the final numbers.

"Hopefully there will be more perks that we don’t know about yet with Reebok, but the straight dollar on what I’m getting paid is definitely taking a big hit," she said.

When asked about how they're going to try and offset the dollars lost, Caraway thinks there's no way to recover that big amount now that Reebok has an exclusive deal during fight week activities.

"We’re just going to lose it," said the top 10 bantamweight. "We’re going to get stabbed on the side and we are going to take it like a man. There’s no way for Miesha to recover 50,000 in sponsorships. That’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of people’s salaries for the entire year."

"We’re not rich by any means, and we don’t have a fighting career forever, so the money we do make, we have to save for when we can’t fight anymore. So that sponsorship money may seem like a lot, but when you think of your whole life when we can’t fight anymore, it’s not that much money."

We’re just going to lose it. We’re going to get stabbed on the side and we are going to take it like a man.-Bryan Caraway on trying to offset the lost sponsorship dollars

Caraway did make it clear though that the Reebok sponsorship, along with the released numbers are two separate topics.

"I think the Reebok numbers suck, but overall, I think Reebok brings a lot of legitimacy to the sport. It’s going to make the sport like the NFL where they have Nike and all these things that will bring other mainstream sponsors later in the future," he said. "I think overall for the future of the sport, it’s great and it’s for the better. But right now, I think it’s hurting a lot of fighters."

Like Tate, Caraway just hopes that something changes between now and when the deal is officially implemented.

"July 15th hasn’t come yet and we haven’t fought and seen how Reebok is going to take care of us. But like I said, it sucks now, but in the long run I think it’s going to pay off," Caraway said. "The numbers are a little lower than what we expected. I thought it was going to be a little bit higher, but we will have to wait to see and find out."

"It’s a bummer, but I know Dana (White) is an awesome boss. And who knows, maybe he’ll make it up to people like Miesha or people who have a big following," he states. "He always makes it right, and he always takes care of his athletes. I’m not complaining myself as it will make things better for everybody, but it’s going to suck for a while."

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