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UFC responds to gender inequality accusations: New policy designed to ‘provide equal opportunity’

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The UFC has released a statement in response to Sara McMann’s accusations that the Reebok deal was discriminatory to women.

Several days ago, former Olympic Silver medalist and UFC title challenger Sara McMann revealed that she had retained legal counsel and planned to approach the UFC with issues of ‘gender inequity' in the new Reebok uniform policy.

Apart from the general financial concerns that the majority of fighters share, McMann revealed that the deal presents a strong case for gender inequality. According to McMann, since the women's bantamweight division was only added approximately two years ago, the vast majority of female fighters would be herded into the lowest tier on the compensation scale.

"I feel like this is a really touchy subject just because if you look at the numbers and you look at the facts, there could be a strong case for gender inequity in the way this deal is presented," McMann said on The MMA Hour. "I think the UFC and Reebok would never want to be perceived as somebody who was treating an entire gender poorly."

The following day, the UFC released a statement defending their new policy.

"The new UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy (AOP) equally recognizes each athlete's tenure in UFC, as well as any bout appearances in the WEC and Strikeforce for the period those organizations were under the Zuffa, LLC ownership. Women fighters with limited bouts under the tenure model are treated the same as other experienced men or women new to UFC from other organizations not included in the tenure model. This new policy was designed to provide an equal opportunity for both men and women in each tenure tier. In addition, the champions and challengers, regardless of tenure, will be equally compensated under the AOP for their bouts, something few other sports can claim."

As was recently announced, fighters with 1-5 fights will make @2,500 per fight; 6-10 will make $5000; 11-15 fights gets $10,000; 16-20 fights equals $15,000. Champions make $40,000 per fight.