Jose Aldo is the newest UFC fighter to complain about the new Reebok deal the company will impose over its fighters starting on July. The fact that athletes will lose a significant amount of their sponsorship money has been bothering some who make a bigger profit by showing their sponsors on their trunks on fight night than by what their purse pays them.
Aldo, however, took it to the next level when he laid it all out to Combate when he talked about his feelings over the incoming change.
"First of all. It's shit. Everybody has been talking about it. We, athletes, are losing a lot. They said we would be like NBA or NFL athlete, but that doesn't apply, because we are not paid monthly like they are. It doesn't matter how much we will be paid, all athletes who had sponsors are losing money. That's a huge setback for us. We live for each fight, we have to keep fighting and nobody fights more than three times a year. Not a champion, anyway. Even the value they measured doesn't match what our sponsors were paying us. That is great for the UFC, but not for the fighters. I see a lot of athletes losing too much. If you are a beginner there is not that big of a hurry to get paid, but it still isn't that much. Not enough to get them by at least. I don't like it. Ever since they started talking about this, I asked to see what they were offering us and I never thought it was interesting, especially for the champions."
In his opinion, if fighters got together to start a union, maybe that would a be a way to stop the new deal from happening, and though Aldo likes the idea, he doesn't see it happening.
Jimmo: UFC and fighters in 'abusive relationship'
UFC fighter Ryan Jimmo thinks his next fight is less important than speaking up for his fellow fighters about the Reebok deal and the need for a fighters association.
"If we are going to talk about something, that does not depend on just me being the champion, or Cain Velasquez, or any other champion. If we had a union for fighters, and we were all together, like in the NBA, this would've been different. But fighters are not united. Today I have a price the event is willing to pay to have me, but there are other fighters out there willing to fight for spare change if I don't want to, and that is not even their fault. The UFC brought the sport to where it is today, great, that's their merit. But if athletes were more united and had a union to protect them, I don't think this would happen."
His main concern, though, is to find a way to make it easier for fighters who are just starting out, as Aldo feels they are the ones who will suffer the most from the new contract.
"When I speak about this, I don't speak for myself. If I say this might be good for Aldo, yeah, sure it can, I would make good money, I could say that. But when I look at other athletes, like I do at my gym, they need me and Andre Pederneiras to start helping them, because that's a bad thing that they are doing to them. It gets really bad for up and comers or guys who are trying to reach the top. I'm not talking about me, I'm all right, I'm the champion and I have a high price. Aldo hasn't become the champion now, he has been the champion for years. But for the beginners, it's really bad."