The issues fighters face from the controversial UFC/Reebok sponsor deal have been aplenty, but the one that's been most publicly spoken about is the loss of money, and for some fighters, it's a very significant amount. Since the day the tier-tenure system was unveiled last month, UFC heavyweight, Brendan Schaub has been vocal about the money he'll be losing when the program kicks in the first week of July.
In a recent interview, promotion president, Dana White publicly scoffed at Schaub's claims that he had a six-figure sponsor deal in place for his last six fights. Now, in the latest Fighter & The Kid episode, Schaub has said that it isn't even financially feasible for him to fight anymore under the strict rules of the Reebok deal. I've transcribed that portion of the show's discussion for our readers:
: To me, there came a point, especially with this Reebok deal, where I said, 'Okay,' and I'm not trying to get in trouble, not trying to make headlines; this is just me talking, being real. So, I said to myself, 'Okay, Reebok wants my exclusive rights inside the cage for 10K...for 10 grand. Man!' You know what's going on in my world as far as entertainment goes.
Bryan Callen: It doesn't pay the bills.
Brendan Schaub: Well no, fighting doesn't pay the bills right now. So for me, I look at myself and say, 'Okay.' The competitor in me says, 'Let's do it man.' The fighter in me, the guy who made a name for himself inside the Octagon and trains his ass off--
Bryan Callen: Still alive and well.
Brendan Schaub: Very, very alive. He says, 'Let's fight next month. Let's do this. Let's fight next month.' The brain and the people that are smarter than me, like, Bryan Callen, Tim Tebow, my dad, my CAA agents, um everyone who's way smarter than me go, 'No, no, no. You have too much else going on. you make too much money elsewhere to get punched in the head.' The competitor in me says, 'Let's do this.'
So, I got in trouble on Punch Drunk, kind of, because I said, because people on the forums-why grown men are on forums, I have no idea-because I go on Punch Drunk and go, 'Man, the only thing that's gonna get me out of bed is if you give me a superfight. You wanna give me Rampage Jackson, you wanna give me Shogun...a big, blockbuster fight, I'll get out of bed for that.' No time soon, because I have some crazy stuff going on, but man...for me to fight for 10K for a Reebok deal, you're batshit crazy, man. You're not getting Big Brown for 10K.
If someone came to me right now and offered me three times that money, I wouldn't do it. That's where I'm at in my life, man. So, for the fans-and I appreciate the support-I love the support. It's insane. I see them online, see them in person; people go, 'Man, I appreciate what you're doing. Man, I love the show. I love how open you are.'
It's because we're in this point right now where, it's just...for me personally-and this isn't for everyone-for some people it's great. Reebok is great. They're all happy, but for me, personally, it does not make sense.
Here is the audio from that portion of the show: