The Reebok partnership with the UFC has been one of the most controversial talking points of the year. In December 2014, it was announced that the sporting apparel company would be the official sponsor of the UFC. Reebok uniforms were introduced and fighters were quick to voice their disapproval, with pound for pound #1 Jose Aldo comparing them to 'power ranger' costumes.
The controversy reached boiling point when long-time cut man Jacob 'Stitch' Duran was released from the UFC last month after expressing his concerns over financial security and the loss of sponsors in an interview with Bloody Elbow. UFC executive Lawrence Epstein recently claimed that Duran was not fired because of his comments about Reebok, but Stitch insists he was.
UFC Brass says Duran not fired over Reebok
It looks like the UFC is looking to change the narrative on Stitch Duran's recent firing as Lawrence Epstein recently made it clear that Duran's Reebok comments had nothing to do with it.
The latest fighter to comment on the deal is #2 ranked lightweight Donald Cerrone. 'Cowboy' was reluctant to comment on the issue and stated that he could be fighting in rival promotion Bellator if he spoke out of line.
"That's a touchy subject. If I say something, you will see ‘Cowboy' fighting in Bellator next week," Cerrone said on Inside MMA. "Yeah, the Reebok deal is definitely hurting everybody. All the big corporate sponsors I have are sticking with me, thank god... This is my first fight with the Reebok deal and all my sponsors said they're sticking by so we'll see. I'm proud to sit right here and enjoy a full bodied Budweiser."