Top ranked middleweight Gegard Mousasi is moving to Bellator after they couldn’t come to terms on a new contract with the UFC. According to the 31-year-old on a 5-fight win streak, money wasn’t the only reason, and there were a lot of tinier moving parts that eventually led to the switch.
When asked if losing sponsors was part of it, Mousasi did express his dissatisfaction with the Reebok deal. According to the tenured vet, aligning the UFC with Reebok was only made to make the promotion’s brand look better, and easier to sell.
“Let’s be honest, Reebok was (only) there to sell the company. Never was it meant to help the fighters out,” Mousasi said at the MMA Hour. “Reebok became with UFC because they wanted to sell it for $4 billion. It’s just as simple as that, to make global the sport, and just to sell it. It was terrible for fighters.”
Mousasi states that no one was really happy about the exclusive sponsorship deal.
“No one complained about Reebok. If you complained, it’s gonna get messy, they’d fire you. People cannot talk about it, cannot say that Reebok sucks, but we all know the truth. They can’t even make good pants or shorts.
“I don’t know. I was not happy with the Reebok deal. 99% of the fighters are not happy with the Reebok deal. Reebok themselves are not happy. And UFC is not happy with Reebok, but it is what it is.
“Reebok is bad for UFC. I don’t know if the new owners realize what they’re doing.”
With all the complaints and bad press they’ve gotten, Gegard is most likely correct in saying that even Reebok wasn’t happy with the overall partnership. It makes one wonder how the both parties move forward after the sponsorship deal runs out a couple of years down the road.