Fabricio Werdum is dissatisfied with the UFC’s outfitting deal with Reebok and the former champion refuses to stay silent as long as it keeps messing with his money.
Earlier this week, Werdum posted a photo of himself wearing a Reebok fight kit that had obviously been manipulated to feature a huge Nike logo across his chest. The caption on the photo is translated, “I’m not generic, I’m Nike since I was a kid,” and is followed by hashtags, “#Suck #MyBalls #Reebok”.
On Friday, Werdum took to Instagram again to post a video explaining his position.
Esclarecendo a polêmica sobre @reebok @ufc @ufc_brasil @sherdogdotcom / // I just want to make everything clear about my post of @Nike and @Reebok. I did this to protest about the sponsorship. Before Rebook got into UFC all the fighters use to make a lot of money with other sponsors, including me, and now they are paying me only $5,000 per fight. I didn't get penalized because I have no contract with them, but they cut me out of the tv broadcast.
“I just want to make everything clear about my post of Nike and Reebok. I did this to protest about the sponsorship, before Rebook got into UFC, all the fighters use to do a lot of money with other sponsors, including me, and now they paying me only $5,000 per fight. I didn’t get penalized because I have to contract with them, but they cut me out of the tv broadcast #UFCnetwork”
Werdum, who has 11 fights under the Zuffa banner, reportedly earned $10,000 for his fight with Travis Browne at UFC 203, which is far less than the $40,000 he earned as champion and the $100,000 he says he received from sponsors pre-Reebok.
Reebok-UFC Sponsorship payouts pic.twitter.com/Gn7uVrdm40
— Sean Ross Sapp (@SeanRossSapp) May 7, 2015
Werdum’s protest likely won’t put him in the highest favor with Reebok, but it may end up helping him outside the Octagon since he’s apparently grabbed the eye of the execs over at Nike.
“(Nike and I) are negotiating, it’s going to happen – we’ll see if it happens, it depends on figures, it depends on a lot of things,” Werdum told MMAjunkie.“We might close (the deal), we might not. But I went ahead because I’m not happy with Reebok. I’m not happy because making $5,000 per fight sucks. For a person who made $100,000, $150,000 per fight, going to $5,000, it’s not easy. It was more a protest, but I’m already negotiating with Nike.”
The UFC’s current deal with Reebok requires fighters wear Reebok gear during UFC sanctioned fight week events, like weigh-ins and open workouts. Outside of competition, however, fighters are permitted to wear other sponsors. Werdum is hoping he can work out a deal with Nike so he can earn some extra checks.