The fighters of the UFC have come out of the woodwork with their negative inhibitions on the slightly recent Reebok deal where the combatants will take a substantial pay cut. The Reebok deal eliminates the opportunity for the fighter to be endorsed by a third party apparel on fight week and fight night and pays fighters who have had a longer tenure in the Ultimate Fighting Championship more than newcomers. Take for instance a well established and popular mixed martial arts veteran such as Ben Askren, his disdain of being involved with the UFC would grow even more than it already has.
However the man next in line for the UFC 205 pound championship, Gustafsson sat down with MMA Junkie to share his thoughts on the deal and how he would handle the payout system.
“Pay the fighters a lot more money,” Gustafsson said. “For all the hard work and the sacrifices fighters generally do to fight, I think they’re a little bit underpaid. The same thing with the Reebok deal, too. I don’t have anything negative to say about it. I just think, why take away from fighters who haven’t established themselves in the organization? They have a hard time already, so why take away the small sponsors so they can pay the rent and pay their bills? Why take that away too? Really squeezing that last money from the fighters that haven’t been established yet. I think it’s sad to see.”
“Of course (it makes the sport less attractive),” Gustafsson said. “It’s hard as it is. Some of them don’t have a choice, they have to do the sport to survive. Some of them don’t. But I still think that the more support you can have from local sponsors, the more time you have to put in the gym and the more the sport will develop. It’s just that this Reebok deal is not going to help the fighters.”
Alexander Gustafsson will challenge Daniel Cormier for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the main event of UFC 192. He is 2-2 in his last 4 with wins over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC on Fox 5 via unanimous decision and Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37 via round 2 TKO. In his last outing he was defeated by Anthony “Rumble” Johnson via first round TKO at UFC on Fox 14 in his home country of Sweden.