Many UFC fighters are disgruntled about the new deal with Reebok and now UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo expresses his displeasure as well. Aljamain “Spartan” Sterling also speaks out about his annoyance with his lowering paycheck.
In an interview with Brazil’s AgFight, Venum’s Andre Vieira expressed reservations about continuing the sponsorship of Aldo.
“We have a contract with Aldo until October, and we’ll have a conversation to see if it’s worth to continue with the sponsorship,” said Vieira, as translated by Guilherme Cruz for MMA Fighting. “It’s really positive for the brand to have Jose Aldo as your cover boy, but do people see that? Does it bring us more visibility? Who gets this information?”
“It was a different story in the past. You put your shorts and the whole world would see it. If I gave Jose Aldo 10,000 reais (US $2,500) per month, I would get it back in return. Today, to have a third of this return, I have to give Aldo two 2,000 reais and spend more 8,000 in advertisement. It’s too much.”
In June, Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras, explained why the fighter went with Venum over Reebok.
“(Reebok) money was a little over than what Venum used to pay, but with the discounts (in the United States) it would become less than what we make here,” explained Pederneiras. “Taxes here are lower. It was a business decision, and we continued with Venum.”
With the Venum door apparently closing, it is not known if Reebok’s offer still stands.
Aldo is the #1 P4P fighter in the UFC. Moving down the rankings some, the #6 ranked bantamweight, Aljamain Sterling also expressed misgivings about his financial position.
The undefeated Serra-Longo protege is supposed to fight on December 19 at UFC on FOX 17, but no opponent has been signed. If he doesn’t get a fight, he may start a Master’s degree in health in January, perhaps at nearby Hofstra. And he may start teaching high school on a part or full-time basis. And he may try out for the Jamaican Olympic wrestling team.
“If they can’t guarantee me something sooner, barring that I don’t get injured, I’m gonna have to go back to school and just do what’s best for me,” said Sterling to Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “If that includes taking a layoff, then I guess I’ve gotta take a layoff and actually do something positive with it.”
“These guys need to do right by me. I fought a top-10 guy (Mizugaki) as an unranked opponent, came in, finished him in what I think was a spectacular fashion — just the performance overall, shut the guy down. I think it warrants some attention and some notoriety.”
“I feel like my style is not what they think people want to see, which is going out there just swinging for the fences and hoping to get a knockdown. I felt like I did a beautiful display of jiu-jitsu and showed how strategically to break down somebody from the feet, control them and make them look like they never fought before.”
“I thought this was my year. I had my goals. I thought I was gonna break $100K in my savings. That was the end goal, the realistic goal. I thought it was very, very tangible.
“The pay is definitely not what it is unless you’re the champ or a guy that’s been around the sport for a very, very, very long time and you can make a lot of money.”
“I still think I have a very promising future, but just doing the math on how much I fight, how often I fight per year, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to make a significant amount of money where I can put it aside to do something when I’m done. You kind of see where I’m doing the math that it’s not adding up. I would have made more money taking a full-time teaching job somewhere.”
Sterling has one fight left on his contract, and intends to try the open market for fighters thereafter.