Earlier this month, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banned top Brazilian sponsor "Pretorian," the "hard sports" line of clothing and fight gear responsible for funding the likes of popular mixed martial arts (MMA) stars like Antonio Silva, Renan Barao and Ronny Markes, among others.
Nothing personal, just business.
"We weren't stopping Pretorian from anything," said UFC President Dana White during the UFC 161 post-fight media scrum (watch it here). "Pretorian owes us a lot of money. They haven't paid, so that's the story."
As a result, the brand and its associated logos are no longer permitted to be worn inside the Octagon or during any of a fighter's official UFC undertakings. Pretorian representatives later confirmed the split, telling Fighters Only they are defining a strategy for "wider communication" via "diversified events."
"Pretorian will now start a new cycle of investments aiming to democratize and broaden its focus in other combat sports like jiu-jitsu, muay-thai, boxing, karate and other martial arts, base events, athletes of all levels, teams and national academies. Pretorian expresses thanks to all who have expressed support for the brand and thanks to the UFC for the partnership while it lasted."
Also known as "Plan B."
ZUFFA -- parent company of UFC -- charges a discretionary sponsor tax, which can run as high as $100,000 in licensing fees for the right to have logos or merchandise appear on fighter apparel inside the Octagon. That means you have to sell a shitload of t-shirts just to break even.
Pay to play.