Matt Wiman made his return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon this past weekend (Sat., Nov 22, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 57 after being away from the fight game for two years. And it was a successful one at that, as he defeated tough-as-nails Issac Vallie-Flagg via unanimous decision in Austin, Texas.
But in case you didn't notice, Wiman wasn't representing any sponsors on his shorts, opting not to advertise any company or its product as is customary with just about every other mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
According to "Handsome," trying to cut a good deal with some of the "sleazy" people that come with landing a sponsorship, sometimes just isn't worth a few thousand dollars. He said as much during his recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
"I think if it was a good opportunity, I'm not opposed to it. The opportunities that are on hand, I might have been able to make like $1,500 if I hustled a bit, you know, maybe a couple of grand if I hustled a bit. It's not necessarily worth it. I compare it to this, it's going to be kind of a crude analogy, but I've heard and I was never a pot head or anything like that. But, I've heard that the worst part about taking drugs was dealing with drug dealers. I think that the worst part about sponsors is the people around them; sleazy wannabe managers. And people that represent this or try to have a connection there, it's pretty obnoxious. So I try to kind of ignore that part. It just seems more trouble than it's worth."
Aside from their fight night purse and potential bonus winnings, sponsorship is a great way for a professional fighter to supplement his or her income.
Of course, one can't ignore the fact that the brighter your star shines, the bigger your sponsorship will be, a la Jon Jones (
Nike), Anthony Pettis (Reebok) and Johny Hendricks (Reebok).
Still, it's interesting that Wiman -- much like Mac Danzig -- chooses to not be sponsored for his fights just for the sake of taking some cash. That's not to say he won't if a good offer with the right brand comes along, but if you want your products plastered all over "Handsome's" shorts, you better come correct.
Both with your cash and your attitude.