Even though Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, claimed that his mixed martial arts (MMA) league won't make a dime off its shiny-new uniform deal with Reebok (read full details here), at least one of his fighters isn't drinking the Kool Aid.
And it should come as no surprise that it's Nate Diaz, who hopped on social media this evening to share his uncensored opinion.
Not much to really unpack here.
Diaz, who has often swam upstream and butted heads with UFC execs, clearly isn't thrilled about potentially losing sponsorship money from other sources. Under terms of the new Reebok deal, fighters can no longer display outside sponsor logos during UFC fight week official events, including fight night, UFC-produced content or other official UFC events.
Those banners that corner teams drape behind each fighter during introductions? Gone, too.
In other words, fighters -- who often make ends meet from outside sources, not just fight night checks -- more or less now have to rely on Reebok revenue. Tiered revenue that hinges on a fighter's ranking and a cut of merchandise sales, which could pale in comparison to the opportunities he or she could earn elsewhere.
Now and in the future.
There's no telling right now how it will all shake out in the end. Perhaps fighters and managers adapt, finding creative ways and different means to secure sponsorships that fit within this new framework. But, when UFC holds all the match-making cards and can pull a fighter from the rankings at any moment (even when he or she plays by all the rules) -- it will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers.
And trigger at least one virtual bird.
The good news for Diaz, at least for now, is that the Reebok deal will not go into effect until July 2015, months away from his showdown with Rafael dos Anjos in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 13, which goes down from U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Dec. 13, 2014 (full details here).