The effects of the unprecedented, six-year sponsorship deal that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) landed with sports and apparel giant Reebok are still being felt.
Reebok will provide all fighters on the UFC roster with official fight week and fight night uniforms, which will see all combatants sporting new threads in the days leading up to the event and as they walk down to the Octagon. That means no longer will they be allowed to promote other sponsors on their shorts, shirts, or banners.
But it doesn't just affect the fighters.
All trainers and cornermen will have to comply, as well, as they too will be provided with Reebok gear.
While that may be good news for some, for high-profile trainers like Greg Jackson, it means he will take a hit in his income once the deal takes into effect next year, as he is one of the few coaches who is lucky enough to be paid by companies to promote their products during UFC events.
But as he told Sherdog, he's okay with taking a financial hit, as long as it means that his fighters get a bigger slice of the pie.
"Definitely it's not good for the coaches, but it's not about the coaches. It's about the fighters at the end of the day. The coaches are here for support. Myself and some of the other ones that have been sponsored, I'm sure we're gonna lose that unless they want to stick with us outside the events. I'm not sure how this deal is gonna work out. I don't know. The UFC is saying one thing, and certainly they know business. Their sponsorship taxes and the way they restrict that stuff restricted a lot of sponsors, so maybe this will be a good thing. Maybe it will be a bad thing. I honestly don't know."
"There's only five or 10 of us that get sponsored. There's how many fighters in the UFC? That, I think, is a much bigger deal. Yeah, for me [losing sponsors] is a big deal. I'm gonna lose a lot of money, but it's not about me. As much I would love to be self-centered and think the world revolves around me, it doesn't. If I quit MMA tomorrow, literally, nobody would care. The fighters matter. They're the ones seriously putting their ass on the line. As long as it's good for them, I will be good with it."
At least he didn't fly off the handle like this guy.
The Reebok deal has been met with mixed reviews by members of the UFC family (reactions here and here), but company president, Dana White, is adamant that this will be good for all parties involved, especially for the fighters' bank accounts.
Time will tell.