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UFC 184's James Krause has already lost $20,000 because of UFC-Reebok partnership

This guy feels your pain, James.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

To hear Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White tell it, many fighters who normally wouldn't do too well with sponsors are going to benefit financially from the company's deal with Reebok once it goes into effect this summer.

Meantime, fighters like James Krause are losing money to the tune of $20,000, according to his comments to MMA Fighting.

That's because sponsors are now dropping their clients left and right after coming to the realization that their products will no longer be available to be displayed during UFC-sponsored events. And while details are still a bit sketchy as to how much money each fighter will receive from Reebok, the uncertainty has Krause feeling a bit uneasy ... especially with a daughter on the way.

Still, he makes it very clear that he doesn't feel underpaid by UFC, but the new Reebok deal still has a lot of mystery to it.

"You just never know what's gonna happen. What if I break my leg and can't fight for a year? I have no money to raise her. I have to create monthly, recurring income. It seems if your only job is the UFC, especially now after the Reebok deal, it just seems impossible to get that. Maybe not impossible -- very, very difficult. I definitely don't want to act like I'm underpaid, because I've never made this much money in my life. So, I'm not trying to bitch and complain about pay. However, I am trying to bitch and complain. I don't know the answer."

Unlike some of his colleagues, Krause is doing his best to think about life after fighting and how he will supplement income through successful investments.

"The window that we as professional athletes have, especially at the high level and especially in the UFC, is very small. Hell, for all I know, this could be my last fight in the UFC. You don't know that. You never know. So you have to be prepared for everything. In the NFL, you have contracts and stuff like that. In the UFC, our contracts don't mean sh*t. For us, anyway. For them, they do. There's no security behind it."

As Krause put it, he doesn't want to be a 35-year old who has to fight to keep his life going. As far as other ex-fighters crying foul when it comes to pay because of UFC's domination of the sport, Krause points the finger at other sports that pay their athletes so much money through guaranteed contracts as a reason.

"I think that's what we're all upset about. It's tough for me to watch a field-goal kicker that sits on the bench the entire game, maybe not even a first-string kicker, make the league minimum of what, [$420,000] a year? He gets paid that no matter what. If I get hurt, if I break my hand and I can't fight in six or eight months, I don't get paid."

With no fighter union in sight, Krause believes that can all change if the top dogs such as Jon Jones and Ronda Rousey lead the way, then it will change. But, since they already get paid handsomely and "aren't hurting" for money, there is no reason for them to rebel.

Krause will meet Valmir Lazaro this weekend (Feb. 28, 2015) at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California. For more on that fight click here.

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