You won't find too many fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster who are pleased with the recently announced Reebok sponsorship pay structure (see it here).
Of course, you have exceptions like Donald Cerrone, who calls the deal "awesome," despite the fact that he'll be losing out on $60,000 per fight once the agreement officially kicks in on July 11, 2015. But the general consensus is that the partnership is bad for fighters since their sponsorship checks will be much smaller than what they are accustomed to.
Miesha Tate takes it one step further by saying the deal is bad for women's mixed martial arts (MMA), since most of the women are going to be at the bottom of the pay scale based on the fact that most won't have a lot of fights with ZUFFA to their credit.
She breaks it all down to Bloody Elbow.
"Honestly, I'm not that excited about the numbers. I'm taking a big loss on my sponsorship dollars, so I'm definitely going to be making nowhere near as much. I think it's a little bit unfair for women's mixed martial arts because we've barely been in the UFC very long. We don't have the same number of fights as the guys do, because they wouldn't let us in for forever, you know? The UFC has been around a long time, but women's MMA in the UFC has been there for a little over two years so it's not fair. There are guys like Clay Guida and Cowboy Cerrone, they've been fighting for the UFC for a long time so they're going to have more fights because they're men and they're allowed to fight in the UFC for a long time. The women have not had the same opportunity."
Based on the structure, most women will be on tier one of the pay scale, especially the strawweights, as it's a new division in UFC. As far as "Cupcake," she says when it comes down to it, her financial loss will be close to 80 percent.
"I probably have the most fights (among the female fighters) because of Strikeforce, and I'm still only on the second tier, so I get $5000. So I'm losing probably 90 percent or like 80 percent of what I make in sponsorships, so that hurts."
Fighters are credited for bouts in the UFC as well as those fought under now-defunct promotions owned by ZUFFA including WEC and Strikeforce. So unless that doesn't take effect until after the ZUFFA purchase, Tate may be eligible for tier three, as she has a total of 13 combined fight under the two banners.
Which results in "Cupcake" getting a bigger slice of the sponsorship pie to the tune of an extra $5,000. Nevertheless, you see where Tate -- as well as most of the roster -- is coming from.
Of course, there are the select few female fighters, like Ronda Rousey and rising contender Paige VanZant, who lucked out by getting solo sponsorship deals with Reebok.