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Sara McMann: UFC-Reebok deal looks discriminatory against an entire gender

Which is why the Olympian is ready to seek the help of an attorney before stepping to ZUFFA.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Miesha Tate recently came out and declared that the heavily-criticized deal Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made with Reebok, which will see the apparel company be the sole sponsor for all fighters come July, is unfair to women in mixed martial arts (MMA).

That's because due to the pay scale (see it), most women will be at the very bottom of the tier, and will only receive a sponsorship check of $2,500 per fight from Reebok, far less than what most make now thanks to their numerous deals with other companies.

Fellow bantamweight Sara McMann is prepared to take it one step further than "Cupcake," as the Olympian says she is seeking legal counsel before she takes her gripe to ZUFFA, due to the fact that women getting the short end of the stick -- just because they were recently added -- is bordering on "gender inequity."

Sara explained her beef during a recent edition of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting):

"I feel like this is a really touchy subject just because if you look at the numbers and you look at the facts, there could be a strong case for gender inequity in the way this deal is presented. I think the UFC and Reebok would never want to be perceived as somebody who was treating an entire gender poorly. But really if you look at it, I've looked at the numbers and 86-percent of the girls are in the first tier of $2500. The entire strawweight division, except the champion and Paige VanZant, which I believe has a personal deal with them, I don't know what that is, so I can't tell you her numbers, but the entire division is making $2500 by that criteria, regardless of how long they have been fighting and ranking. The majority of bantamweight women are in the same boat. The only exception is the champion, who is the highest tier and Miesha Tate. They are the only ones, there is one girl that has above 10 fights. There are five girls who are above fight fights, the other 20 girls in the division, there is 57 women total and only 14-percent are getting it. If you look on paper, the Reebok deal looks unbiased. Number of fights if you come from Strikeforce or WEC.  But that is not the case when it plays out because women never had the opportunity to fight in WEC. All the strawweight division is out of luck. If you look at the percentages of the men, I doubt it's remotely close to that. I wasn't going to make a statement without looking and examining whether I could back it up. That really is the case. It would be the equivalent if this were the civil rights movement and you decided to hire minorities and then you instill a policy that said the only way you can be applicable for a raise is if you have been with the company for five years. Well, automatically every single minority would be out of that running. The women are just recently added, but that doesn't mean that these girls haven't been fighting for years or been in other sports for years and they don't deserve to be compensated for that. They deserve $2500?"

Per the report, McMann said she will be speaking to a lawyer experienced in Title IX cases -- which prohibits gender discrimination mostly in women's college athletics -- before she steps to UFC.

"This is really something they really need to think about, because it does look discriminatory against an entire gender. So I think they probably will do the right thing and contact people and make personal deals. They've already done that with other people and I don't understand why they couldn't do that with the women. Gender equity is a very big deal. I'm not gonna come and make statements if I don't actually have backing, if I'm not in the right. I'm not gonna pitch a fit and throw a tantrum. I'm gonna come intelligently and say that really is not fair."

In closing, McMann doesn't want men to make less, she is just saying something needs to be done to make it more equal.

"I am not saying start giving men less money and funnel it to women. I'm just saying that there are so many more men who have fought in WEC, Strikeforce, and have a ton of UFC fights, that they are getting the majority of that chunk and we're being left high and dry because we were just recently added. That doesn't mean we haven't had full careers and these women don't deserve it. We're not the same as just a younger guy who just made it to the UFC. We shouldn't be treated that way. I don't think that it was purposely, because if you look at it on paper it looks fair. I don't think that [the UFC] is out to screw the women. If they were, they wouldn't have even added them in to begin with. I think when they examine from the perspective that 86-percent are in the first tier, they will see that it isn't fair and I hope that Reebok will see as well and try to make a mends to fix that problem."

As if facing multiple bitter ex-employees wasn't bad enough via class-action lawsuits, it seems the boys over at UFC may have other legal battles with currently employed athletes.

Did UFC get more than it bargained for with this Reebok deal?

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