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UFC unfazed by claims of gender inequity, issues statement supporting Reebok sponsorship payouts

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Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight contender Sara McMann is not convinced the new sponsorship deal between UFC and Reebok is fair to women (her argument here), simply because the payout structure (see it) does not account for the short time women's mixed martial arts (MMA) has operated under the ZUFFA banner.

Tough luck, kiddo.

The promotion released a statement on Thursday in response to that critique (via MMA Fighting), steadfast in its position that working with Reebok -- which will require UFC combatants to dump their existing sponsors and wear branded uniforms -- provides an equal opportunity for all athletes, male or female.

"The new UFC Athlete Outfitting Policy (AOP) equally recognizes each athlete's tenure in UFC, as well as any bout appearances in the WEC and Strikeforce for the period those organizations were under the Zuffa, LLC ownership. Women fighters with limited bouts under the tenure model are treated the same as other experienced men or women new to UFC from other organizations not included in the tenure model. This new policy was designed to provide an equal opportunity for both men and women in each tenure tier. In addition, the champions and challengers, regardless of tenure, will be equally compensated under the AOP for their bouts, something few other sports can claim."

Don't expect any sympathy from UFC President Dana White.

Unfortunately for the promotion, the backlash hasn't been limited to just one or two fighters. And if there is one surefire way to hurt employee morale, it's to tinker with their income, something that several fighters (like this one) claim is the crux of the problem.

Not wearing "bitch-ass uniforms."

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