Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight No. 1 contender Alexander Gustafsson, by his own admission, doesn't have anything negative to say about the promotion's new sponsorship deal with Reebok, one that effectively eliminated all fight-week sponsors.
The towering Swede was asked by MMA Junkie what he would do if by some weird twist of fate "The Mauler" was put in charge of the world's largest combat sports promotion, and not surprisingly, his first order of business would be instituting pay raises across the board.
"Pay the fighters a lot more money. For all the hard work and the sacrifices fighters generally do to fight, I think they’re a little bit underpaid. The same thing with the Reebok deal, too. I don’t have anything negative to say about it. I just think, why take away from fighters who haven’t established themselves in the organization? They have a hard time already, so why take away the small sponsors so they can pay the rent and pay their bills? Why take that away too? Really squeezing that last money from the fighters that haven’t been established yet. I think it’s sad to see. I still think that the more support you can have from local sponsors, the more time you have to put in the gym and the more the sport will develop. It’s just that this Reebok deal is not going to help the fighters."
Where have I heard that before?
Gustafsson will be nibbling on his piece of the pie with his upcoming UFC 192 pay-per-view (PPV) title fight, when he battles Daniel Cormier for the 205-pound strap inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Sat., Oct. 3, 2015 (see his Reebok payout here).
Just don't expect any sympathy from this fighter-turned-suit.