On Monday, a report released from the Sports Business Journal stated that the UFC will go another route when it comes to distributing sponsorship dollars from Reebok to the fighters.
Per their report, the UFC has decided to determine sponsorship payouts by tenure as opposed to where athletes stand in the rankings.
A tier system, much like the one established for payouts based on rankings, will be used to determine who earns what. Those tiers will be as follows: 1-5 fights, 6-10 fights, 11-15 fights, 16-20 fights and 21 fights or more.
As per Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, the tier structure will include fighter’s past bouts with either Strikeforce or WEC, as long as they happened under the Zuffa banner. Zuffa, LLC, the UFC’s parent company, bought the WEC in Dec 2006 and Strikeforce in Mar. 2011.
While someone like Luke Rockhold may only have 5 UFC fights, his Strikeforce experience (post-Zuffa buyout) puts his total at eight. So, he’d fall into the second tier. Donald Cerrone has fought 18 times inside the Octagon, but combine his WEC experience and he winds up having the most fights of anyone on the roster at 27. Urijah Faber also cracks the over 21 fight barrier with a combined 22 fights in the WEC/UFC.
Among active UFC fighters, only six have competed 21 times or more in the Octagon. Gleison Tibau and Josh Koscheck top the list with 25 UFC bouts. Frank Mir has 24 and Michael Bisping has 22. Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida have had a total of 21 scraps. After that, names like Lyoto Machida, Demian Maia, Nate Diaz, Jeremy Stephens and Gabriel Gonzaga are right on the cusp of jumping into the plus 21 tier.
Where title fights are concerned, the UFC has decided to dole out greater compensation to those involved.
Overall, the 6-year Reebok deal is worth $75 million. It is unknown exactly how much of a percentage of that each fighter will earn.