Brendan Schaub Discusses Struggles Following Announcement of UFC-Reebok Deal

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2014

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 06:  Travis Browne punches Brendan Schaub in their fight during the UFC 181 event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

The early repercussions of the UFC's blockbuster deal with Reebok are being felt by fighters, and for heavyweight Brendan Schaub, it hurts. A lot.

Speaking Monday on The Joe Rogan Live show with UFC commentator Joe Rogan and The Fighter & The Kid podcast co-host Bryan Callen, Schaub shed some light on the current state of fighter sponsorships in the UFC.

"I make two times as much money on sponsors than I do on what the UFC pays me," he said. "Six of my sponsors have already bailed because the Reebok deal is going up." He noted that these struggles are not isolated to him, either, saying that famed MMA coach Greg Jackson stated that he had lost all of his monthly sponsors because of the Reebok deal.

While Schaub did not offer specific numbers regarding how much he did (or, in this case, did not) make, he stated that the net income from his UFC 181 tilt with Travis Browne, in spite of being a main card bout on one of 2014's best pay-per-views, was the lowest of his UFC career. According to MMAjunkie.com, Schaub's reported income for UFC 181 was $32,000. That does not include taxes, gym and management fees or any unreported locker room bonuses.

B. Schaub said he lost 6 sponsors with announcement of Reebok deal. Already withdrawn b/c no future in sponsorship. Lowest $$$ ever 4 him.

— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) December 9, 2014

UFC 181 was the first event following the announcement of the UFC's uniform deal with Reebok.

Beginning in July 2015, pre-fight banners, logos on fighters' shorts and branded baseball caps will be a thing of the past. In their place, fighters will exclusively wear Reebok-branded apparel. While fighters will still be allowed to have outside sponsors, they will not be allowed to display their sponsors on clothes in any way during any official UFC events, during fight nights or in any UFC-produced content. 

Unfortunately, while UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta initially said, "They’re still going to be able to keep their other sponsors, so we look at this as being additive," the early outlook for fighters is not very good. Hopefully, most fighters will not see diminished incomes as a result of the deal.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.