Guillard hears Reebok deal discontent from teammates

August 27, 2015

Bellator lightweight Melvin Guillard had some interesting things to say about his previous employer in light of the Reebok apparel deal.  Guillard, who was cut by the company, states that it will likely lose fighters due to the lost revenue by fighters from sponsors.

Guillard has not been with the company since his last fight in March 2104.  However, he states in a recent MMA Fighting interview that some of the UFC fighters he trains with at American Top Team are “unhappy with how things went with the UFC.”  Guillard stated that the “UFC is really just dropping the ball on a lot of guys.  They’re going to lose a lot of talent.”

Prior to the UFC sponsor fee, Guillard stated that a fighter could make $50K to $60K per fight from sponsors.  However, restrictions on sponsors which required they pay a fee to the UFC in order to sponsor a fighter curtailed many brands from sponsoring a fighter.  The Reebok deal which went into effect this July, has received criticism from many fighters that have indicated it has cut their ability to earn money from sponsors.  While some fighters have taken up the side of the UFC, there are many fighters that are put off by the new payouts from Reebok.

Guilard, who had a stint with WSOF, is now in Bellator and is set to fight this Friday for the organization at Bellator 141.

Payout Perspective:

Guillard’s comments could be seen as a former fighter expressing his opinion after being let go by the UFC and thus feels free to say what he wants about the organization.  Guillard’s comments about what his teammates are saying might be hearsay and might be a way that UFC contracted fighters are expressing their discontent with the new era of sponsorship revenue for fighters.  Until there are actual numbers out there that he is making more money overall than he did when he was with the UFC, it’s hard to conclude that UFC fighters would jump ship to other organizations due to the Reebok deal.

3 Responses to “Guillard hears Reebok deal discontent from teammates”

  1. BrainSmasher on August 27th, 2015 5:48 PM

    Here is the problem. Before the UFC sponsor tax. Guys were not making 50-60k per fight. The mid level guys were getting 10-25. What people don’t realize is they are fighting over crumbs while other sports are eating dinner at the table. Fighters want to keep the status quo for that 15,000 rather than make changes to get the huge spo sponsors that are throwing their money at other sports. The fighters are just plain ignorant!

    Most fighters had a half dozen sponsors or more. You have a limited amount of brands who want to get into MMA and reach its fan base. The fighters were letting hundreds of them in for peanuts. They had no reason to invest millions in this sport. Then the large brands on the fence were turned off by so many brands and so many garage t shirt brands. They refused to pay millions to share space with a company working out of a garage. They have an image to protect.

    Now there is one brand in the UFC. Anyone else has to go to the fighter and make an investment or go to the UFC and make an even bigger investment. In two years sponsors for fighters will blow up. Rousey is getting a ton of attention and sponsors are drooling to get her. Same for McGreggor. But to get then now cost millions. Sponsors will start trying to lock these stars down before they get big. But what keeps them out right now is the years of getting these fighters so cheap. But they wil come around because compared to other sports fighters are a bargain and an untapped market. They wil realize it’s still their best value.

    MMA has a massive global fan base and the fighters can’t even get sponsors on the level of sports with no viewers like strongmen comps or body building, arm wrestling. For main card fighters to welcome 20,000 per fight in spinsorships is a disgrace. Let the new system play out.

  2. Logical on August 27th, 2015 8:41 PM

    Donald Cerrone has once again voiced his displeasure:

    “The latest fighter to comment on the deal is #2 ranked lightweight Donald Cerrone. ‘Cowboy’ was reluctant to comment on the issue and stated that he could be fighting in rival promotion Bellator if he spoke out of line.

    “That’s a touchy subject. If I say something, you will see ‘Cowboy’ fighting in Bellator next week,” Cerrone said on Inside MMA. “Yeah, the Reebok deal is definitely hurting everybody. All the big corporate sponsors I have are sticking with me, thank god… This is my first fight with the Reebok deal and all my sponsors said they’re sticking by so we’ll see. I’m proud to sit right here and enjoy a full bodied Budweiser.”

  3. BrainSmasher on August 28th, 2015 12:21 AM

    He is an idiot! He said it is hurting everyone then admits nothing has changed for him.

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