Former UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi talked about a big issue he had with the UFC. Mousasi believes the UFC is ‘stealing’ their fighters’ income with uniform deals.
While this was initially refuted by some – it’s pretty much common knowledge at this point. Much of the backlash over the uniforms was mistakenly directed at Reebok – whereas it should’ve been directed at the UFC.
UFC has since parted ways with Reebok and made a deal with Venum that keeps a very similar payment structure.
Gegard Mousasi competed as a UFC middleweight for 4 years and left the promotion in 2017. The 36-year-old fought the likes of Chris Weidman, Thiago Santos, and Vitor Belfort. He was doing pretty well and had a lot of victories but decided to leave the promotion due to a number of reasons.
UFC and Gegard Mousasi had altercations back then, one of them being about uniform rules. At the time, the UFC uniforms were provided by Reebok.
Gegard Mousasi appeared in an interview in Haymaker with Robin Black and discussed fighters’ pay.
“You took those away, you put Reebok. All the money went to UFC. Paying a fighter that can make $200K a fight, then it goes to $10K (because of) Reebok. That’s stealing from the fighter. They could’ve said, ‘OK, f*ck that.’ And then they killed the whole sponsorships, everything.” Mousasi said.
Gegard Mousasi believes the deal with Reebok helped the promotion sell itself for 4 billion dollars with the final evaluation rising to 6 billion.
“They could’ve sent every fighter $10K checks as an employee (as a) thank you for where we are now (after the sale). $10K is nothing. They took the sponsorship, they put Reebok. I was making $6K with Reebok.”
“(What) they were giving the fighters, it wasn’t always the best. They could’ve done a better job. You don’t have to be that greedy.” Mousasi said.
However, Mousasi is still grateful to the UFC for giving him a chance to become a popular mixed martial artist. He also advised the promotion to treat the fighters better.
“I’m thankful to UFC, to be honest. After Strikeforce… they bought Strikeforce, I went there, they gave me an opportunity. I’m not bashing on them. I’m still thankful. I can understand [where] profit goes. But my thing is more (about) treating your employees better, and then the business. But maybe I would go bankrupt.” Mousasi said.
After leaving the UFC in 2017, Gegard Mousasi joined rival promotion Bellator MMA. He got a title shot on his second bout and became middleweight champion in 2018, he lost the title in 2019 and won it again the next year.
He is currently on a four win streak and has defended his title two times. Mousasi is scheduled to defend his title again at Bellator 282 on June 24.