UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has long had a contentious relationship with Monster Energy.
During the press conferences, Adesanya often removes his water bottle labeled with the company’s name from the table. He has also thrown away Monster Energy cans from his table before.
While Monster Energy pays significant amounts of money to the UFC and its stars, some claim that Monster Energy representative Hans Molenkamp uses them for self-promotion.
Molenkamp decides who gets bonuses from Monster Energy and who doesn’t, which could explain why stars interact with him on social media.
Adesanya isn’t the only person to get antagonized by Monster energy. In the aftermath of UFC 259, former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz caused a stir by calling out Hans Molenkamp, an official at Monster Energy, during his octagon interview.
Molenkamp uses his position to promote himself on social media by forcing UFC stars to like, comment and share his posts. UFC stars like Tony Ferguson, Jorge Masvidal and even Dominick Cruz regularly interact with Molenkamp on social media.
Adesanya didn’t hide his disdain for Monster Energy even after that KO at UFC 287.
While celebrating his victory, Adesanya walked towards the Monster Energy logo, the biggest advertisement in the cage. He then knelt down over it, made the sign of the cross on the logo, and flipped it off with both his middle fingers.
Adesanya has never directly explained why he dislikes Monster Energy to this degree. But the beef likely goes both ways. Prior to UFC 287, Monster heavily sponsored Alex Pereira who was seen in their apparel at numerous occasions.
Monster Energy has sponsored many UFC stars over the years, including Jon Jones, Rose Namajunas, and Stipe Miocic, and many of the athletes seem happy with the deals they have with the company.
UFC boss Dana White has had his issues with Molenkamp in the past but maintains Monster is a great sponsor of the promotion.
While Adesanya’s behavior towards Monster Energy may not sit well with some, it’s clear that he’s not alone in his criticism of the company. Regardless, it’s important to remember that sponsorship deals are voluntary and athletes have the right to choose who they want to work with. It will be interesting to see how Monster Energy responds to Adesanya’s behavior and whether or not it will affect their relationship with the UFC.