Werdum tells MMA junkie that he’s in the process of working a sponsorship agreement with the world renowned shoe and sports apparel giant, which just so happens to be one of Reebok’s biggest competitors.
“(Nike and I) are negotiating, it’s going to happen – we’ll see if it happens, it depends on figures, it depends on a lot of things,” Werdum said. “We might close (the deal), we might not. But, I went ahead because I’m not happy with Reebok. I’m not happy because making $5,000 per fight sucks. For a person who made $100,000, $150,000 per fight, going to $5,000, it’s not easy. It was more a protest, but I’m already negotiating with Nike.”
Like Werdum, many other athletes have expressed their displeasure at the Reebok payout in the past because it has cost them thousands upon thousands of side income from sponsors. Sure, fighters are still allowed to have partnerships with other sponsors as long as their logos are nowhere in sight come fight week or fight night. It’s that very fact that scared numerous companies into terminating some relationships with fighters on UFC’s roster.
Werdum hopes to change all of that.
“I also wanted to say that it’s important that other sponsors know that – sometimes other big sponsors don’t come to you because they think you have exclusivity with Reebok,” Werdum said. “I have no exclusivity with Reebok, it’s only during the fight and that’s it. Because that’s how it goes and we can’t do anything about it. But outside of the octagon, that’s where things show up the most, at social media, that’s where they show the brand, at training. It’s nice to clarify that, outside the UFC, I can have the sponsors I want.”
Nevertheless, Nike, according to Werdum, is okay with overlooking that aspect and is open to moving forward with an agreement with the former Heavyweight champion. Just don’t expect this to be a reality when Werdum faces Cain Velasquez for a second time at UFC 207 on Dec. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada.