UFC strawweight fighter Rose Namajunas was left wondering why Reebok failed to market her apparel on the brand’s website
THE SAGA between UFC fighters against its deal with Reebok continues.
On the heels of fines and threats of sanctions against fighters who do not wear the prescribed pre and post-fight gear made by Reebok – including an instance where Matt Mitrione went to a recent UFC media day barefoot – one women’s fighter spoke out against the deal.
Rose Namajunas, who came off an impressive rear-naked choke victory over Paige VanZant in UFC Fight Night 80 last December 10 that earned her a performance of the night bonus, said that Reebok does not sell her fight kit on the official website.
SportsRageous verified the claim, checking the Reebok website which only returned the error message “We are having trouble locating a match.” An additional search using the “Find Your Fighter” search bar revealed that Namjunas was nowhere to be found on the list, as well as a number of other active fighters.
Top shelf names, including former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and incumbent featherweight champion Conor McGregor, returned results and even mini-sites that displayed their apparel.
In the deal between Reebok and the UFC that took effect last July 7, 2015, fighters are paid a percentage of the sales of their merchandise with their likeness and/or name. This is on top of the tiered payment system given to fighters depending on their tenure in the UFC.
“I’ve had some fans reach out and say, ‘What the hell is up with this?'”, said Namajunas. “I don’t know what’s going on with that, I guess it kinda sucks.”
Nonetheless, Namajunas is still confident that she can get the job done inside the cage without the distractions swirling around her head.
“I’m just here to show up and fight, and then get my money and go home. It’s really hard to know, especially when you’re in the spotlight, and when you have all these distractions around you, it’s hard to know when you’re getting screwed over with that (laughs). So to me, knowing that, yeah I know I’m probably getting screwed over, in some way, shape or form, whether it be this or something else,” said Namajunas.
“That’s why I’ve got a manager, that’s why I’ve got so many people around me to catch as much s–t as they can. But it’s really hard and you know, at the same time, I can’t really focus on that too much. I focus on the positive,” she added.
“I gotta put my trust in other people to check these things when they come up. All I can do is make sure I show up to fight, and then they have no choice but to pay me.”
Additionally, in the same report by Bloody Elbow, a number of other active fighters were cited that they were not available on the “Find Your Fighter” search bar. These were Alistair Overeem, Jon Jones, Kelvin Gastelum, Sarah Kaufman, Tecia Torres, and Roy Nelson.
Since the deal took effect, a number of fighters including Rafael Dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone, and Nate Diaz were slapped fines by the UFC for not adhering to the policies when wearing the Reebok Fight Kit.