While most fighters have been quiet about the UFC’s uniform policy with Reebok over recent weeks, Tim Kennedy is not most fighters. The middleweight contender appeared on Monday’s edition of the MMA Hour (Warning: NSFW Language) to speak with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com and pulled few punches when discussing the UFC’s current state.
“Where the sport is now, it’s horrible, tragic, and pathetic,” he said (h/t MMAMania.com for the transcription). “Glover just fought OSP, right? The entire Reebok payout was $100,000 or something? All, every athlete on the entire UFC card that night. I made more sponsorship money in Strikeforce than every single athlete on that card that night. In one fight!”
Kennedy isn’t off-base in his criticism. The UFC’s uniform policy banned fighters from selling ad space on their walk-in and fighting apparel and forced them into wearing gear Reebok manufactured. They are now given a fixed amount between $2,500 and $20,000 per fight, determined by their total number of fights under the Zuffa umbrella (though champions and title challengers make $40,000 and $30,000, respectively).
MMAJunkie.com tallied up how much each fighter made at the aforementioned Fight Night card, headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ovince Saint Preux, and the the total came to a paltry $107,500. Here’s one of Kennedy’s Twitter “shout-outs”:
Since the payouts were first disclosed, numerous fighters have gone on record saying the Reebok deal is a devastating blow to their bottom line. Kennedy has been among the most vocal, openly flirting with the UFC’s chief rival, Bellator MMA, on Twitter while openly discussing how much he previously made.
Still, Kennedy is open to a UFC return and specifically called out former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. “Well, there is a big fight card in Dallas. Anderson Silva? No. 2 middleweight versus Tim Kennedy the No. 7 middleweight?” he said. “He can have my blood. He can inject himself with my blood from this day forward and he’ll be good and we will fight in Dallas.”
Of course, that bout is incredibly unlikely to happen. Silva is temporarily suspended because of multiple drug-test failures ahead of his UFC 183 bout with Nick Diaz. He is set to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Thursday and will almost certainly be slapped with a substantial suspension, as well as a stiff fine.
It will be interesting to see what, or who, the future has in store for Kennedy.
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