Ryan Jimmo: Reebok numbers are absolutely horrible

The UFC apparel deal with Reebok will go in effect in less than two months and the fighter pay for the Reebok deal was released last week by the promotion.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Since the figures came out, several fighters have expressed their opinions on social media or during interviews with various MMA media outlets.

During a recent edition of MMA Fight Radio, UFC light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo shared his thoughts on the payment structure for fighters.

“The Reebok numbers are absolutely horrible,” Jimmo said. “They are absolutely horrible and UFC and Reebok should absolutely be ashamed of yourself what you have done with the athletes with that deal. Here are some numbers. Now we know 1-5 fights is $2500. 5-10, that is the bracket I sit in is $5,000 and I am losing quite a bit of money.”

Jimmo would go on to bring up a recent article that was published on Bloody Elbow about the sponsorship pay. Jimmo paints a picture that all of the apparel money is not going to the fighters based on this article.

“So Bloody Elbow did a whole breakdown,” he explained. “How many fighters are on the roster, how many events, average amount of fights that each fighter on average has, and broke it out. They are only spending — it’s a six year deal, supposed to be $70 million. They are spending and this is a little bit of a high number, $6.5 million a year by giving athletes sponsorship. That is about $36,000 and that is a bit of a high number.”

“So there is about $35 million of the $70 million being completed unaccounted for and Zuffa and UFC are just like there is no one questioning — but people are questioning them about it but they are like ‘whatever. It’s there own business so screw you.’ It’s horrible. It’s brutal. It’s an absolute atrocity that this is what the situation has come to. They like to keep their fighters starving so that they can have more control.”

“I am going to put this into perspective for a little bit. The average UFC fighter makes $32,000 a year with their purse. So you have $32,000 a year and that is for the average fighter. That is what they are making. That are guys that are coming in a $6,000/$6,000 and before you could supplement that with other sponsorship. Now, you can’t. The average fighter is now making $36,000. You can go work at Subway making sandwiches. Serving coffees at Starbucks and you are making more money than possibly a work class athlete, who are going through tremendous stresses.”

“Here is the thing. A lot of people are like, you should be happy. You are fighting in the UFC. It’s like a dream. So it’s like are you going to train for ten years and take a couple of years going through an amateur circuit where you are getting no money and you are getting beat up and injured. Then you are going to take a few more years where you are fighting for a couple of hundred bucks and slowly build that up. Then finally get to the UFC and just like sorry you wasted like 10-15 years of your life and now we are just going to give you bread scraps.”

“Why should you as an athlete as a professional, have to deal with the fact that there is only one big fish in the sea right now that you are able to go and your pay is based on what they feel that you are worth. If you have a job and you do not like it, you can go elsewhere because you feel you are worth more. You feel like you can get more money from people because you are worth more. Your skill set of what you built over 15-20 years is worth that money.”

His rant on this situation would wrap up with the light heavyweight saying if the UFC wants to fire him, go ahead since they are not paying him very well.

“Now you have something these people that are like the fat mayor who are hoarding money and hoarding food in the back of their closet while everyone else starves. Where they are getting fat and they are keeping everyone else starving so they can have more control over them. It’s brutal and UFC, if you want to fire me, go ahead. It’s like you are not paying me very well anyway.”

Jimmo is scheduled to meet Francimar Barroso at UFC Fight Night 67 at the end of the month in Brazil. Going to be interesting to see what happens with Jimmo and his contract with the UFC following that fight, especially if he is unable to get the victory.