“Stealing From the Fighters”- Heinous Accusations Leveled at Dana White’s UFC as Brand Replaced by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Comes to Light

Published 05/21/2022, 10:15 AM EDT

Gegard Mousasi is a huge what-if story in the MMA space. The middleweight fighter was wrecking through the division before parting away with the UFC. The Bellator middleweight champion’s departure from the UFC had some reasons that the fighter talked about in a recent interview as he blasted Dana White and UFC’s move to change fighters’ gear.

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Mousasi revealed a big reason for him picking Bellator over the UFC. He said, “Let’s say about the sponsorships; you took those away; you put reebok; all the money went to UFC. Paying a fighter that can make 200K a fight to when he goes to 10 thousand with the Reebok. That’s stealing from the fighters. They could’ve said, ‘okay, f*** that.’ And then they killed the whole sponsorships.”

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The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion was on the verge of getting the UFC championship bout with a finish over Chris Weidman in what was his fifth straight win inside the Octagon. However, he chose to work with his former employer, Scott Coker, on a six-fight deal, with pay upfront, more per fight pay, PPV shares, permission to fight elsewhere, sponsorship allowed, and more.

CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 09: UFC President Dana White looks on during the UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2 event at the United Center on June 9, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The UFC had signed an exclusive deal with Reebok for fighters’ kits. Though Reebok compensated the fighters based on the number of walks they made inside the Octagon, their pay was certainly not enough, chiefly, for a fighter as popular as ‘The Dream Catcher.’

That said, the UFC President talked about the matter. He offered a good deal for the up-and-coming fighters who struggled to get sponsors on their own. Besides, it made the athletes look more professional.

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After Reebok, the UFC signed a deal with Venom, and not only that but further there’s a deal in place with the Dwayne Johnson for fighters’ footwear. Johnson’s Project Rock replaced Reebok as the official footwear sponsor of the UFC.

Dana White and Dwayne Johnson come together for Project Rock

The UFC President and Johnson share a cordial relationship. Their linkup also saw ‘The Rock’ getting his hands into the UFC with a sponsorship deal. Rock, with Under Armour, made ‘Project Rock’ the official footwear sponsor for the UFC.

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Moreover, Mr. White and ‘The Rock’ made the big announcement about the deal on ESPN ahead of the UFC 270.

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In conclusion, according to Mousasi, the UFC made more money with these sponsorship deals and certain fighters had to suffer because of that. And Mousasi, who proved himself as one of the best fighters even without winning the UFC title, was not afraid to speak about it.

What do you make of Mousasi’s remark?

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Deepak Kumar

1049 articles

Deepak Kumar is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. His love for MMA comes from the chaos and violence the fight game brings to the table. A BJJ aspirant, Deepak began following the sport as a casual fan when Ronda Rousey was finishing her opponents in seconds.

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