UFC Announces Policy Changes to Reebok Pay and Media Obligations for Fighters

The UFC has announced some new changes that will affect all the fighters on the roster

The UFC has announced some changes to both the current pay structure for athletes under the Reebok deal as well as media obligations for fighters on the roster.

The 17-page document called “UFC Promotional Guidelines” was sent to the athletes on Friday with several changes including a new tier for payouts for Reebok in the outfitting policy.

The changes were first reported by ESPN.

Under the new policy, the changes in the Reebok program will primarily benefit new fighters on the UFC roster. The Reebok outfitting policy, which went into effect in 2015, has been much maligned by fighters who have complained about the payouts they’ve received while the UFC has also cut out fighters from wearing any additional sponsors on their clothing outside of those approved by the promotion.

Reebok payouts, which were determined by the UFC, range from as high as $40,000 all the way down to $2,500. The new policy will now make the lowest tier pay out $3,500 for those fighters with three or less fights in the UFC.

The second tier for fighters with four or five fights in the UFC will now be paid $5,000.

Previously both section of those fighters would have only been paid $2,500.

“This gives the shorter-tenured fighters on our roster an increase,” UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein said about the changes. “We felt this was the most impactful, meaningful way to get more money to our athletes.”

The rest of the Reebok pay tiers will remain the same.

In addition to the new tier being added for the Reebok payouts, the UFC has also outlined some changes for athletes when it comes to obligations to do media as well as promoting their upcoming fights.

Under the new policy, UFC fighters will be required to give four days of ‘advance’ media promotion, six hours of promotion during fight week as well as one hour of post fight promotion.

Fighters competing in main or co-main events will also be required to allow UFC cameras access to them for at least eight days prior to a fight. The UFC can also request a one day, eight hour commercial shoot from fighters at least twice per year.

While fighters are required to offer up promotion or media time per the standard UFC contract, this new policy now has stated hours required for the athletes on the roster.

It appears these policy changes will go into effect immediately for all the fighters on the UFC roster.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.