The six year partnership between the UFC and Reebok came to an end after UFC 260 this past Saturday, March 27. Francis Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic to become the new UFC heavyweight champion at the last UFC pay-per-view under the Reebok deal.
However, Reebok will continue to remain the official footwear partner of the UFC for the rest of the year, as per the contract:
"We appreciate the partnership with Reebok over the past six years. It was a groundbreaking deal that elevated both of our brands. We’re pleased that Reebok will continue with us as the official footwear provider of UFC through 2021," said Dana White in a statement in July, 2020.
The collaboration with Reebok began in 2014 when the UFC signed a six-year deal with the sporting goods giant worth $70 million. Under the Promotional Guidelines Compliance set down in 2015, Reebok paid out a total of $39,346,500 to the fighters over the last six years.
Here's a year-by-year breakdown of UFC-Reebok payouts:
2021 (January to March): $1,923,500
2020 total: $6,543,500
2019 total: $7,370,500
2018 total: $6,901,000
2017 total: $6,295,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Under the contract, fighters were paid a certain amount for every event they competed in as per their experience and royalties for the sale of their official UFC merchandise.
The UFC is teaming up with VENUM as their new apparel partner
Leading combat sports apparel and accessories brand VENUM is replacing Reebok as the UFC's new global outfitting partner starting in April 2021.
Venum is an apparel and equipment brand that focuses solely on the manufacturing of gear for martial arts and combat sports. Founded by Franck Dupuis in 2006, Venum has previously sponsored UFC fighters like Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida, Miesha Tate, 'Shogun' Rua and Fabricio Wedum.
"We’re pumped that VENUM will be joining us as our new exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner. VENUM is an Iconic combat sports brand that understands the unique needs of MMA athletes. Franck Dupuis and his team at VENUM have the technical knowledge and experience that will produce world-class UFC Fight Kits and apparel. We’re looking forward to collaborating with them on this next evolution of UFC’s outfitting program," Dana White said in the same statement.
ESPN has reported that the new deal with VENUM is comparatively shorter than the one with Reebok. It is also likely to benefit the fighters more. Per the statement, athletes will be seeing an "across the board".