Steph Daniels recently interviewed Tim Kennedy ahead of his main event fight with Michael Bisping Wednesday night at the TUF Nations Finale.
As is always the case with Daniels, the interview with among the best Kennedy has ever given, if not not the best, covering Michael Bisping, Bisping's eye, the British, Nick Diaz, Mayhem, Mayhem Miller, Game of Thrones, and much more.
Among the topics covered was sponsorship opportunities, and Kennedy doesn't like the current climate.
Something has to change. The way that it works right now, we have to go to the UFC to get approval for every individual sponsor and we are losing out on a lot of potential revenue. If we're wearing a uniform, and they have a plan about how to increase our earning potential, then I would love to hear it.
How it is right now, I go to them with 10 sponsors, and they say ‘No' to 8 of them, that really hurts me as an athlete in my earning potential. My understanding of their intent with the uniforms is obviously to make it aesthetically pleasing. Instead of having walking billboards in the cage, there would be a clear, symmetrical look to all of us.
Then we would have a limited space for our sponsors. If we're all wearing Under Armour, does that mean they're paying us? If I am a Nike sponsored athlete, and I'm wearing Under Armour fight shorts, you know...how does that work? Are they compensating me for damaging the deal to exclusively wear somebody else's stuff?
I don't know how this will all pan out. They could just come down and say, ‘I don't care who your other sponsors are. I don't care if you have an exclusive agreement. If you're going to fight, this is what you're going to wear.' It's a scary road we're going to go down, but it has to happen. If we want to get paid like all the athletes in other professional sports, then we've got to look like it.
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In an interview with Steph Daniels, Bisping too said the uniform would be a good thing.
It's the next step in the evolution of the sport. If you look at other professional sports, they all have a uniform, and I can see the logic in it. It cleans up the look and provides a crisper image for the casual fans. There will be many more changes throughout my lifetime as a fighter and after it. We'll be able to look back on it and say, ‘Wow! I can't believe it was like that. It was like the wild, wild West. Look how far we've come.'
Dana has said that the majority of the money generated from the uniforms will go to the fighters, so I think that's a great thing. It's going to be such a good thing for the entry level fighters who don't make much. Now, they'll be able to get more money, and to be honest, they're the guys that really need it.
Of course we all want to make extra money, but I do well. The UFC has really looked after me, I'm on a good contract and I've got no qualms at all. If the up and coming guys, the fighters of tomorrow, can have a few more dollars in their wallets, then I'm all for that.
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