Kennedy: UFC uniforms 'a scary road'


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 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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Recent Comments »

time traveling 12er site profile image  

4/16/14 7:05 PM by time traveling 12er

The owners do that.  The players are not allowed to.  In the NBA, till Jordan came around players weren't even allowed to wear their own shoes.  If you guys think the UFC is going to alienate the Nike's and Reeboks of the world just so Tim Kennedy can get Bro-Fist Fite Wear on his shorts, you're crazy.  People like Kennedy and Nate Quarry are getting ahead of themselves with the uniform thing. No one knows yet what it means or how it would manifest.  It doesn't automatically mean everyone wears the same exact shorts, or that fighters lose all their sponsors.  So right now it's a lot of pointless fear mongering.

Nonlinear site profile image  

4/16/14 6:26 PM by Nonlinear

Dana White holds an exibition to field test the new UFC approved ring gear.

Brockback Mountain site profile image  

4/16/14 5:01 PM by Brockback Mountain

Holy shit LOL

Let me bang bro site profile image  

4/16/14 4:51 PM by Let me bang bro

where condodnm depot unifiroms ato in bellator thatsr ight

John 'nottheface' Nash site profile image  

4/16/14 4:38 PM by John 'nottheface' Nash

A few people have told me that over 50% of the revenue from the uniform deal will be earmarked for the fighters. Of course those same people estimated that the fighters currently get much more than 50% of all the revenue from the in-cage shorts and shirt sponsors since the UFC's only cut right now is from the "sponsor tax." The question then becomes will the new uniforms see an increase in revenue to offset the loss in revenue from now banned sponsors? Another question does it provide the fighters with as much income as they would have seen with more lax, "tax-free" sponsor system? Those are the things you have to take into account before you can declare it a postive or negative for the fighters. As for other leagues, collective bargaining guarantees that around 50% of all advertising revenue. not just what appears on the uniforms, is earmarked for players' salaries.

Nonlinear site profile image  

4/16/14 4:26 PM by Nonlinear

Leaked uniform pics.   UFC Approved Walkout hats:   Ring uniforms: UFC brand exercise equipment:    

Thacommish site profile image  

4/16/14 4:01 PM by Thacommish

*cough* Collective bargaining agreement *cough*

HardHittingHeeb site profile image  

4/16/14 3:38 PM by HardHittingHeeb

Gotta call out his hypothetical here. Kennedy doesn't need to worry about being a Nike-sponsored athlete.Just sayin'.

JGooch site profile image  

4/16/14 3:35 PM by JGooch

Professional athletes shouldn't qualify for food stamps if your company is worth 3 billion dollars. Maybe its not maybe your struggling and thats all saving face but its one or the other.

JGooch site profile image  

4/16/14 3:32 PM by JGooch

MLB has a 500,000 dollar league minimum. There bottom level guys make as much as ufc stars, they dont need sponsors on there jersey to eat. I want to watch pro fighters who can afford to train full time when i turn on the highest level of competition possible. If the UFC cant afford to do it themselves they shouldn't put any roadblocks on the fighters until there paying them a living wage.