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onip69 01-15-2013 06:23 PM

Reebok flap latest on 'Rampage' Jackson's list of gripes with UFC
Reebok flap latest on 'Rampage' Jackson's list of gripes with UFC

by Steven Marrocco on Jan 15, 2013 at 5:45 pm ET

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson said his reasons for planning to leave the UFC after his next fight remain the same, but he's found a new one in recent months.

The former UFC light heavyweight champ and action-movie actor is incensed that the promotion won't let him wear new sponsor Reebok into the cage when he fights Glover Teixeira (19-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) next week in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 6

"I see other fighters sponsored by Nike," said Jackson (32-10 MMA, 7-4 UFC), referring to much-publicized deals between the top apparel maker and current light heavy champ Jon Jones as well as middleweight champ Anderson Silva and former heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos. "Why can't I have Reebok?"

Sullen and disgruntled throughout a conference call in support of the event, which takes place Jan. 26 at United Center in Chicago, Jackson issued a fresh round of criticism regarding the promotion's business practices, stating he turned down a new contract offer because he felt disrespected and exploited.

Jackson, who starred in the 2010 remake of "The A-Team," expressed interest in professional boxing after his time ends inside the octagon.

"I hear (former UFC fighter Kevin) 'Kimbo Slice' (Ferguson) is doing pretty good," he said.

Jackson, whose contract was acquired by the UFC from the World Fighting Alliance in 2006, announced in March that he was parting ways with the industry-leader after 11 fights with the promotion. Explaining the reason for his departure on Twitter, he vented about the promotion trashing his performance at UFC 144 despite knowledge that he was injured.

The UFC subsequently confirmed that Jackson's next appearance would be his last.

The fighter said Reebok would stick by him despite the ban, but surmised that the UFC's decision was illegal. ( confirmed Jackson's sponsorship with the apparel maker.

"We are excited to help Rampage train to fight at his best and we look forward to working with him in the future," said John Lynch, Reebok's vice president of U.S. marketing and merchandising.

The UFC, meanwhile, said it was open to establishing a relationship with Reebok.

"We work with apparel companies from all over the world through our approved partnership program," a spokesperson said. "We've not yet been approached by Reebok on behalf of 'Rampage,' but welcome the conversation. We do everything we can to support our athletes getting these types of sponsorships and will continue to do so moving forward."

The UFC in 2009 instituted a policy to charge a fee for companies seeking to sponsor fighters. Today, they are required to pay between $50,000 and $250,000 for the privilege, depending on the size of the company, according to a source with knowledge of the policy.

Companies may also ink partnership deals with the UFC that offer more exposure inside the octagon.

Prior to a fight, the promotion sends out a list of sponsors with whom the UFC has inked exclusive deals. They include energy drink Xyience, Harley Davidson, Ultimate Poker, Budweiser and MetroPCS, according to sources. Managers and fighters are required to submit proposed sponsors for approval.

There are no apparel companies on the UFC's list of exclusive sponsors, sources say.

UFC President Dana White has defended the promotion's sponsorship tax, stating that the promotion is one of the most lenient sports leagues in the world when it comes to what fighters can and can't wear.

Those restrictions are built into a fighter's contract. The UFC's standard promotional agreement states that "all sponsorship and endorsement approvals shall be at (UFC parent company) Zuffa's sole discretion."

Jones' deal with Nike was heralded as potential game-changer for fighters seeking sponsorship from the world's leading sports apparel companies.

Jackson, though, believes that door is shut. Fed up with his bosses, he's ready to test the waters of free agency.

"It's not just about money," Jackson said. "It's about respect. I step in the octagon (and) I put my life on the line, and I try to be an exciting fighter. I just don't feel appreciated. I'd rather take a money cut and go to another show and feel appreciated."

LL 01-15-2013 06:39 PM

I imagine this has more to do with Nike than it does with Rampage.

MMA is huge in Brazil and there's where Anderson and Junior got their deals at, Nike Brazil, Anderson has since gone on to be a world wide deal and obviously Bones is world wide. The UFC may be thinking that they can get the swoosh on their mat which would be huge, the Nike logo on the Octagon would be a big deal but the UFC isn't the NFL or the NBA or the NHL where everyone wears Nike/Reebok/Whoever the hell makes the NHL jerseys I don't watch Hockey so I don't know, but by blocking Reebok that might open to door for Nike Brazil to put their logo on a Brazilian card or maybe Nike is gonna become a sponsor of the UFC.

That or they're dicking Rampage over because he's leaving, either way if Rampage on a two fight losing streak can get Reebok than Cain, Mighty Mouse, Bendo, and Aldo need to get with someone. GSP has Under Armour, Mission Athlete Care and Cruz has Famous Stars and Straps and Monster Energy Drink and some Nascar race track sponsors him so he's doing very well for himself on the sponsorship side of things.

SideWays222 01-15-2013 09:14 PM


"We work with apparel companies from all over the world through our approved partnership program," a spokesperson said. "We've not yet been approached by Reebok on behalf of 'Rampage,' but welcome the conversation. We do everything we can to support our athletes getting these types of sponsorships and will continue to do so moving forward."

If they really have no approached the UFC about Rampage then i dont see how this is UFCs fault. Especially when he is going to leave his next fight and has been bad mouthing them he cant expect them to go out and make first contact.

Black_S15 01-15-2013 10:17 PM

cant wait till glover knocks this fool out of the UFC. had enough of him already

Toxic 01-15-2013 10:51 PM

Shouldn't Rampage be busy planning out his excuses for his next loss? I would say training for it but I think Rampage has pretty much given up on that, these days he makes BJ Penn question his commitment and training dedication.

The Best Around 01-16-2013 07:44 AM

Fair on the Reebok. But now hes complaining that Glover may not solely stand and box with him. He is so annoying; cant wait until he leaves the UFC.

Danm2501 01-16-2013 08:04 AM

Jesus Christ. Disappointed that I used to consider myself a fan of Rampage. Sick of his constant bitching about the UFC. At least when Tito did it it was funny, because, well, everything Tito says is unintentionally funny. Maybe if Rampage actually did what he said he was going to do, and actually knock someone out he'd get a bit more respect, but he's not managed that since 2008, and he's kidding himself if he thinks the reason for that is because people aren't standing with him.

Machida wanted to stand with him, but as soon as Rampage realised he had zero chance of actually hitting Lyoto with one of his telegraphed hooks, he decided he'd try and wrestle his way to a win. Then, he stood with Hamill, who Gustafsson and Jones had no trouble putting away, but he looked awful in that fight. Then, Jones stood with him, and guess what, Jones ****ed him up standing too. Hell, even Keith Jardine stood with him, and if you're claiming to be a KO artist, and you can't knock Keith Jardine out, then you've got problems. Hopefully, Teixeira will smash him, and send him to the little leagues where he'll realise his mistake, realise he likes the UFC money he's making, continue to struggle to knock anyone out, fail to carve out a movie career and ultimately make a move into Professional Boxing, which he'll fail at too. I just pray Glover delivers!

buddyface 01-16-2013 12:33 PM

I love the comment that 'Kimbo Slice is doing pretty well' Yeah fighting in small casinos. Not trying knock small shows of boxing or mma, but does Rampage really think he'll make more money fighting in front of 1,500 (at best) with minimum television and sponsorship, or fighting in front of 15,000 with full television deal and advertising revenue?

The guy just makes terrible business decisions and takes things way to personal. People booed when you beat chuck, get over it. You skipped what would have been a great payday and even better exposure to make a third rate movie that no one cared about. Who manages this guy?

Harness 01-16-2013 02:09 PM

And to think I used to be a fan of this guy. The times passed this guy past, now all he does is whine and cry about it. Shame really.

SideWays222 01-16-2013 04:31 PM

I believe that if Rampage had the skillset he had about 7 years ago that he would still be a force in the LHW division.

But he is one of the few guys whos skills have gotten worse and it isnt due to an aging body.

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