Bigg Rigg” has just locked up a big deal with Reebok.
During Wednesday’s episode of UFC Tonight, it was announced by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani that top welterweight contender Johny Hendricks has signed a deal with blue chip sponsor Reebok:
“Johny Hendricks is going to make history even before he fights GSP. Some fighters in the past has had deals with Reebok, the great apparel company, but no one has rocked their gear inside the Octagon, that is until November 16. That’s when Johny Hendricks will be sponsored by Reebok. He’ll become the first UFC fighter to rock Reebok gear inside the Octagon.”
Hendricks now joins a small group of MMA stars breaking down barriers by acquiring a blue chip sponsor. It really speaks volumes to the evolution of the sport. Many can still remember a time when even low end sponsors were afraid to associate with a sport some branded as “human cockfighting.”
Thankfully, the UFC’s continued growth has increased exposure and allowed people to become more educated about MMA. Along with Reebok, major companies like Nike, Gatorade, Under Armour and Adidas have focused their efforts in MMA.
The inevitable trickle-down effect is the biggest thing to take away from Hendricks’ deal, as it will open the doors to future fighters hoping to snag a major sponsor.
Hendricks actually wearing Reebok gear into the cage means Reebok is officially an approved sponsor in the UFC.
Some may remember former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, a Reebok-sponsored fighter, throwing a fit after the UFC denied him wearing his Reebok-sponsored gear during his bout in January with Glover Teixeira.
UFC President Dana White told The MMA Digest that Rampage wasn’t allowed to wear his gear simply because Reebok wasn’t an approved sponsor. In May, White spoke with former Bleacher Report writer Damon Martin and hinted at the UFC potentially closing in on a big deal with Reebok, but nothing was ever officially announced.
UFC 167 is slated to take place on November 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Hendricks hopes to be the man to finally put an end to Georges St-Pierre’s UFC title reign. It’s no secret that he has the power to shock the world.
Will he be able to cash in on a world title to supplement his newfound superstardom?