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Fabricio Werdum says Reebok deal will only benefit top UFC fighters

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- UFC president Dana White says the promotion won’t make a dime off the Reebok deal, and all the money will go directly to the fighters. Fabricio Werdum, recently crowned UFC interim heavyweight champion, is excited about it.

"Vai Cavalo", who scored a second-round knockout over Mark Hunt to win the UFC interim title in Mexico City in November, believes that the deal is good for the fighters, but only the ones ranked in the top 10 of the official UFC rankings.

"It’s not 100 percent set how it’s going to be, but I think that for those who are fighting for a long time, who battled for a good position in the rankings, the champion or the top 10 fighters, will benefit from that," Werdum told the media in Rio de Janeiro.

"I think that it’s not good for the up and comers, but maybe is a motivation for them. It will motivate them to get to the top. The fighter will think about it, an extra motivation. If I were an up and comer, I would think this way. Since I’m in a better position, I think it’s great. I worked hard for this. For those who are starting now, you have to work hard."

Brendan Schaub, who suffered a first-round TKO loss to Travis Browne at UFC 180, says he lost six sponsors after the UFC-Reebok announcement. Werdum, who captured the UFC gold a couple weeks earlier, didn’t lose any of his sponsorship deals.

"I didn’t lose any sponsors, and I don’t have many sponsors. I have few and good ones," he said. "I have several sponsors that don’t get in (the Octagon) with me, but you don’t have to have them all in the UFC, right? Of course it’s the best way to showcase, but it all depends on the brand and the fighters."