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Morning Report: Dana White says 'short-sighted' fighters complaining of Reebok deal 'don't get it'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After 'pi**ing' [as Joe Rogan put it] all over heavyweight Brendan Schaub last week, UFC president Dana White isn't the man to cry to over the Reebok uniform deal.

"The fighters aren't thrilled about it," White told Power 106 Los Angeles Wednesday. "I don't know, man. These guys don't get it. These guys are short-sighted sometimes. It's good for the industry. It's good for everybody. You want to have a deal like this.

"Let me tell you what's going on. Our weigh-ins are live on TV. You see some of the underwear these guys wear? Guys in like SpongeBob SquarePants underwear. We need to take this thing to the next level and have them in all Reebok gear."

After Schaub claimed he 'made six figures in sponsorship in each of his last 6 fights,' White mocked him last week on TSN's Off the Record with Michael Landsberg.

White discredited the notion that Schaub, specifically, earned anywhere near that sum in sponsorship income, then rattled off a handful of businesses he claimed to be working with the heavyweight.

Schaub responded days later on Rogan's podcast, saying the list of sponsors was incorrect. He said that most of the names White read were off his banner -- not his actual sponsors. One sponsor being outright wrong.

"I just think he was misinformed," Schaub told Rogan. "Someone misinformed him. I've never even heard of that. That's not my sponsor. It's not even a sponsor I work with."

Wednesday, White had more company names who may or may not sponsor a certain unnamed UFC heavyweight.

"Some of these sponsors, one guy, I'm not kidding you, 'NoHo Hangover' is one of his sponsors," White said. "1-800-radiators. Condom Depot. I could go on for days. DNL Deli Market. The Tire Barn. These are some of the sponsors these guys have.

"Reebok has stepped up. These guys have spent a lot of money. We're giving every dime of the money that's coming in to the athletes."

Asked to explain the backlash, White's explanation was simple.

"Change," said White. "Change freaks everybody out. Listen, these guys can all keep their sponsors. They can all have them. They just can't wear them in the octagon. That's no different from any other sports organization on earth. NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball. It was the next step for the evolution of the sport. It had to be done, but nobody likes change."

White admits the deal has been a tough sell to fighters, but says the relationship 'could' be a launching pad for at least one fighter presumably already earning millions of dollars.

"If this thing goes right and it does well, there could be a Michael Jordan for Reebok in this group of guys and girls. It could be Ronda. It could be this one or that one that could have a long-lasting relationship with Reebok for the rest of their life. It's a good thing."

Back to Ronda, White uses the UFC's biggest star as an example of someone making it by just fine without 'in-cage' sponsorships.

"To tell you the truth, Ronda is actually one of the most sponsored people in the UFC," White said. "She makes millions of dollars in sponsorship. She's never worn one in the Octagon, ever. She wears UFC stuff. It's part of the evolution of the sport.

"For the toughest guy's and girls in the world, this thing's like a hair salon. Everybody freaks out and starts gossiping and freaking out. It'll blow over."



Five rounds. Dana White says former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will get an immediate title shot whenever he makes his return to fighting.

No sympathy. Daniel Cormier says 'It's time for people to stop feeling sorry' for Jon Jones. "I don't feel sorry for Jon; I feel sorry for the lady he hit in the car that has a baby coming"

'I guarantee it does over two million PPV buys.' Dana White sounds bullish on a future fight between UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

Chat Wrap. Luke Thomas previews UFC 187, discusses Rousey-Cyborg, Brendan Schaub on UFC-Reebok deal and more in this week's live chat.

HOF. Jeff Blatnick, the former UFC announcer and commissioner who wrote the first rule book and gave the sport its name, along with the 2005 Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg welterweight championship fight, were named as part of the 2015 class of the UFC Hall of Fame.




UFC 187 Embedded episode 3.


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Performance Replay: Hayder Hassan vs. Andrews Nakahara on TUF.


Chris Weidman's UFC 187 vlog episode 2.


Bryan Callen on Brendan Schaub, Dana White & UFC Reebok deal.


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Long watches.

UFC 187 Care/Don't Care Preview


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