Fabricio Werdum told Reebok to suck a certain part of his body earlier this week.
The former UFC heavyweight champ took to Instagram on Tuesday to take a shot at the official apparel sponsor for the UFC – Reebok. In his post, Werdum said, 'I'm not generic, I'm Nike since childhood,' and used the hashtags in Spanish that translate to #suck #myballs #reebok. As expected, Wedum's Instagram post got a lot of attention from fans and media, spreading throughout the web.
Just hours later after the post, 'Vai Cavalo' went on live on Facebook to explain what he meant with his controversial photo.
"I was protesting," Werdum said. "Actually, I'm not forced to use Reebok. I don't have a contract with them. For people that don't know, Reebok sponsors, well, sponsors, only during the fight and in the fight week you have to wear it [Reebok gear], it's in the contract. In reality, I don't have a deal with them to post outside the UFC. I can post whatever I want, if I want to post Kings MMA, I'll post. If I want to post Nike or any other company or the sponsors I have, anything, so I'm not obligated. For people saying I'd get in trouble, there will be no trouble. It was just a protest, something that before we could show any sponsor we wanted. We used to get real good money, it was a lot different from Reebok. Today, with Reebok there is a pay scale, if you have a certain number of fights you get $5.000, $8.000. Of course it's good money, but nothing like it was before, so of course it was a protest."
Werdum went on to give a message to his fellow fighters. He told them to speak up and to not give free publicity to companies that don't pay them for sponsorship, as their image outside the cage also holds value.
"I think fighters need to start speaking because no one is happy," Werdum said. "It's something that is in our contract, we have to sign it and end of story. We don't have options. It was nice because it [the photo] was featured even in Globo.com. People talking, 'Werdum signed with Nike', no, but if Nike is interested, we're here.
"So just to clarify, the people thinking I will get in trouble, nothing will happen. I even tell the fighters, if some company won't sponsor you, you have to cover up their names, gloves, shin guards, don't make free promotion. That's our job, our image, our fights. Just because someone sends you some gloves you don't need to keep making several posts with them. That's not how it works, you have to value your image."