UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on Reebok outfitting policy fines: “I think it’s not fair for fighters not to comply”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Lorenzo Fertitta (photo credit Jayne Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

UFC owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta commented this week about the fines levied to Rafael dos Anjos, Donald Cerrone, and Nate Diaz over non-compliance with their Reebok “Athlete Outfitting Policy,” and it didn’t come off well.

Speaking with the Boston Herald ahead of last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 81 event, Fertitta equated it to the fighters violating a school uniform policy.

“I think it’s not fair for fighters not to comply with the outfitting policy,” Fertitta said. “It’s a very, very small minority of athletes that haven’t complied so far. It’s like when you went to school, you know? Some people get detention for being out of uniform. It’s not that hard. Tuck your shirt in.”

Penick’s Analysis: This is such a tone deaf response to legitimate concerns over the levied fines and the deal itself. The UFC obviously believes this is the right step for them, but its implementation has been greatly flawed, and to use the argument that it’s “not fair” for fighters not to comply is ridiculous, because the unfair piece of this came when the fighters had no say in how much money they would be losing by this deal being put in place. It’s not surprising in the least to see that fact continue to be ignored or downplayed, but it’s the key to discontent on the deal, and further fines towards fighters make it an even bigger issue.

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