Back in December 2014, UFC announced a landmark deal unlike any they’d made deal before. For six years, Reebok would be the exclusive outfitter and apparel provider for the organization. This includes “Fight Week” gear, “Fight Night kit,” and UFC fan gear. They will be developed in conjunction with UFC and its athletes, including any who are already sponsored under Reebok.
Despite what the company and its fighters might think about the deal, the lingering question is what the MMA community (specifically the UFC fan community) thought about the deal. Thankfully, many of them were more than happy to state their opinions on social media.
It is safe to report that the sudden chatter on the UFC and Reebok deal is related to the Official Fight Kit Launch shown on the UFC official website (video attached above). The “fashion show” of sorts showed what specific fighters would be wearing as they enter the Octagon. Considerations, such as the country said fighter was fighting out of, were incorporated into the attire. Some examples include Alexander Gustafsson’s jersey highlighting the color yellow for Sweden, while Conor McGregor’s jersey highlighted green for Ireland.
Also, Reebok’s UFC clothing wasn’t just a concentration on the aesthetic. According to The Street, Ronda Rousey is very happy with the clothing line because it tackles an issue Rousey had with previous fight clothes: wardrobe malfunctions.
“None of it’s made for combat sports. All of my wardrobe malfunctions occurred with Lululemon (LULU) stuff. This is the first time I have been able to have women’s MMA (mixed martial arts) clothing and I don’t have to worry about trying to make something else work in a situation it wasn’t made for.”
Despite the aforementioned details being of a positive nature per se, Reebok’s UFC clothing line was not immune from the varying opinions of the MMA community. Bleacher Report collected many tweets showcasing said opinions in which they range from acceptance to scathing.
— Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) June 30, 2015
Don’t care much about the Reebok uniforms other than it seems any sense of individuality among UFC fighters is gone and that stinks. — Josh Gross (@yay_yee) June 30, 2015
Anybody else getting a “Running Man” vibe from this UFC-Reebok fashion show? Just me?
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) June 30, 2015
Yet, the most aggressive members of the MMA community were the ones nitpicking on Reebok’s blunders. Apparently, Reebok misspelled many of the names of UFC fighters especially Gilbert Melendez in which they spelled Gilbert’s first name “Giblert.” Of course the MMA community showed no mercy.
Sadly, the Giblert Melendez kit is no longer available.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) June 30, 2015
— Bang Zoom MMA (@BangZoomMMA) June 30, 2015
Now to be fair, some of the criticisms may be a tad bit too harsh. But it is believed most of the animosity stems from the fact the UFC and Reebok deal was widely criticized for potentially reducing fighter income, especially for the up-and-coming UFC fighters who lack in sponsorship support.
Reebok’s UFC clothing line is now available at their official website. Right now, only 11 fighters have their clothes available. Others will show when they become available.
[Image via UFC/Reebok]