Swedish light heavyweight star Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson is set to face off with current UFC 205-pound boss Daniel “DC” Cormier at the upcoming UFC 192 which is set for October 3, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
This won’t be “The Mauler’s” first shot at gold, as he previously took former dominant champion Jon “Bones” Jones to the limit in their outstanding 2013 bout, but he ultimately came up short. Not only will Gustafsson get a second chance at glory, but this will also be his first fight under the UFC’s deal with Reebok.
Speaking with MMAJunkie, Gus said that fighters are being underpaid, and while he may not have anything negative to say about the Reebok deal, it didn’t seem as if he was in favor of it either:
“Pay the fighters a lot more money,” Gustafsson said. “For all the hard work and the sacrifices fighters generally do to fight, I think they’re a little bit underpaid. The same thing with the Reebok deal, too. I don’t have anything negative to say about it. I just think, why take away from fighters who haven’t established themselves in the organization? They have a hard time already, so why take away the small sponsors so they can pay the rent and pay their bills? Why take that away too? Really squeezing that last money from the fighters that haven’t been established yet. I think it’s sad to see.”
Fighter pay seems to be a topic discussed quite often, and “The Mauler” admits that being a fighter isn’t an easy task, and the pay that these combatants receive doesn’t make it any easier, which is why he believes that sponsors should should’ve been left alone.
At the end of the day, Gus said that the Reebok deal just isn’t going to help the fighters:
“Of course (it makes the sport less attractive),” Gustafsson said. “It’s hard as it is. Some of them don’t have a choice, they have to do the sport to survive. Some of them don’t. But I still think that the more support you can have from local sponsors, the more time you have to put in the gym and the more the sport will develop. It’s just that this Reebok deal is not going to help the fighters.”
Do you agree with “The Mauler’s” comments?