Former Strikeforce middleweight title contender Tim Kennedy has been out of action since his controversial UFC 178 “stoolgate” loss to Yoel Romero, and he’s not sure if he’s ever coming back to the octagon.

The decorated Army vet had knee surgery after the fight and has been biding his time elsewhere, and during an appearance on yesterday’s The MMA Hour, Kennedy said there’s a major reason why he isn’t in a rush to compete for the UFC. That reason is not surprisingly the UFC’s criticized uniform sponsorship deal with Reebok.

That business side of the fight game is keeping Kennedy away, as he revealed that he shockingly made more sponsorship money in two individual fights in Strikeforce than the entire disclosed Reebok payouts for last Saturday’s (August 8, 2015) UFC Fight Night 73:

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“My disenchantment has come from the business side of it. The officiating, the reffing, the sponsorship. Where the sport is now, it’s horrible, tragic, and pathetic. Glover just fought OSP, right? The entire Reebok payout was $100,000 or something? All, every athlete on the entire UFC card that night.

“I made more sponsorship money in Strikeforce than every single athlete on that card that night. In one fight! Me vs. Luke Rockhold or me vs. Jacare. Even my last fight, me versus Zak Cummings. I made more than every single UFC athlete, to include Glover, who just fought for the title against Jon Jones, cumulatively. If that doesn’t blow your mind and say what is wrong with this sport…”

Before the Reebok deal went into effect during International Fight Week in early July, many spoke up to proclaim that they would be met with a massive pay cut in terms of sponsorship money, and there was just nothing they could do about it.

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The only thing they can do is not fight, and it seems that Kennedy has decided to do just that as he awaits the sponsorship situation and officiating to improve in the UFC. There’s no question that both areas need some drastic improvement, but it doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

With many fighters supposedly disenfranchised with the Reebok deal but unwilling to speak up for fear of punishment, will the outspoken Kennedy’s words motivate others to join together for overarching change, or will they just serve to alienate him even further from the good graces of his bosses?

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