ufc venum deal

UFC and Venum Deal: The Most Interesting Facts

In April 2021, the UFC parted ways with Reebok after six years of partnership. Instead, the company turned to Venum, a global MMA gear powerhouse that’ll serve as the official apparel sponsor and manufacturer for the promotion – the same as Reebok had been for the past six years. So, what makes the UFC and Venum deal stand out?

While the exact worth of the deal isn’t disclosed, the UFC-Venum deal will be shorter (around three years) and less lucrative for the promotion. However, fighters will get a slight salary increase in fighter incentives. The bump will range from $500 to $2000, depending on the fighter.

What makes me the most excited about the deal is the fact that Venum is a brand that specializes in combat sports gear, unlike Reebok that does sports gear in general. Let’s dive into the new, awesome move the UFC made and see how it benefits the fans and the fighters.

Is Venum The New Sponsor Of UFC?

Venum has replaced Reebok as UFC’s official apparel partner. UFC and Reebok had a six-year deal that started in 2014, and it expired in April 2021. The promotion decided to part ways with Reebok and turned to Venum, a well-known, established company specializing solely in combat sports gear – from clothes, training gear to gloves, kicks, etc.

If you follow MMA, you’ll know what Venum is. Many fighters had individual deals with Venum while they were still allowed to have their own in-octagon sponsors (before the Reebok deal). They are the world leaders in combat sports gear, making this deal a huge step for the UFC and Venum.

While Venum is, as of now, the new apparel partner for the UFC, I wouldn’t call them a new “sponsor.” Sure, they will create and manufacture Fight Night Kits and Fight Week apparel, including shorts, shirts, tracksuits, etc., but I believe they are more of a partner rather than a classic sponsor.

The UFC has tons of classic sponsors like Monster Energy, Modelo, etc. Although the Venum logo will be all over the fighter’s gears and probably in the octagon, they also serve as a partner that equips the fighters entirely for their fights and gets them a nice chunk of their paycheck.

As for the fight night gear, the fighters will be able to choose from five different styles of shorts and numerous colorways, which should enable them to personalize their gear more than Reebok allowed. Also, that will allow them to choose the type of shorts that suits their fighting style the most.

As for the duration of the deal, UFC’s chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein stated that the initial deal is for roughly three years. However, there’s a big chance that it’ll eventually become a long-term deal. [1]

How Much Is the UFC – Venum Deal Worth?

When UFC made a deal with Reebok in 2014, we knew it’s a six-year deal worth roughly $70 million. That amount wasn’t all cash, though. It included the free gear that the fighters were getting, too.

With the Venum deal, the numbers weren’t publicly disclosed, except for the fact that it’s been stated that it isn’t as lucrative as the Reebok deal. However, it’s also a shorter deal that’ll last around three years, and if it works out well, it could be prolonged, and the amount of money involved might be increased.

What’s great for the fighters is that they’ll get a slight pay increase. Since the Reebok deal, the fighter incentive pay has been introduced. Fighters get a chunk of the sponsorship deal for every event they compete on instead of getting money from their personal sponsorship deals.

With the Venum deal, champions will see a bump from $40 000 fighter incentive pay to $42 000. Challengers will also get a $2000 raise (from $30 000 to $32 000), while fighters with over 20 UFC fights will receive $21 000 instead of $20 000.

The fighters with 16-20 UFC appearances will get $16 000 instead of $15 000, while those with 11-15 appearances get $11 000 instead of $10 000. The fighters between 6 and 10 UFC gigs get $6000 instead of $5000, while entry-level fighters get a $500 bump ($4000 for their 1st-to-3rd fight, and $4500 for fights 4 and 5).

TierReebokVenum
Champions$40,000$42,000
Title challengers$30,000$32,000
Over 20 UFC fights$20,000$21,000
16-20 UFC fights$15,000$16,000
11-15 UFC fights$10,000$11,000
6-10 UFC fights$5,000$6,000
4 or 5 UFC fights$4,000$4,500
1-3 UFC fights$3,500$4,000

UFC fans will benefit from the deal, too, as Venum’s official UFC gear is more accessible worldwide, higher-quality, and even slightly cheaper.

Why Did UFC Go to Venum?

As the Reebok deal was coming to an end, UFC had to decide if they want to stay with Reebok or part ways and search for another partner. In the end, Reebok made it easier for them, turning to other endeavors, while the UFC happily switched to Venum – the brand that most fighters preferred in the first place.

As the promotion’s president, Dana White, stated at the UFC 251 weigh-ins in Abu Dhabi:

This is the business Venum is in. I just think the timing on this thing couldn’t have been any better; they’re a great company, they’ve invested in this, and I love it.

Dana White [2]

In other words, Venum is all about combat sports, and it’s the world’s leading brand when it comes to MMA gear. The quality of their products is unmatched, and they make every product according to the fighter’s needs. It was just the right thing to do – pairing the world’s leading MMA gear brand with the world’s leading MMA promotion.

What Company Owns Venum?

Venum is a privately owned company that specializes in martial arts gear. It was founded in 2006 in Paris, France, and the founder of the company, Franck Dupuis, is still the owner as well. Since it was founded in 2006, it became the global martial arts apparel leader, making the UFC deal possible.