Nick Diaz doesn’t have anything bad to say about the UFC’s Reebok deal. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced in December that it had signed a six-year deal with Reebok to become its official outfitter, fighter reactions were all over the map.
Some praised the new agreement, while others were concerned with the long-term financial ramifications. Few were more opinionated than Nate Diaz, who initially blasted the announcement in typical fashion on Twitter and later likened the uniform policy to “a big-ass cult” when speaking to media ahead his bout with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on Fox 13.
Nate’s older brother, Nick Diaz, was much more reserved when asked to reflect on the UFC/Reebok partnership. Diaz meets Anderson Silva in the UFC 183 headliner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 31. That highly-anticipated bout has occupied the majority of the Stockton, Calif., native’s time and attention over the course of the past few months, giving him little time to think about how the outfitting policy might affect his future.
“Honestly I don’t know too much about it,” he said during a conference call. “By the time all that stuff was going on, I was just focused on my training. One way or another, win or lose, it’s not gonna make a big difference to me what happens. I’m not the one that takes care of it.”
Of course, that is not entirely true. In addition to the athletes and their corners being required to wear Reebok gear at all UFC events and functions, compensation from the deal will be determined by a tiered system based on a fighter’s ranking. The policy is expected to be officially implemented on July 6 during International Fight Week.
When that happens, the sponsor-populated banners and fight shorts will be a thing of the past, as will the customized walkout T-shirts of varying designs. While fighters may have some input into the look of their fight night garb, everything will feature the Reebok brand.
According to Diaz, that might not be a bad thing.
“I like Reebok. It’s nice, the way it looks. It could be worse,” he said. “It’s nice to have something that’s not just an MMA brand, you know. Some of them are nice, but some of them…it’s just a lot of different new MMA brands. They come, they go.”
Perhaps Diaz’s opinion will change in the future when he has more time to digest the particulars of the deal -- or maybe it won’t. For now, all of his focus is centered on defeating one of the sport’s pound-for-pound greats at the end of the month.
“I don’t know much about it. I can’t say anything,” Diaz said. “I don’t take a big interest when it comes to understanding what’s going on with Reebok right now because I have a big fight.”