Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub has weighed in on the promotion’s deal with ESPN claiming it doesn’t benefit the fighters, particularly high-profile ones such as Conor McGregor and Brock Lesnar.
The now retired Schaub is enjoying his post-life as a fighter transitioning into a successful career as a stand-up comedian and podcast host. The 36-year-old is still passionate about the fight game and talked about the UFC’s five-year deal with ESPN on the latest edition of his “Below The Belt” podcast on Showtime and explained why the promotion no longer needs to attract big stars like McGregor and Lesnar (via BJPenn.com):
“We heard Brock Lesnar turned down the deal. Conor… we haven’t heard anything from him. The UFC is content just being in cruise control because they have this reliable nut from ESPN. They’re set there, so they’re not willing to be bent over backwards to get a guy like Brock Lesnar anymore. They don’t need it. They don’t have to give Conor McGregor half the company to come back.”
Schaub’s comments contradicts what UFC President Dana White has said about the lucrative ESPN deal claiming the deal would be “very big” for the fighters.
“Everyone wins, but the fighters are so f---ed because it’s such a limited viewership now. So your sponsors are less — if you even had any. Your notoriety, your fame, your social media following, your YouTube channel to sell merch… The day and age of a superstar in the UFC is gone, gone. It’s so gone.”