The UFC Gatekeeper:
e-mail distributed by the UFC’s legal department that now lists Dethrone, One More Round, and Rolling Stone as a list of sponsors that will not be approved for UFC 100 on July 11. Unacceptable sponsors for UFC 100 also online Poker sponsors Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate Bet, and Party Poker.
Clothing sponsors that are approved for UFC 100 include Cage Fighter, MMA Authentic, Familia Gladitoria and MMA Elite. The source added that several clothing sponsors have indicated that they were contacted recently by the UFC and informed that in order to have the ability to sponsor a UFC fighter during a UFC-promoted event that they would have to pay a $100,000 fee to the UFC for the right to sponsor a fighter.[FiveOuncesofPain.com]
Zack Arnold over at FightOpinion.com makes a good point about limiting a fighters access to Sponsors.
I know and understand that sports leagues like MLB and the NFL have certain sponsorship deals with companies for uniforms and so forth. However, athletes in these sports are paid full time (seasonal), have benefits, insurance, etc. By going after so many sponsors in the manner that UFC is doing, this is pure divide-and-conquer politics at its worst in terms of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.[FightOpinion]
In 2007 the base salary for an NFL player was $285000. As the UFC growes bigger and bigger, they are going to have to address these issues.
The UFC wants to be controlling like the NFL and MLB, but pay fighters as “freelancers” like boxing, getting around job security, insurance and benefits for their employees.