Will the sponsor thing keep fighters out of the UFC?

We already took a stab at the pros and cons of the UFC taking over the sponsorship game from it’s fighters. I’m still on the fence … while I think the UFC will end up making fighters way more money than their managers ever could, they haven’t convinced me that they wouldn’t use this power to twist the thumbscrews on fighters who fall out of favor. But Maggie Hendricks raises another possible issue:

Also, what will happen if the UFC wants to sign a fighter away from another organization, but he already has sponsors? Will that be one more roadblock that will keep some of the best fighters out of the UFC? Just like any fan, I’d love to see Robbie Lawler, Vitor Belfort and Gegard Mousasi, among many others, in the Octagon. Will a sponsorship clause prevent that from happening?

I have a feeling that this is a transitional issue that won’t matter in a few years. After all, you don’t hear NHL and NFL players complaining that they can’t put a Condom Depot logo on their ass, do you? Once the UFC stops paying it’s fighters less than a mid-level secretary makes, all this sponsor shit will become a non-issue. In other words, maybe in 5 years we can talk about something else.

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