Even a $40,000 paycheck guaranteed to Jose Aldo per the UFC’s exclusive deal with Reebok won’t keep the sport’s pound-for-pound king happy.
As Jose Aldo and his Nova Uniao coach Andre Pederneiras told MMAFighting a few months back, the Reebok payouts were “sh-t” compared to what he was making with his longtime sponsor Venum. As a result, he turned down an exclusive deal with the UFC’s partner, preferring to wear his Venum-sponsored gear at every possible opportunity outside of the cage.
At the time the folks at Venum looked like they’d stick by the featherweight champion. A few months later, and things aren’t quite as hopeful.
“We have a contract with Aldo until October, and we’ll have a conversation to see if it’s worth to continue with the sponsorship,” Venum’s Andre Vieira recently said to Ag. Fight (h/t MMAFighting). “It’s really positive for the brand to have Jose Aldo as your cover boy, but do people see that? Does it bring us more visibility? Who gets this information?”
Realistically, it’s hard to blame Vieria and the figureheads at Venum. Whereas before their logo would be plastered all over Aldo’s apparel before, during and after his title defenses, they’re losing out on the greatest opportunity in not being allowed to have their logo on his shorts during the bout.
Aldo is scheduled to defend his featherweight belt against interim titleholder Conor McGregor this December in what could turn out to be the UFC’s most profitable pay-per-view.