The Reebok uniform deal is over. Now it’s Venum’s turn to clothe the fighters of the UFC.
What does that mean in practical terms? Details are scarce but everything points towards nothing fundamentally changing. The new Venum fight kits (that we’ve seen) look about as bland as the Reebok kits, and the pay structure isn’t exactly spicy either – people comparing the numbers realized the increase in money paid to fighters through the new deal hasn’t even kept up with inflation since the 2014 deal.
But hey, no embarrassing launch issues like the infamous Giblert Melendez or Anderson Aldo shirts, right? Well, we haven’t even seen anything other than one picture of Aljamain Sterling and Brian Ortega in UFC branded Venum shirts and shorts. So let’s wait and see what comes out.
One slight mistake that’s already popped up from the deal, though? Venum forgot to mention to the UFC that a tiny business kerfuffle between the original Venum co-owners Franck Dupuis and Andre Vieira resulted in Venum Brasil becoming its own entity. Depending on the legal language used in the split-up, that could cause some big headaches for Venum Global and the UFC should they not work something out with Venum Brasil owner Vieira.
Fortunately, Vieira sounds happy to make some money. Via MMA Fighting:
If the promotion wants to do business in Brazil, Vieira said, his company needs to be brought into the fold. He said he reached out to UFC’s parent company Endeavor as soon as the deal was first announced and was told the company wasn’t aware of the existence of two Venum companies.
“I’ve contacted them, said I was open to negotiations, that I’m not here to be a problem,” Vieira told MMA Fighting. “Quite the opposite, I’m here to add and be part of the business, and so far I haven’t gotten any return [call].”
A UFC official told MMA Fighting the promotion is looking into the matter and declined further comment.
This could be a small or major pain in the ass for the UFC and/or Venum to deal with, and until we get more of a hint on exactly how restricted Venum Global is when it comes to staying out of Venum Brasil’s turf, no one knows what the result will be. Most likely a lawsuit from Venum Brasil aimed at Venum Global. A lawsuit launched from Brazil under Brazilian jurisdiction, with results enforceable in Brazil.
Hey, it’s not as entertaining a womp-womp as Giblert was, but it’s something to watch over the coming months.