Ben Askren will be making his long-awaited UFC debut on Saturday night when he takes on the former champion in Robbie Lawler. Askren who has been a champion in both Bellator and ONE Championship didn’t expect to ever fight in the UFC until a shocking trade sent Demetrious Johnson to ONE and Askren to the UFC.
Now, just days away from the fight, Askren has just one complaint about his debut. That complaint is about the Reebok pay, as he is technically a new fighter so he starts off at the bare minimum, something Askren wishes he had negotiated differently.
“I only have to wear Reebok to this,” he said to MMAFighting.. “… And to the open workout, and to the weigh-ins, and to the fight, all that stuff… They’re not paying me enough though.”
“I got put in that damn first bracket,” he added. “I didn’t think about that [when I signed with the UFC]. When I thought about it, I probably should have negotiated the Reebok money up ’cause they’re not paying me enough.
“I think it’s $3,500 only? It’s pretty terrible.”
There is no question that is ‘terrible’ as Askren says. When he was in Bellator and ONE he could have his own sponsors which resulted in him making tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. Frankly, that is a major reason why Askren thinks he should be getting more Reebok pay as he used to make more and is one of the best fighters in the world.
“Sponsorship’s been all over the place,” he recounted. “Even when I was a nobody in Bellator, I made $20,000 on a fight. Those were the wild days. Back then, guys in the UFC were making six figures on sponsorship stuff.”
Ultimately, right now there is nothing Askren can do about it. The focus just remains on the fight even though he isn’t happy with the pay.