UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will have just one – and only one – sponsorship when he enters the Octagon on April 21 at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans.
That sponsorship will come from the UFC, as “Bones” inked a deal to be marketed by the fight promotion. Jones explained the contract in a recent interview with Damon Martin of MMA Weekly.
For this fight, I have a goal, I’ve had a goal of being sponsored by Nike for many, many years. Part of our strategy to try and make that happen one day is to not be a billboard, and not just be sponsored by TapouT one week, and Affliction one wee, and then MusclePharm next week, and all these random companies. When Form Athletics went down pretty much every company in business was looking for an opportunity to work with me, and I was really honored just to be wanted like that. I thought it was really awesome, it was an honor.
Jones will be wearing UFC-brand clothing when he steps in to face Evans from Atlanta, marketing the promotion he fights for and himself at the same time.
We came up with a strategy to keep it clean and be sponsored by the UFC itself. I’m glad the UFC wanted to work with me as well, and I think they trust that I’ll never make them look bad. I think I’m a good company guy. The UFC asks mes to do anything and I always do it, and I never tell them no for anything.
The deal with the UFC also has a clause that allows Jones to sign with another major clothing company such as Nike or Jordan if they come calling.
While at first glance this seems like a conflict of interest, if you look harder, it makes total sense. The UFC gets its gear on a top-level fighter who many want to follow, and Jones has the backing of a major promotion. Win-win for all involved.
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting