Man, if I wasn’t rooting for Johny Hendricks before (which I probably was, for what it’s worth), I sure am now. The news from last night’s UFC Tonight is that Johny Hendricks has picked up Reebok as a sponsor for his upcoming fight at UFC 167 against Georges St-Pierre. This is, for now, a one time deal where Reebok will pay the sponsorship tax and sponsor Johny Hendricks to test the waters with the UFC.
It’s interesting that they went with the challenger and not the champion for this kind of sponsorship, as we’ve seen provisional sponsorships in the past for guys like Jon Jones with Gatorade. This could be big for the UFC if they pick up a major sports sponsor within the United States, as most of their ‘big sponsor deals’ for fighters have been for international fighters and that country’s branch of said company. So Anderson Silva’s Nike and Burger King sponsorships are Brazilian, not American. Jon Jones does have his Nike deal, but no one is really sure how far that deal will extend to or if it will ever help out other fighters in the US.