Schaub: Fighters Get The Worst Of ESPN Deal
Former UFC heavyweight and current Showtime host/analyst, Brendan Schaub, is not a big fan of the UFC’s agreement with ESPN.
Not just because Schaub is one of the many who ran into issues ordering UFC 236, but because the deal with the WorldWide Leader has handicapped leverage for fighters getting big money.
Schaub, who has a contentious relationship with UFC president Dana White since leaving the organization over two years ago,
“We heard Brock Lesnar turned down the deal,” Schaub said on his Below the Belt podcast. “Conor… we haven’t heard anything from him. The UFC is content just being in cruise control because they have this reliable nut from ESPN. They’re set there, so they’re not willing to be bend over backwards to get a guy like Brock Lesnar anymore. They don’t need it. They don’t have to give Conor McGregor half the company to come back.”
Lesnar walked away from an offer to fight UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier this August, due to his issue with the ESPN+ deal limiting the potential amount of pay-per-view buys, limiting the former champion’s pay for points earned on the event.
“Everyone wins, but the fighters are so f****d because it’s such a limited viewership now,” Schaub added.
“So your sponsors are less — if you even had any. Your notoriety, your fame, your social media following, your YouTube channel to sell merch… The day and age of a superstar in the UFC is gone, gone. It’s so gone.”
The move, which falls into the letters and not the talent being the star, with the exception being for Dana White, who has been the focus of all the branding since the move to ESPN.
“Notice the direction of the marketing now on ESPN. Who do you see now? Dana White,” Schaub said.
“It’s very Vince McMahon… This is the face that you recognize. Because you won’t recognize the fighters, but you recognize Dana White. So his ego and his popularity goes up. That’s the face [of the company] now. That’s not good. All the promos are Dana. It’s all him. That’s insane, man.”
Report: MMA Mania