For the very first time since the UFC signed an exclusive deal with Reebok, athletes have been fined for "uniform violations."
Three athletes who competed at UFC on FOX 17 have had their salaries reduced after "knowingly and seriously" violating the UFC/Reebok policies on what you can wear. Additionally, another 12 athletes have received "warning letters," but will not be fined this time around.
The difference between a warning and a fine is explained by UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski:
“A warning is issued when an athlete is non-compliant but agrees and takes steps to correct the infraction,” Bleczinski said. “There is ample opportunity for an athlete to correct an infraction. The equipment department, as well as our athlete relations teams, are onsite at the event throughout event week, helping the athletes to be compliant. We know that there’s very much an educational process around this, and so that’s why they’re just receiving a warning letter.
“A payment reduction is enacted when an athlete knowingly and seriously violates the policy after receiving an opportunity to correct it.”
The Reebok/UFC policies are surprisingly strict, and cover everything from what can be on your shorts, what brands of headphones you can wear during the walkout (Monster products only), and even what flags or banners you can bring into the Octagon (flags of countries only).
So who was fined? The UFC has decided to keep those names confidential, but Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, who was fighting for a title that night, has confirmed he was one of them.
Cerrone was apparently fined for sewing on a patch taken from his old Muay Thai shorts to honor his grandma.
Current LW champ Rafael Dos Anjos was likely another, as he was seen wearing the shirt of a non-approved sponsor at the weigh-ins, another Reebok no-no.
Finally fans have speculated that the third fighter is Nate Diaz, who chose to wear jeans to the weigh-ins, instead of Reebok approved gear. Interestingly, Diaz was apparently warned repeatedly by UFC officials at the weigh-ins, but chose not to change his attire.