The grand unveiling of the much-awaited UFC "Fighter Kits" took place at the Skylight Modern in New York City on Tuesday, and judging by the reactions of the stars of the Octagon, it can be said that the launch of the official Reebok kits was not as well received as expected.
Global fitness leader Reebok announced a groundbreaking partnership with the mixed martial arts promotion company last year, and according to the agreement, the fitness brand was slated to create exclusive UFC 'Fight Week gear' and a 'Fight Night kit' for all UFC athletes for the first time.
Defending UFC, women's Bantamweight Champion "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey, who graced the event among other superstars, said that she was impressed with Reebok's latest offering. In her own words, during a fight, the least distractions you have from your fighting gear, the better it is.
"The fewest amount of distractions you have while you're fighting, the better," the 28-year-old said.
"I've had instances where I actually had to change what I was doing in the fight because of what was going on with my clothes, and I was actually worse off for it."
Rousey has had issues with fight gears in the past, and she says that selecting the right gear for the fight is essential for the fighters, just like the precision of an armbar. She also said that the Reebok apparel has met her expectation.
The kit comes in three different variations for competitors to drape it when they enter into the cage. While the championship kit will feature grey and black colours with gold trim to be worn by champions, the country kit will feature country-specific colours. The universal kit will be black and silver and available to all UFC athletes.
However, the other fighters didn't mince words when they learnt that the cost of the kits when available to the public, would range from $80-$95.
Light heavyweight UFC fighter Corey Anderson tweeted - "$85 for my @Reebok Jersey?! It's safe to say no one in my family will own one.. They've never paid more than $35 for a shirt.. #cheapfamilyprobs"
Echoing the same, middleweight fighter Tom Lawlor posted - "No offense but if anyone pays $95 for a shirt with my name on the back you're an idiot."
Reebok faced flak for misspelling the names of some of the fighters during the unveiling of the merchandise and fighters were evidently displeased.
From 'Marcio' Lyoto Machida to Jacare 'Ronaldo' Souza, the spellings should have been double-checked by the sponsors prior to the event.
Women's Straweight fighter Bec Rawlings, who will face Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 72, wrote on twitter - "Yo @Reebok my name is BEC.. only my mother can call me Rebecca"
The reactions might have been mixed, but you cannot do away with the apparels now if you are a UFC fighter.
Come UFC 189, and all the UFC fans around the world will stay witness to the apparels as their favourite fighters step into the Octagon draped in the kit.
Watch the Official UFC Fight Kit Launch here