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UFC on FOX 9's Mac Danzig forgoes sponsors in must-win fight against Joe Lauzon

mac-danzig-ufc-on-fox-9Mac Danzig will be fighting in front of a bigger audience when he meets Joe Lauzon on the main card of UFC on FOX 9. He won’t, however, reap the immediate financial rewards of a bigger platform.

That’s of his own choosing.

When a welterweight fight between Matt Brown and Carlos Condit was scratched due to injury, Danzig (21-11-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC) vs. Lauzon (22-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) was bumped from the FOX Sports 1 preliminary-card to the FOX-televised main card of Saturday’s event, which takes place at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, Calif.

Danzig could have alerted sponsors of his promotion and negotiated a new deal. While companies increasingly are reluctant to shell out significant money to fighters for representing brands, the exposure likely would have added to his bottom line.

But Danzig didn’t want any sponsors in the first place.

“I’m doing everything on my own, and I’m making a statement with this fight,” Danzig said at a pre-event press conference in support of Saturday’s fight card. “I’m not having any sponsors other than my gym.”

The reasoning behind his decision undoubtedly is more philosophical than practical. He admitted he is probably losing out on money by not filling his shorts with patches and logos. But he feels better about himself walking into the cage.

“Over the years, (I) just tired of being a billboard for some of these companies that don’t really have a vested interest in the actual fighter,” Danzig said. “They’re just about slapping a logo on your butt and sending you on your way. I’m not going to play that game this time.”

Danzig’s opinion echoes that of another UFC fighter, Cole Miller, who chastised sponsors for approaching him with sponsorship offers of $100 and told them not to call him if they weren’t serious about support.

“Maybe it’s silly to blow off money, but at the same time, I’m happy to be a part of the UFC, and that’s the main thing, rather than supporting someone who doesn’t really care about me,” Danzig said.

Danzig said he might seek sponsors the next time he fights. But right now, he is simply happy to be fighting in the UFC’s octagon. Since winning “The Ultimate Fighter 6,” he has bounced between wins and losses and is 1-3 in his past four outings.

While fighting in front of more people isn’t necessarily a bad thing, another loss might signal his exit from the promotion.

“I’m very appreciative of the fact that more people are going to see it, but at the same time, it doesn’t change my focus or the way I’m going into this,” said Danzig, who was knocked out by Melvin Guillard in his previous outing . “I’m still going in 110 percent. I’m just happy to be here.”

And if all goes well, the extra money might be made up another place: a fight-night bonus.

To that end, UFC President Dana White joked that Danzig might have the best sponsor possible – Lauzon, who’s tied with former middleweight champ Anderson Silva for the most performance bonuses in the promotion’s history at 12.

Like Danzig, Lauzon has lost his past two fights, but is regarded as one of the UFC’s most exciting fighters.

“You guys can get the $50,000 — you won’t need a sponsor,” White said.

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