The world of mixed martial arts, particularly the UFC, is no stranger to sponsorships and partnerships.
However, a surprising sentiment among many UFC fighters is their dislike for one of the UFC’s major sponsors: Monster Energy.
In this article, we go over the reason why.
Why Do UFC Fighters Hate Monster Energy?
UFC fighters hate Monster Energy because of Hans Molenkamp, Monster’s social media, marketing director, and executive.
Hans is well known for using his position of power at Monster to exploit UFC fighters, by ‘forcing’ them to comment and like his Instagram posts, follow his social media profiles, post photos with him, and overplay their friendship with him to increase his online presence.
Hans Molenkamp tries to exploit UFC fighters for his gain because he has the power to decide which UFC fighters get bonuses from Monster, known to be a hefty sum.
He also decides which UFC fighters earn sponsorship with Monster, which is also good payment for them, especially fighters on the lower end of the payment scale.
On his ‘Believe You Me podcast‘, Michael Bisping shared how he lost his sponsorship deal with Monster Energy because he refused to call Hans a friend while on the phone with him. He was being honest and wanted to keep their relationship professional.
UFC fighters whom Monster Energy personally sponsors are seen holding a Monster Energy can when the results are declared at the end of a fight.
Notable fighters have included Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Kamaru Usman, and Valentina Shevchenko.
It’s no wonder then, that only the higher-paid and most popular UFC fighters who have plenty of options such as Dominick Cruz and Israel Adesanya have spoken out against Hans Molenkamp, and as a consequence, Monster Energy.
The first to speak out was Dominick Cruz, during his UFC 259 post-fight interview.
He challenged Hans Molenkamp to a charity fight, and said, “I’m not here to be used. So when you text me, if I don’t comment on your page, if I don’t give you an interview, that you’re going to take what pays my bills. What are you doing? Monster sponsors me, not you.”
While not aiming his words at Monster, Dana White has even commented on the situation and labeled Hans Molenkamp a “goofy dude”.
So, overall, UFC fighters don’t directly hate the brand, Monster Energy, but rather one of its executives and powerful employees, Hans Molenkamp.
However, this may result in hate for Monster Energy, as the company is allowing Hans Molenkamp to get away with this behavior. He has worked for Monster since 2011, so his actions contribute to the company’s public image.
Why Does Israel Adesanya Hate Monster Energy?
Alike many other UFC fighters, Israel Adesanya hates Monster Energy because of Hans Molenkamp, who exploits UFC fighters for personal gain.
Each time there’s a UFC press conference he either hides or throws away any Monster product so it’s not visible.
At the UFC 243 press conference, he threw a Monster Energy drink, and at the UFC 259 press conference, he removed a Monster water bottle from the table.
After he knocked out Alex Pereira at UFC 287, he pretended to sign a cross on the Monster sponsor logo on the UFC canvas, followed by giving it the double middle finger.
Adesanya has claimed that since he made his dislike of Hans Molenkamp and therefore Monster Energy public, Monster has decided to sponsor all of his opponents. This includes Sean Strickland and Alex Pereira.
The Bottom Line
So, ‘Why do UFC fighters hate Monster Energy?’
UFC fighters don’t hate the brand, Monster Energy. Rather, many UFC fighters dislike Monster’s social media and marketing director Hans Molenkamp because he uses his position to exploit UFC fighters for personal gain.
He has the power to decide which UFC fighters are sponsored by Monster Energy, and he can also decide which UFC fighters earn a Monster bonus.
As many UFC fighters want this extra money, only well-known fighters who have plenty of sponsorship deal options have spoken out against Hans, such as Israel Adesanya and Dominick Cruz.