The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s most prestigious professional mixed martial arts competition, has announced a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com to pay fighter bonuses in Bitcoin.
The company will award Bitcoin to the top three fighters at each UFC pay-per-view event.
The three fights will be determined by fan voting, and those chosen will get a total of $60,000 in the flagship cryptocurrency.
According to a statement made by Crypto.com, the first prize will be $30,000 in Bitcoin, the second prize will be $20,000, and the third prize will be $10,000.
“Crypto.com has only been an official UFC partner for a little over a year, but they are already one of the best partners we’ve had. They are continuously coming up with new ways for us to collaborate in order to engage with the fans “Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, said in a prepared statement.
This is not the first time Crypto.com has ventured into the realm of sports marketing. The exchange made headlines in November 2021 after paying $700 million for naming rights to the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium.
In turn, this is not the UFC’s first foray into the realm of cryptocurrency.
The UFC and cryptocurrency
When it filed two patent applications in April of last year, the group revealed its intention to get engaged in NFTs.
The first was a trademark to create a UFC-branded cryptocurrency, and the second was an app for the UFC’s potential native cryptocurrency.
The application described itself as “downloadable software that allows members to receive, access, spend, trade, and manage cryptocurrencies, digital currency, digital tokens, non-fungible tokens, digital collectibles, and digital assets.”
One month prior, then-UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou earned $580,000 from an NFT collaboration, which was more than his guaranteed fight fee for his battle with Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.