Former UFC fighter Ben Askren may have had hanged his gloves but he’s keeping an eager eye on the UFC – after all Askren reportedly has one fight left on his contract.
Askren provided a screencap of Coinmarketcap – the picture indicated a relatively big drop in $MRI’s value. Askren predicted the drop beforehand, and gloated to his followers.
“Down another 30% on the day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Askren wrote.
Down another 30% on the day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. pic.twitter.com/O6HdzpY6rv
— Funky (@Benaskren) March 8, 2022
His tweet received a harsh reply from UFC middleweight Ian Heinisch. Heinisch slammed Askren for his take – expectedly considering Heinisch was among the first to have been sponsored by Marshall Rogan Inu.
“Instead of “funky” they should call you “FUDY” @Benaskren it’s sad to see you mad that a token that’s helping fighters? Like what happened to you bro? I think you need to check the charts again! #buywalls @RoganInu” Heinisch replied to Askren.
Instead of “funky” they should call you “FUDY” @Benaskren it’s sad to see you mad that a token that’s helping fighters? Like what happened to you bro? I think you need to check the charts again! #buywalls @RoganInu pic.twitter.com/tsLDhs2A7o
— Ian Heinisch (@ianheinischmma) March 8, 2022
MRI reportedly sponsored 25 out of 32 fighters featured on the UFC 272 card.
According to their website, MRI is seeking to provide “monetary donations” to fighters so that each of them has a better opportunity to compete at a professional level. They also added that fighters should not have to worry about the costs of training camps, injuries, bills, and other related things. As for the mechanics of the coin – they’re dubious at best.
Eric Jackman aka New York Ric recently shaded the coin during an appearance on the MMA Hour calling it ‘selfishly motivated’:
“Well, I don’t know if they’re uniting the fighters. It’s very, like selfishly motivated and I am trying to choose my words carefully.”
Later he continued, “They are they’re paying for that, yes, but like it helps them – the fighters are receiving a benefit to promote it. It’s a sponsorship for all intents and purposes. And what they are sponsoring in this case is a coin is a cryptocurrency.”
Helwani prompted Jackman to explain the mechanics of the coin – to which he responded:
“Well, I think they have money now that they’re using to promote and therefore by promoting they are attempting to drive up the price of the coin. Right. Which is the end game right? They want to make money by publicizing it and the people who are the people who will also buy the coin will drive up the price. ”
The two then went on to discuss Askren’s claim that it’s a rugpull.
“Once they drive up the price and they can sell it so it’s worth more money? Yeah. It’s and you think that’s their their intention here? For sure. I mean, there’s no doubt why is there no doubt? Because what other intention would they have?”, Jackman responded questioning the entire point of existence of $MRI “No, because I mean, that could be but then why not just help the fighters? Why does it need to be a coin just give the fighter money?”
This characterization is something the founders opposed – they went on to reply to Helwani on twitter and clarified some of the coin mechanics:
“The way the coin works is, the contract has a tax on all transactions that go to a marketing wallet, of this marketing wallet 100% of the fees go back to fighters, fight based charities, gyms and more
The price of the coin will fluctuate but the “pump and dump” claims are silly”
They went on to also dispute the selfish claim:
“Because of the way the contract works, all buys and sells from MMA fans & Crypto traders directly supports fighters.
We have already gifted funds to 200+ fighters, most of them not in the UFC and some not even on TV at all, so the “selfish” part is another vague and false claim.”
MRI token can be purchased for 10 cents as of right now. It’s an interesting case overall – but the jury is still out on the legitimacy of this project. In particular there seems to be a glaring issue when it comes to transparency. The name of the altcoin is obviously meant to mislead MMA fans into it being associated with Joe Rogan and there are no public members of the team. With all that in mind Ben Askren isn’t entirely trust worthy either – the infamous ‘Funky’ has been an investor in a number of crypto projects including the murky video platform/crypto currency Rokfin founded by ousted CEO of Flosports.