Mixed martial arts seem to be benefitting from the wild amounts of money that are funneled into cryptocurrencies. After years of athletes like Rory Macdonald and Ben Askren advocating for crypto the UFC is coming on board, mostly due to the fact they stand to gain from the ordeal.
Last year UFC announced that their kits would be displaying the crypto.com logo prominently. At the time it was widely criticized as this was another sponsorship that benefitted the bras and did very little for the athlete.
Aside from their deal with the MMA promotion, the crypto company signed contracts with “Formula 1”, the Italian “Serie A” soccer league, the French soccer club “Paris Saint-Germain,” the American NBA basketball team “Philadelphia 76ers”, the Canadian NHL ice hockey team “Montreal Canadiens”.
UFC just announced that a part of this lucrative deal with “crypto.com” will be implemented in their upcoming events.
The company will sponsor a new, additional bonus to be awarded to athletes. These new bonuses will be determined by fan votes during the event’s broadcast, with a total of $60,000 split between the winners.
The new bonus will be called “Fan bonus of the night” and it will be introduced at UFC 273: Volkanovski vs The Korean Zombie, which will take place this Saturday, April 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.
Transactions will be processed through the Crypto.com platform and athletes will be paid in bitcoin at a fixed dollar amount.
Bitcoin payment has been the subject to criticism in the past. The volatility of cryptocurrencies may put fighters at a disadvantage if the currency happens to take a fall. The Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou took a $300k payment in bitcoin when the currency was at its lowest.
The UFC partnership with Crypto.com is the biggest partnership in the promotion’s history. The fighting promotion signed a 10-year for about $175 million dollars. The cryptocurrency marketplace sponsorship includes branding on fighter’s gear, fight bonuses, and promotion of digital collectibles (also known as “NFTs”) among several other things.