Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, have become very popular this year in the sports industry. Kevin Lee, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, has said that his decision to sign with his new promotion company is based on him being paid in Bitcoin. The report notes that Eagle Fighting Championship, a Russian-based league that Lee will now be fighting for, will be paying him in Bitcoin. Lee will receive his Bitcoin payments as part of the four-fight contract.
The MMA fighter is a crypto supporter
It’s not the first time that Lee has shown support for crypto. The MMA fighter has been holding Bitcoin since 2017; hence he has prior experience with major bull markets similar to the bull run that has happened this year. He noted that part of the profits he generated from holding Bitcoin was used to pay for his expenses after several knee surgeries.
Speaking on his recent signing, Lee noted that “to be paid in Bitcoin and not give me any pushback on it whatsoever was huge in the decision [to sign with Eagle FC]. It gives me a lot more financial security and will help me fight better too.”
The announcement did not mention how much Lee would be paid for his Eagle FC fights. Previously, he earned up to $280,000 during his UFC fight with Tony Ferguson. During an interview on December 17th, Lee revealed that Eagle FC would pay him more than he earned under his UFC contract, which could equate to over 5 BTC at current prices.
The contract with Eagle FC is a comeback for Lee. He was previously suspended from fighting for six months after testing positive for Adderall. After Lee was released from his UFC contract, Eagle FC attempted to add him to their team, and his first match for the championship is expected to occur on March 11, 2022 against Diego Sanchez.
UFC NFTs and Fan Tokens
The UFC has been committed to maximizing the benefits of digital assets, as they have signed partnerships with various firms in the crypto and blockchain spaces already. In July, UFC signed a $175 million 10 year deal with the Crypto.com exchange. Through this partnership, UFC released non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In addition, the UFC announced in May its collaboration with Socios.com and Chiliz to launch the $UFC Fan Token. Fan tokens are used by sports clubs, leagues, and championships to boost fan engagement and to provide fan rewards.