Cameroonian mixed martial artist Francis Ngannou, who competes in the heavyweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is considering joining the growing list of sports stars receiving their paychecks in bitcoin.
A Bitcoin Believer
The UFC champion revealed on Friday that he is a Bitcoin believer and has been discussing the leading cryptocurrency with his family and friends. Ngannou also noted that he is quite bullish on the future of Bitcoin, and that’s why he is considering taking half of his next fight earnings in the digital asset.
Been talking with my family and friends in the crypto space. #Bitcoin is huge in Africa and I’m thinking of taking half my fight purse in it. Bitcoin is the future and I’m a believer 🤔 @ufc #ufc270
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) January 14, 2022
Ngannou’s Next Fight
The UFC heavyweight champion will face French mixed martial artist Ciryl Gane in the title unifier at UFC 270 on January 22, 2022.
As the reigning champion, Ngannou holds the world record for the hardest punch ever measured. He earns between $500k to $600k per match, including all kinds of bonuses. This would mean the fighter will receive about $250k to $300k in BTC if he proceeds with his decision to accept part of his next fight purse in bitcoin.
Interestingly, paying Ngannou via bitcoin would not be an issue for UFC as the company has an existing sponsorship deal with the popular crypto exchange CryptoCom. The collaboration, worth around $175 million and will last for ten years, will see the exchange’s logo displayed on fight kits used during all UFC battles.
Meanwhile, Ngannou noted that his fight against Gane might be his last for UFC as his contract with the company has expired, and he does not wish to extend it because of unfair paychecks. The 35-year old fighter said he is open to signing a new deal with a boxing option for higher pay.
Sporting athletes are increasingly showing interest in Bitcoin and crypto in general. Ngannou will not be the first sports star to receive his paycheck via BTC.
In November last year, American football star Odell Beckham Jr. announced a partnership deal with Cash App to receive his $4.25 million salary for the 2021-2022 NFL season in bitcoin.
Featured Image Courtesy of MMAFighting
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