UFC Joins NBA, NFL in Dapper Labs’ Sports NFT Suite

The marketplace will feature NFTs of iconic moments in the fighting league’s history.

Jan 20, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 4, 2022 at 6:46 p.m. UTC

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is lunging into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with the launch of UFC Strike, its own NFT marketplace in partnership with Dapper Labs, the companies announced Thursday.

Dapper Labs is, of course, the creator of the popular basketball NFT marketplace NBA Top Shot, which UFC’s product is closely mirroring in its style.

The marketplace will feature video NFT “Moments” from the league’s history, each accompanied by audio, crowd reactions and broadcast commentary, according to a press release.

“Video is our sweet spot in general, but we're looking at [UFC’s] partnership a bit differently,” Caty Tedman, head of partnerships at Dapper Labs, told CoinDesk in an interview. “The UFC calendar is so different from the NBA calendar. So we're going to structure much more around their pay-per-view events, which are like the premier events of their season.”

Growing roster

Dapper Labs is building out quite the sporting presence on its Flow blockchain, adding UFC to its growing list of league partnerships that already includes the NBA and NFL.

While the NFTs themselves are naturally violent in nature, Dapper isn’t concerned about the sport’s rough edges being unappealing to the average customer.

“It's less about this marketplace being a product for anyone and more about how it’s for the UFC fan community, and we hope it enables them to showcase their fandom in a new way,” Tedman said.

UFC’s first foray into NFTs came in November when it released its debut collection with Crypto.com, doing just under $1 million in sales volume. The exchange inked a 10-year, $175 million sponsorship deal with UFC in July.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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