In a collaboration with artist BossLogic, the MMA star will only auction off a 1-of-1 digital collectible if he wins the UFC heavyweight title.
On Saturday, the eyes of the mixed martial arts world will be set on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where two giants will square off in a much-anticipated rematch with championship gold on the line.
In the headline bout at UFC 260, heavyweight belt-holder Stipe Miocic is out to build on his legacy against No. 1 contender Francis Ngannou, a vicious knockout artist who has ripped apart the competition since coming up short the first time these two met in 2018.
And this time around, “The Predator” is betting on himself.
If (and only if) he avenges his loss to Miocic and ascends to UFC champion status, Ngannou will release a unique digital art piece in the form of an NFT.
The 1-of-1 collectible was created by artist BossLogic as part of a larger set, some of which will be placed up for sale at digital art platform MakersPlace regardless of what happens on Saturday night in Vegas. The initial offering, a virtual trading card, will be available Friday night for a starting price of $999.
A set of 11 limited-edition items, in addition to the 1-of-1, will not hit the market unless Ngannou does what he could not do three years ago at UFC 220: find a way past Stipe Miocic, quite possibly the greatest heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts history.
Ngannou, who’s on a streak of four consecutive first-round knockouts (!), is a modest favorite in the fight as of this writing.
This latest news comes as part of a rising tide of crypto-related developments for the UFC. Earlier this month, the promotion announced an official partnership in Asia and Latin America with Stake.com, a crypto-only sports betting platform. One year ago, the UFC joined forces with Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot, to create a series of NFT collectibles on the Flow blockchain.
But if we’ve learned anything from the recent moves from guys like Rob Gronkowski in the digital art space, 2021 is the year that athletes find new ways to take the power of crypto technology into their own hands.
And if you’ve ever seen Francis Ngannou throw a punch, you can tell he knows a thing or two about power.