Martial Arts Web3 mania: Both UFC and PFL announce new NFT games

Sport Gaming
Martial Arts Web3 mania: Both UFC and PFL announce new NFT games

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its competitor, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), have unveiled ambitious Web3 gaming ventures. UFC’s mobile roster management game and PFL’s fighter-based playable collectibles hint at a digital revolution for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

Introducing UFC Strike: Fight Camp

The UFC has partnered with Concept Labs, an entertainment company specializing in fan-driven digital experiences, to expand its UFC Strike digital collectibles.

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UFC Strike: Fight Camp

The new expansion, UFC Strike: Fight Camp, is a mobile roster management game. Compatible with UFC Strike’s digital collectibles, the new game aims to engage and delight UFC’s ardent fanbase.

Original NFTs from the UFC

Released in partnership with Dapper Labs in early 2022, the UFC Strike collectibles feature the most iconic moments and finishes from UFC history and have gathered over 100,000 fans.

The original collectibles also offer exclusive perks through the Champion Club, a premium fan experience providing exclusive privileges to members holding special Champion Moments. This premium membership grants fans access to VIP lounges at UFC fights, offering unique opportunities to meet top UFC stars.

Tracey Bleczinski, UFC’s Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products, welcomed Concept Labs as a partner, recognizing their expertise in digital entertainment. She anticipates a positive future as they build on the pioneering work of Dapper Labs, the original UFC Strike developers.

Concept Labs made its presence felt at International Fight Week, during the highly anticipated UFC 290, and hosted a Champion Club VIP Lounge during the event.

PFL takes a jab at the UFC

Concurrently, PFL is forging a partnership with GameOn, a next-gen fantasy sports platform, after recently announcing a new NFT ticketing system for live events.

According to the press release, the partnership with GameOn will result in a new web3 game based on real-world PFL fighters and events. GameOn’s CEO, Matt Bailey, voiced his eagerness to bring this revolutionary fantasy sports experience to MMA fans worldwide.

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PFL CEO, Pete Murray, also shared his enthusiasm for the partnership, viewing it as an opportunity to strengthen the league’s digital connections with fans globally.

PFL vs UFC: Ending UFC’s Monopoly over the Industry?

PFL’s expanding fighter roster is internationally diverse, with the league recently signing the UFC lineal heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, and offering a chance to fight outside the PFL in boxing matches. Surprisingly, the PFL fighter recently managed to book with Tyson Fury, the famous WBC heavyweight champion.

Although a smaller league than the UFC, the PFL offers their fighters a fairer percentage of revenue. In fact, fighter pay is a heavily debated topic since the UFC only pays 20% of revenue to their fighters, unlike other leagues like the NBA and NFL, which pay roughly 50%.

Only time will tell if the UFC manages to maintain its monopoly over MMA or begins to lose ground to rivals like the PFL. Regardless, these technological strides by both companies signal a bright future for the growth of MMA. This industry boasts a global fan base of over 600 million and the youngest audience demographic of any sport.

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