The Professional Fighters League (PFL) will allow its mixed martial arts (MMA) competitors to be paid in cryptocurrencies, marking the latest move by a sport that appears to be increasingly keen to embrace the space.
Chief Executive Peter Murray confirmed the plans in an interview with Sports Business Journal by saying that crypto would be more broadly adopted as part of the league’s business operations in the future, and in particular from the start of the 2022 season in April.
The PFL is in talks with companies in the sector over a partnership that would feature traditional advertising assets, as well as technical support that would allow the fighters to receive their salaries or bonuses in cryptocurrencies. Fans would also be able to use crypto to buy merchandise, he added.
The development is consistent with the league’s proactive approach to the blockchain – the technology that underpins crypto – with the PFL having been the first sports league to offer fan tokens through a partnership with Socios back in October 2020.
Last month, it was reported that former UFC lightweight champion Kevin Lee would be paid in crypto while competing in legendary fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagles MMA promotion.
Furthermore, several athletes in other sports have embraced crypto and the blockchain.
At least seven NFL American football stars are now thought to be receiving at least part of their salaries in crypto. Former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Russell Okung was reportedly the first star to take such a step by receiving half of his salary in 2020 in Bitcoin.
Image credit: Professional Fighters League