Joe Rogan, an American podcaster, UFC commentator, and host of the Joe Rogan Experience said on Twitter that UFC Featherweight champion Conor Mcgregor could force the UFC to accept bitcoin for his fights.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) January 23, 2016
Conor Mcgregor, arguably the biggest superstar in the history of UFC has been driving the highest pay-per-views and gate sales for his past few fights. McGregor’s income for his last fight against the former Brazilian champion Jose Aldo totaled US$8 million, overtaking Ronda Rousey’s earnings-per-second record with a 13-second knockout win.
The highly anticipated matchup against Rafael dos Anjos on March 5 is also expected to be the biggest fight in the lightweight division of the UFC and the promotion.
Because of McGregor’s dominant fight record and popularity in the UFC, the promotion’s president Dana White and multi-billionaire Chairman/CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have been dealing with McGregor directly, offering premium pay-per-view cuts.
Benefits of UFC
Apart from cable television, UFC offers pay-per-view in the Google Play store, Apple App Store, UFC TV and UFC Fight Pass. UFC could possibly integrate bitcoin in the UFC TV platform, enabling international users to transact and purchase pay-per-views using bitcoin.
Because of the limitations of traditional financial networks, many users often struggle to purchase or subscribe to UFC TV. Users in Korea example, have trouble purchasing pay-per-views due to the requirement of Shinhan Banking Group, Korea’s largest financial institution and credit card issuer, to download and transfer to another application before settling the transaction in the UFC.TV platform.
The redirection of servers and financial applications often result a technological glitch, disallowing users to settle their transactions in the platform.
The UFC promotion could also benefit from accepting bitcoin for its gate sales. According to UFCVIPExperience, the Official Ticket Package website of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, VIP tickets cost up to US$10,000, while basic tickets can be purchased at around US$60.
Bitcoin, which requires a substantially lower transaction fee compared to traditional means of payments such as credit card and bank wiring, could save users and the UFC promotion around 4% in total costs.
Some fighters like former top welterweight contender for Ultimate Fighting Championship Jon Fitch are already receiving a portion of their income in various cryptocurrencies, including bitcon. Fitch was introduced to bitcoin after the financial collapse in 2008, when he lost the majority of his savings.
“After the 2008 financial collapse, I was left under $180,000 on my condo in San Jose. I didn’t want to keep supporting people who kind of make those things happen. So I started playing around with cryptocurrency. Now I see all the possible things it can be used for. Especially the blockchain and the technology behind that,” said Fitch.
Since 2014, Joe Rogan expressed his optimism towards bitcoin, while conducting interviews with bitcoin experts including Andreas Antonopoulos. Over the past few years, Rogan emphasized the significance of the Bitcoin network’s ability to store various information in a transaction as an unalterable and irrefutable data set.