Francis Ngannou is ranked as one of the top mixed martial artists in the world and currently holds the UFC heavyweight title.

Soon, he'll be holding some Bitcoin, too.

The French-Cameroonian fighter announced via social media today that he would take half of his prize purse from this weekend's UFC 270 event in Bitcoin while also giving out $300,000 in BTC to fans who comment on his post.

"Bitcoin is huge in Africa," he said in a teaser tweet last Friday, before continuing: "Bitcoin is the future and I'm a believer."


The gambit is made possible by Cash App, the mobile payment app from Jack Dorsey-led Block (formerly Square) that also allows users to buy Bitcoin. The marketing campaign has seen various athletes and entertainers "give away" BTC to social media followers, among them rapper Megan Thee Stallion and actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Like Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who agreed to take part of his 2021 season salary in Bitcoin, Ngannou is taking some of his own earnings in BTC. His reported guaranteed purse from this Saturday's fight is $750,000, not including win or sponsorship bonuses.

Block is just one of many crypto-focused companies charging hard into the athletic arena. Exchanges Coinbase and are gobbling up team sponsorships and endorsement deals, and rival platform FTX counts Tom Brady as a "brand ambassador" along with MLB slugger Shohei Ohtani and NBA sharpshooter Steph Curry

Those athletes are all winners, just like Ngannou, who auctioned over $580,000 worth of NFTs to benefit his charity after his previous title fight. But the 35-year-old heads into this fight as a slight underdog against his former sparring partner and fellow Frenchman Ciryl Gane.


Ngannou make it? Get that Bitcoin while you can, Francis.

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