Kevin Lee’s four-fight contract with Eagle FC will be paid to him exclusively through cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
After being paid in money during his long UFC career, Lee will be taking a unique route to kick off his partnership with Eagle FC.
Lee’s deal with Eagle FC was first announced Wednesday. His signing came just more than a week after his UFC career had an abrupt end. The promotion reportedly cut him from their roster in late November, ending an 18-fight run in the Octagon.
Lee described his new deal as a lucrative first in the sport.
“To be the first MMA fighter who has a deal worth millions of dollars in Bitcoin, the first one, there was some appeal to that for me,” said Lee in an interview on The MMA Hour.
Lee: Bitcoin Saved Me Before
Lee’s interest in cryptocurrency is in part due to how it has helped him before. Lee described in his interview how an investment he made into Bitcoin four years ago allowed him to make money while he was dealing with injuries last year.
“After my fight with Tony [Ferguson], I invested in Bitcoin all the way back then. Honestly, when I had the knee surgeries, it saved my a**. Because I forgot about that money, but then when Bitcoin blew back up, that gave me some money to live off of. So it’s something that I really believe in and that’s honestly gonna be the big future.”
Lee’s new contract is part of a slowly growing trend seen around sports. NFL player Sean Culkin announced earlier this year that he will have a contract that is exclusively paid in Bitcoin. He is the first fighter in NFL’s history to do so.
Jorge Masvidal’s bare-knuckle MMA promotion Gamebred Fighting Championship has utilized cryptocurrency in the past, using it to hand out performance bonuses after events.
Do you expect more fighters to ask for cryptocurrency-based contracts in the future?