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UFC signals intent to get into the NFT and cryptocurrency game

The UFC might be about to start selling non-fungible tokens.

UFC digital.
The UFC might be upping their digital presence.
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

UFC parent company ZUFFA LLC has reportedly filed a couple of new trademark applications which signal their intent to get in on the current boom in block-chain technology.

Josh Gerben reported the filings, revealing that the UFC have looked to trademark the term ‘UFC’ in relation to cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Both crypotcurrency and NFTs are made on a block-chain, meaning they are digital assets that are created by banks of servers solving complex equations. Once one of these assets is created it is unique and impossible to copy.

NFTs are block-chain created assets with are assigned other forms of media, like artwork. Because block-chain technology allows for this ‘cryptoart’ to be impossible to copy these NFTs can sell for eye-watering amounts of money.

Why people are buying cartoon cats on the blockchain

The NBA has recently hit gold with their NFT program NBA Top Shot. Top Shot users pay cryptocurrency for digital packs of highlights. Each highlight was created in a limited batch and has its own serial number.

Top Shot users buy and sell highlights with high prices being spent on clips with low serial numbers that feature star players. A LeBron James dunk recently sold for over $200,000.

If the UFC follows the NBA’s model we could see UFC fights, highlights or fighter likenesses being turned into NFTs. Current UFC contracts would allow the UFC to do this without consulting fighters or giving fighters a share of what these NFTs could make. If a fighter were to make their own NFTs using footage of them during a UFC fight, they would risk being sued for piracy by the UFC.

Producing NFTs releases an extremely high amounts of carbon, which worsens our current climate crisis. The cryptoart market has also been accused of exploiting artists and other content creators, with NFT makers stealing works and turning them into tokens without consent or the offer of royalties.

Another reason people should be wary of NFTs is because buying an NFT does not mean you are buying the rights to that image, music, video etc. Buying an NBA highlight that is one of 5,000 does not mean you own the rights to that footage. You can’t do anything with that highlight other than watch it and sell it to someone else.