The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is working on an official NFT market with the blockchain company Mercury. According to PFL representatives, its first NFT website should be live before Regular Season kicks off on April 20th.
According to a recent press release, PFL’s NFT site will allow visitors to collect and trade virtual collectibles such as official PFL game clips or cards. Mercury also suggested it will create digital representations of famous PFL fighters and special league-related NFTs.
PFL has yet to announce the official name or domain address for its upcoming NFT market. However, initial reports suggest customers could use credit cards or crypto to purchase authentic PFL NFTs.
PFL CEO Peter Murray told the press this new NFT platform gives his company more ways to connect with mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fans. Mercury’s CEO Porter Grieve also says the recent PFL partnership will use NFT technology to enhance the fan experience.
Formally created in 2018, PFL has become increasingly popular in the MMA space. In fact, PFL is now the world’s second most popular MMA league after the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Millions of MMA fans in over 160 countries can now access PFL’s championship matches.
Mercury is a tech company that helps sports brands plan and develop their NFT strategy. Before news of its PFL partnership, Mercury was best known for its collaboration with college basketball. Two notable NFT projects Mercury designed include the University of Kentucky’s “Blue Chips” and Kansas Athletics’ “Rock Chalk.”
PFL Plans to Take on UFC Strike’s Recent Success
As mentioned above, UFC is the world’s dominant MMA company with an estimated 600 million fans. Considering the UFC’s massive fan base, it’s no surprise this league has had great success in the NFT industry. Once PFL enters the NFT game, it may face steep competition from UFC’s established NFT market.
In early 2022, Dapper Labs released the UFC Strike NFT platform on its Flow blockchain. A few hours after Dapper Labs launched UFC Strike on January 23rd, its initial offering of 100,000 UFC NFTs sold out. Each of these UFC NFTs cost $50.
According to Dapper Labs, at least 60,000 people created new accounts to take part in UFC Strike’s first airdrop. The blockchain company says it hasn’t seen such a rapid increase in user activity since it opened NBA Top Shot in 2021. UFC Strike’s debut clearly shows MMA fans are excited about digital collectibles.
Beyond Dapper Labs, the UFC is well-known for its partnership with the cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com. In July of 2021, Crypto.com spent $175 million for a ten-year contract with the UFC.
Crypto.com frequently drops UFC NFTs on its curated NFT Marketplace. The Singapore-based exchange also uses its UFC partnership to sponsor UFC-related giveaways, including tickets to live events.