Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Luana Pinheiro announced that she has partnered with Bitwage to receive her salary in Bitcoin (BTC). Pinheiro said she continues to receive fiat payments from her sponsors but converts them to BTC immediately through Bitwage.
Pinheiro is currently ranked 15th in her UFC division and has won eight consecutive fights. The fighter said she chose to receive her salary in Bitcoin after her boyfriend and fellow mixed martial artist Matheus Nicolau encouraged her.
Comparing Bitcoin to her fighting style, jiu-jitsu, Pinheiro highlighted that she prefers to get paid in BTC and that she does not care about the volatility of the cryptocurrency. According to her, volatility is the key factor that drives asset appreciation.
“If it weren't volatile, it wouldn't go up either,” she said, further explaining:
“Think about it: it takes an average of 10–15 years for an individual to obtain a black belt in Brazil in Jiu Jitsu, so my time preference here is just as long, if not longer. Everything else is just noise to me and the lower the price, the more Bitcoin I can secure for the future.”
The Brazilian also revealed that, for her, Bitcoin works as a hedge against inflation since over the years the purchasing power of fiat currencies has been deteriorating with inflation while BTC, despite its corrective movements, continues in an uptrend.
“Don't forget I'm from Brazil, so I know a thing or two about inflation and its effects. I was born around 1994, around the time the Brazilian currency Real was introduced and pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar at the time. It is now 5 BRL for 1 USD. Bitcoin is for that, to protect against inflation,” she said.
In addition to Nicolau and Pinheiro, professional soccer players Alex Barrett, Achara Ifunanyachi and Alex Crognale also receive their income in Bitcoin.
UFC has forged several partnerships with crypto companies. In April, UFC joined forces with crypto exchange Crypto.com, enabling fighters to receive their fan bonuses in BTC. The fan bonus is paid out by Crypto.com to the top three fighters of upcoming pay-per-view events.
Separately, in June, UFC entered into a multi-year marketing partnership with blockchain logistics firm VeChain Foundation, worth $100 million.