Brazilian UFC star receives fight winnings in BTC

Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Matheus Nicolau is the latest world-renowned athlete to opt to invest his fight earnings in the largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (Bitcoin).

The eighth-ranked UFC flyweight fighter Nicolau received his first salary in bitcoin on Monday through a deal backed by payroll service Bitwage, according to a joint announcement shared with Cointelegraph.

The Brazilian athlete has decided to take a paycheck in BTC to hedge against rising inflation. Nicolau said that earning bitcoin will help him secure the value of his hard work and not worry about his money going to waste, adding:

“I make my money the hard way. I bleed for it MMA is an intense sport where you put everything into it. While on the one hand I’m constantly struggling, on the other hand I feel like I’m constantly losing money. Then it hit me: Bitcoin is the solution.”

In addition to the Brazilian fighter, his manager Vinícius Las Casas will also use Bitwage to receive part of his salary in BTC. “We are very bullish on Bitcoin and want to spread the Bitcoin gospel with this latest deal,” said Nicolaus manager Vinícius Las Casas.

According to the announcement, Nicolau is the first Latin American athlete and second UFC fighter ever to be paid in Bitcoin. In January, UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou announced he would take half of his UFC 270 prize money in bitcoin via the cash app.

Related: New Survey Shows Top Regions Where Workers Are Earning Crypto Salaries

By starting to get paid in BTC, Nicolau joins the growing list of celebrities, politicians and athletes who have recently realized the importance of holding Bitcoin.

In January, three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala announced this Take a portion of his estimated $2.6 million annual salary in BTC. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, seven NFL players, including Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Trevor Lawrence, chose to do both receive their entire paycheck in crypto or have part of the salary converted to crypto in 2021.