VeChain Teams Up With UFC To Tokenize Fighter Gloves
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VeChain Teams Up With UFC To Tokenize Fighter Gloves

  • VeChain teams up with UFC to tokenize fighter gloves to prevent counterfeits and enhance memorabilia value.

A partnership between VeChain Foundation and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to tokenize fighters’ gloves was announced on April 12 during the global press conference for UFC 300. 

The effort consists of tracking fighting data using a near-field communication (NFC) chip installed within the gloves and registering feedback using the VeChainThor network.

The VeChain Foundation has had a $100 million sponsorship deal with the UFC since 2022. Fabio Konder, Activation Director at VeChain Foundation, explained during UFC 301, which took place in Rio de Janeiro last Saturday, how blockchain made its way to the fighting sports realm.

“When we closed the sponsorship deal with UFC, it was obvious to me that this would be a natural development,” said Konder. 

“A sponsorship deal is about visibility, but Sunny’s [Lu, VeChain founder] intention was to go further and offer a platform for the community: to create connections, to incentivize projects, and strengthen them. It became clear that the next step would be technological.”

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Therefore, by looking at previous collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Walmart, which consisted of making the supply chain more robust by applying blockchain technology, VeChain Foundation’s Activation Director understood that this could be an avenue to work with UFC.

“Tracking data with blockchain is our bread and butter. I worked with UFC for seven years and knew they had issues with their gloves and an innovation process was taking place. So I suggested the tracking chip combined with a blockchain register.”

The issues mentioned by Konder are related to fighters breaking their hands during the fight and the easiness of spreading fingers while wearing it, which makes accidental eye-poking more susceptible. This new glove will start being used at UFC 302.

The data registered on VeChainThor then has two purposes: first, a reliable way to store the feedback from the new gloves; second, it will prevent counterfeit gloves from being sold on the secondary market, as the chip is registered as a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be easily verified with a smartphone.

Hence, gloves used in UFC fights are now a tokenized real-world asset (RWA), making them ‘phygital’ items with physical and digital versions.

“In this new initiative, the fighters will donate their gloves after the fight, and the blockchain register makes it a more powerful memorabilia since it will also have the fighting data from the athlete. Let’s say Aldo retires after his fight today. The owner of the glove will be able to check how Aldo fought, and the amount of blows he applied.”

Moreover, Konder revealed that another initiative between VeChain and UFC aimed at preventing counterfeiting and tracking stolen items is being developed in the background, although he explained that this is not set to go public yet.

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