Rory MacDonald received a lucrative payout for representing a leading cryptocurrency at Bellator 192.
When it comes to cryptocurrency, Dash is one of the rising alternative coins on the market.
Touted for its instant transaction times, anonymity and decentralized model, Dash, previously known as Dark Coin, has made its foray into the world of mixed martial arts.
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts may have noticed that former UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald, now the Bellator welterweight champion, was represented by Dash in his championship bout with Douglas Lima at Bellator 192.
MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee recently spoke with Dash’s head of network operations, Jeff Smith, who reached out to MacDonald and offered him a unique sponsorship deal for Bellator 192.
Smith, an avid mixed martial arts fan, explained Dash’s unconventional payment model and how MacDonald received $250,000 for representing the cryptocurrency at Bellator 192, which was more than Reebook’s total payout ($165,000) for all fighters on the UFC Austin Fight Night card last month.
“There’s actually a monthly proposal cycle, we call it our ‘treasury system,’ and so every month our treasury budget opens and closes and there’s an amount of Dash that we can use as sort of a positive feedback loop,” Smith explained to Alexander K. Lee. “So we’re using this Dash to reinvest into the ecosystem to do things that we as a network think will be better for Dash. Rory’s play was he had this opportunity to be on prime time TV and that’s something that we as a network wanted to do some advertising for, so he approached the network with the idea of, ‘Let’s get me all Dash’d up and I’m gonna be on TV and you guys can be a sponsor of mine.’
“But it’s not like a board of directors or a company where there’s just one person that has the call and that’s the big difference here. Usually, for someone to spend $250,000 to sponsor a fighter, there would be some boardroom that made the decision and stamped it for approval; in this case it’s not, it’s approximately 4700 people all over the world voting yes or no on multiple proposals. Last month I think our cycle had 56 proposals, so there were 55 other people with ideas like Rory’s on how to better Dash.”
Due to the highly volatile nature of the cryptocurrency market, the original $250,000 figure has fluctuated since MacDonald’s initial payout, but Smith says ‘The Red King’ and his team at Tristar are enthusiastic about the technology.
“A lot of the Tristar gym fighters have heard about this, like Georges St-Pierre and the boys that are around Rory and Firas (Zahabi), because Firas, Rory’s coach, kind of got this all started. So a lot of the Tristar gym fighters are starting to ask us questions and that was a question Scott Coker had for me too,” Smith said. “We were chatting after the fight and he just said, ‘You’re crazy. When these fighters find out how much money you gave Rory, your phone will not stop ringing,’ and the irony of it is that these fighters deserve it. Of all the people that deserve some payout like that, it’s the fighters.”
While MacDonald was the lone fighter representing Dash at Bellator 192, former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title challenger Chael Sonnen has proposed that the Bellator cage, fighters and ring girls all be sponsored by Dash, or ‘Dash’d up’ as MacDonald put it.
Check out Lee’s full interview with Smith (and MacDonald) for more information about Dash’s potential collaboration with Bellator.