Crypto casino engagement with sports continues as two operators sign sponsorships and Lucky Block, two prominent crypto sportsbook and casino operators, have strengthened their links to MMA via deals with the UFC and former pro-athlete Michael Bisping respectively.

Cyprus-based Stake’s agreement with UFC is a regional deal with a focus on Asia, and builds on the company’s pre-existing partnerships with individual fighters from the tournament. 

The company plans to ‘improve UFC’s betting experience’ on its website by offering exclusive promotions, VIP experiences and producing exclusive social and digital content featuring athletes from the promotion.

“All of us at Stake are massive UFC enthusiasts,” a company statement read. “We are excited to collaborate with such a dominant brand to deliver a one-of-a-kind betting experience and accelerate our global expansion.”

Marketing material will also feature Israel Adysena, the former long-running UFC middleweight champion who partnered with the crypto sportsbook back in January 2021.

Stake has also previously signed deals with other notable names including heavyweight Francis Nganou – who no longer fights for the UFC after leaving for pro-boxing due to pay disputes – as well as Alexa Grasso and Marlon Vera.

UFC Vice President of Global Partnerships, Nick Smith, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with an exciting and emerging brand like Stake to offer exclusive digital and social content to our fans, as well as an innovative gaming experience.

“UFC prides itself on being innovators, and Stake is a unique way for fans to experience the action and excitement of UFC.”

Outside of UFC, Stake has sought to build up brand visibility via deals with Everton FC – an agreement which faced fan backlash in the context of evolving British gambling regulations – and more recently the Sauber F1 team.

Meanwhile, UFC has an extensive history of engaging with the crypto sector beyond betting., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, is one of the Las Vegas-based promotion’s flagship partners.

As cryptocurrency continues to rise in popularity as a payment method, the use of digital currencies for betting has also begun to increase. In many jurisdictions this is a grey area, however, with crypto regulations still developing in tandem with the sector.

Nevertheless, the sector continues to see new entrants, with Lucky Block launching its business a year ago. The company has now moved to build up its visibility among MMA fans via a deal with former UFC middleweight champion and current pundit Michael Bisping.

“We are pleased to announce our sponsorship of UFC icon Michael Bisping,” said Damian Jacobs, Lucky Block Community and Growth Manager.

“We believe this deal will be a powerful catalyst as we embark on the next leg of our journey to lead crypto gaming’s conquest of the online sports entertainment and betting industry.

“This partnership shows that Lucky Block can mix it up with the other industry leaders. Our sponsorship of Michael Bisping shows we understand the importance of developing and exploiting the brand projection potential at the intersection between the sports domain and the disruptive power of crypto betting.”