UFC Signs 5-Year Deal with DraftKings

Mixed martial arts kingpin UFC becomes the latest to link with a sportsbook operator, in this case, DraftKings. The expansive five-year deal will feature in-game promotions, enhanced prop bets and more.

Add UFC to the list of organizations partnering with sportsbooks.

The Ultimate Fighting Championships named DraftKings as its first official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner. The five year deal valued at $350 million, closed on March 4 and covers the U.S. and Canada, according to ESPN.

The partnership will include in-game promotions, odds integrations during broadcasts and enhanced prop bets on MMA bouts.

“I’m looking forward to all the exciting things we’re to do with DraftKings over the next few years,” UFC President Dana White said in a news release.

Bookmakers say MMA has grown as a betting sport in recent years.

“Combat sports, and UFC in particular, have scaled significantly across both our sportsbook and daily fantasy verticals, evolving from a niche offering to a high-demand category that we believe will only grow further as we innovate,” DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins said in the release.

Beginning with UFC 259, a DraftKings clock will be part of the Octagon that counts down each round.

“We’re optimistic that in a relative short period of time we’re going to have a lot more in-game, real-time data that’s going to enhance the gaming experience on UFC,” COO Lawrence Epstein told ESPN.

MLB, the NBA, NHL and the PGA Tour are among the leagues with official sportsbook partners since sports betting became legal in 2018.

“Sportsbook operators see the conversion of sports fans into sports betting customers, and the closer they can get to that fan, it’s definitely going to unlock more value,” consultant Sara Slane said.