UFC Fighter Offers Remarkable Fan Token Benefit
History will be made at UFC 277, as reigning women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena is accompanied to the Octagon by an unusual partner.
It won’t be her husband, a trainer, or even a celebrity. Pena will break new ground by walking to the ring with a super fan. Not only that, but the fan will also then remain in her corner for the rematch with Amanda Nunes. Pena beat Nunes in their first fight, causing a huge upset, and she’ll be raising eyebrows before the first punch is landed at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
It’s all because of fan tokens, a digital asset that gives normal people a chance to access their heroes and get their hands on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Soccer has seen fan tokens explode in popularity over the last twelve months, and the European success has resulted in Socios fan tokens coming to the US. They offer a UFC fan token, as well as having a high profile in other sports, such as NFL.
However, Pena has her own fan token offering after partnering with Antic. One lucky owner will be picked randomly and make history by accompanying her to the octagon.
“One lucky member on this special drop will get the opportunity to walk out to the Octagon with me,” she said ahead of the July 30 event. “This has never happened before. They’re literally going to get to experience being in the back room, walking out to the corner, being in my corner, and basically being there and experiencing it in real-time. The only thing that they’re not gonna have to do is get punched in the face.”
Whilst walking to the Octagon and being a part of the event is big for one supporter, the benefits for general token owners are also substantial. In soccer, fans vote on club matters like the team bus’s color and access exclusive content. Pena confirmed that was the case for her token owners, which she referred to as ‘part of her fan club’.
“This is super fan’s opportunity to be a part of my fan club, basically,” she told MMA Junkie. “You’re going to get to see exclusive video content, pictures, things that — there’s a ton of stuff that I don’t share on my social media, and it’s probably because I’m more on the reserved, private end. But if these people join my superfan club, they’re going to get to see behind-the-scenes access, things that nobody gets the opportunity to see.”
Pena has already given fan token owners the chance to vote on which t-shirt she should wear on a training day, which may seem trivial compared to the UFC 277 experience. But, is a pivotal part of fan engagement, not just for the UFC fighter but for athletes globally. The UFC fan token from Socios, $UFC, has already seen fans decide who should feature in Megan Olivi’s Walkout Report during UFC 264.
Fan tokens are proving to be a growing force within sports, and whilst soccer has been the first frontier they’ve conquered, there’s a clear benefit for the UFC and wider MMA fighters. With other U.S. sports, such as football, holding off on the full introduction of fan tokens, Julianna Pena, UFC, and the fan who wins the raffle, will be right at the forefront of fan token history on U.S. soil on July 30.
Of course, Pena will be hoping by the end of the night the headlines are not about fan engagement but a historic double over the fearsome Nunes.