Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Matheus Nicolaou is the latest world-famous athlete to decide to earn his fighting income in the largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin (BTC).
According to a joint announcement published with Cointelegraph, Nicolaou, who is ranked eighth in the UFC flyweight division, received his first bitcoin paycheck on Monday thanks to a deal via payroll service Bitwage.
The Brazilian athlete decided to receive a salary in BTC to insure against rising inflation. Nicolau said earning Bitcoin will help him keep the value of his hard work and not worry about his money being wasted, adding:
“I make money the hard way. I bleed for this. MMA is an intense sport where you put everything you have into it. While I am constantly struggling on one side, I have the feeling that I am constantly losing money on the other. Then it dawned on me: Bitcoin is the solution.”
Along with the Brazilian fighter, his manager Vinicius Las Casas will also use Bitwage to earn a portion of his BTC salary. “We are very optimistic about Bitcoin and we are committed to spreading the gospel of Bitcoin with this latest transaction,” said manager Nicolau Vinicius Las Casas.
According to the announcement, Nicolau is the first Hispanic athlete and second UFC fighter ever to be paid in Bitcoin. In January, UFC heavyweight fighter Francis Ngannou announced that he would receive half of his UFC 270 prize wallet in bitcoin via the Cash app.
We are thrilled to announce the world’s first Hispanic athlete and second @ufc fighter to ever be paid in bitcoin: @NicolauMatheus. He protects his salary. He fights inflation. Follow his example: https://t.co/uZw32wkokH pic.twitter.com/6VbtQ3o3zc — Bitwage (@Bitwage) March 21, 2022
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By starting to get paid in BTC, Nicolau joins a growing list of celebrities, politicians, and athletes who have recently become aware of the importance of owning Bitcoin.
In January, three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala announced that he would receive part of his $2.6 million annual salary in BTC. As previously reported, seven NFL players, including Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence, have decided to start either getting their entire salary in crypto or converting part of their salary to crypto in 2021.