Tag Archives: MMA

Dash Emerges In MMA Community With Sponsorship of Rory MacDonald, Chael Sonnen

With recent sponsorship of Bellator fighters Rory MacDonald and Chael Sonnen, the Dash network has made an impressive mark on the world of MMA.

Rory MacDonald is one of the world’s highest ranking MMA fighters, holding a 20-4 record following his victory over Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight title. He holds wins over UFC fighters including Demian Maia, Nate Diaz, BJ Penn, and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

MacDonald submitted a proposal to the Dash treasury for funding of a $250,000 sponsorship, which passed with ease: 899 Yes to 233 No.

MacDonald represented his sponsor in full Dash apparel during his championship victory earlier this year. Vocal about his interest in cryptocurrency and its virtues, MacDonald has been active in the industry since 2014 after being introduced by his coach, Firas Zahabi. MacDonald said in a report for Dash Force News:

In 2014 I was introduced to Bitcoin from my coach Firas Zahabi the week I was fighting Tyron Woodley. Since then we have stayed interested in the cryptocurrency space, and it so happened that Dash’s Jeff Smith and Firas had connected over doing a project together with Dash. Since then Firas connected me and Jeff. Everything came together very organically as we worked on a proposal for my next fight sponsored by Dash. The community really rallied behind the idea and I believe this is just the start of the Dash takeover into the MMA community for cryptocurrencies.

According to Dash Force News, Zahabi has utilized cryptocurrency to overcome certain regulatory issues and launched a giveaway last year of $10,000 worth of Dash “to whomever could most accurately guess the exact outcome and time” of the momentous fight held between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

MacDonald sees these sponsorships as just the beginning of long-term partnerships with the cryptocurrency community. He told CCN that “the exciting thing about the Dash budget system is that it’s a voting process, so we can make all kinds of different, unique ideas to pitch to the network…It could be the next wave of sponsorships pouring into the MMA community.”

Bellator has publicly noted its interest in cryptocurrency and Dash to fuel sponsorships, with Bellator CEO Scott Coker saying:

Cryptocurrency has definitely gotten people’s attention as of late and we’re thrilled to see Dash enter the MMA space with their sponsorship of Bellator welterweight Rory MacDonald. Exploring new categories and opportunities for integration has always been key to the growth and development of sports partnerships. We’re always open to new and exciting ideas, and cryptocurrency is something that we’d be interested in exploring to see if it was potentially the right fit for Bellator.

Fellow mixed martial artist Chael Sonnen also put forward a proposal to the Dash Masternode network worth 325 Dash ($162,023 USD). He proposed continuing to expand the Dash brand throughout the MMA community with his event connections and social media following.

The Dash sponsorship of Sonnen also easily passed, with 681 Yes to 156 No.

Sonnen has been an MMA fighter since the age of 19 and has fought in five different fighting leagues including the UFC. He’s faced off against the likes of Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Anderson Silva, and Micahel Bisping. Sonnen is also contributor on ESPN and has appeared on The Jim Rome Show as well as Joe Rogan’s popular podcast. Sonnen bears a massive social media following, where he has more than 800,000 Twitter followers, over 381,000 Facebook followers and millions of views on Youtube.

Cryptocurrencies like Dash disrupt the conventional athletic sponsorship structure by allowing individuals to work directly with the source of their funding (Dash). Dash’s large treasury and Masternode voting platform make unique crypto marketing opportunities and sponsorships possible. Dash’s blockchain technology is set up to produce new coins every month, where 10% of those goes towards the treasury. Currently, the budget is around 6177 Dash, or about $2.7 million USD. This allows for the Dash investment ecosystem to build its brand in creative ways across a multitude of industries.

Editor’s note: Dash Digital Cash is the exclusive sponsor of Reality Check and the Truth in Media project.

N.Y. State Assembly Passes Bill to Legalize Professional Mixed Martial Arts Events

The Democrat-led New York State Assembly voted 113-25 on Tuesday to lift the state’s ban on professional mixed martial arts promotions.

Syracuse.com notes that the GOP-controlled New York State Senate had already passed its companion version of the bill in February.

Democratic N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign the bill into law, said on Tuesday according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, “I do support mixed martial arts because it’s also an economic generator.

[RELATED: Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans UFC’s Nick Diaz for Five Years Over Alleged Pot Use]

The Assembly vote represents the clearing of a final hurdle that had been blocking the legalization of live events in the state by popular sports promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship for almost twenty years. The New York Senate had voted to legalize mixed martial arts for seven straight years, but the state’s lower house did not vote to legalize it until Tuesday. The ban had originally been signed into law by former Republican N.Y. Gov. George Pataki.

ESPN pointed out that another factor in the bill’s passage was the 2015 ouster of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an opponent of the legalization of MMA, after he was indicted on corruption charges. He was replaced by Speaker Carl E. Heastie, who had in the past sponsored an MMA legalization bill.

[RELATED: Former N.Y. Assembly Speaker Convicted in Federal Corruption Trial]

When these events take place, these are big events. The time has come,” said Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue). He added that the bill will not just deliver “professional mixed martial arts to New York, but just as importantly what it will do is it’ll allow for rules and regulations that will offer protections for the amateur fighters as well.

Bill opponent Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who is openly gay, sparked controversy by saying while arguing against the bill: “You have two nearly naked, hot men, rolling around on top of one another trying to dominate each other. And in case you didn’t know, that’s gay porn with a different ending.


Opponents in the legislature cited concerns about fighters’ health, and some raised allegations that the industry has deep ties to gambling organizations and encourages the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Mixed martial arts events will begin taking place in New York 120 days after the bill is signed by Gov. Cuomo. Once New York formally legalizes MMA, the sport will finally be legal in all 50 U.S. states.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Nevada State Athletic Commission Bans UFC’s Nick Diaz for Five Years Over Alleged Pot Use

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, a government-run state-level sports regulatory agency, has suspended Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts fighter Nick Diaz for five years and fined him $165,000 for allegedly testing positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug test after his loss to Anderson Silva in January’s UFC 183 event.

However, the NSAC only suspended his opponent Anderson Silva, who allegedly tested positive for steroids during a drug test following the same fight, for one year, drawing fire from critics who say that Diaz’s punishment is unusually harsh.

The NSAC claims that it issued the stiff punishment because Diaz had been suspended twice before, but as MMA Mania notes, the NSAC’s own policies state that a third positive marijuana test calls for a three year suspension.

In the below video, Diaz can be seen claiming that his suspension is “ridiculous” considering what he called widespread use of steroids among UFC fighters and in the context that Silva was suspended for a shorter period of time than him despite allegedly using performance enhancers against him in the same fight.

MMA Junkie’s Ben Fowlkes wrote, “It’s ridiculous, when you think about it. After all the absurd excuses and explanations we’ve heard in NSAC hearings over the years, all the laughable defenses in the face of serious charges, and the one that would provoke the ire of the commissioners would be Diaz’s shockingly competent defense against accusations that he used a substance he is very well known for using.

Fowlkes said that NSAC’s harsh punishment was motivated primarily by the fact that Diaz attempted to defend himself against the charges rather than apologizing and begging for leniency, “Had he shown up and gone through the motions of an apology, he might have gotten off much easier. This commission knows how to reward the good dogs who roll over and beg. When confronted with a meticulous, aggressive defense, such as the one Diaz’s legal team put forth, the NSAC commissioners can only respond with indignant annoyance.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto wrote, “There is little doubt the NSAC’s decision on Monday to suspend Nick Diaz for five years was a personal one. The ruling did not align with actions taken previously by the NSAC and it actually went against a proposed set of suspension lengths the commission itself introduced this year.

Okamoto added, “If there is one thing the NSAC dislikes more than a guilty athlete, it’s a guilty athlete who shows no remorse. And in three separate NSAC disciplinary hearings for marijuana-related offenses, Diaz has shown no remorse.

For 32-year-old Diaz to be banned from UFC events for five years constitutes a de-facto lifetime ban.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Oil Activist Shona Banda, Now Facing Felony Charges, Speaks Out]

Diaz maintains that he did not violate the NSAC’s policy on marijuana. According to Fox Sports, Diaz’s attorney is expected to appeal the decision.

NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar said, defending the commission’s rationale behind its harsh punishment, “This not just a case of marijuana. I think this is a case of complete lack of disregard for the sport.

ESPN staff writer Brett Okamoto criticized the NSAC’s rationale and said, “Near the end of deliberations, NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar made it a point to say Diaz’s case was about ‘more than marijuana,’ but that’s where he was wrong. This case shouldn’t be about more than marijuana. It shouldn’t be about making a statement to future athletes or finally putting a rebellious Diaz in his place… Disciplinary hearings are about administering justice — with due process.” He concluded, “Monday’s disciplinary hearing — and the message it sent — was the wrong one.