MMA bruiser Jon Jones gets cuddly with cute panda NFTs

Quick Take

  • MMA fighter Jon Jones agreed to become the brand ambassador for the multimillion dollar NFT brand Kanpai Pandas.
  • Kanpai Pandas is also launching a streetwear brand, which Jones will promote.

Looks like UFC fighter Jon Jones isn’t afraid to get into the octagon with some pandas.

With about a month to go before his heavyweight title fight, Jones, a famous mixed-martial arts star, inked a deal to become the brand ambassador for the NFT collection Kanpai Pandas.

Jones will not only represent the NFT brand, which has generated more than $7 million in trading volume since launching in April according to OpenSea, he will also be the face of Kanpai Pandas’s new streetwear collection.

Kanpai Panda’s push into selling apparel and partnering with the famous UFC fighter follows other top-tier NFT brands’ efforts to diversify. NFT brands want to woo mainstream consumers with products like merchandise and video games after being hit by the slump in prices for NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Yuga Labs’ Bored Apes Yacht Club, Doodles and Azuki have all recently launched efforts to expand the reach of their brands with new initiatives geared towards moving beyond being digital-asset collections.

Jones also owns multiple NFTs from the collection, according to Kanpai Pandas. The UFC fighter has a heavyweight bout with Ciryl Gane on March 4 in Las Vegas.

The current floor price for Kanpai Pandas’s profile-picture NFTs is more than $3,000 up from $280 in November.

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About Author

RT Watson is a senior reporter at The Block who covers a wide array of topics including U.S.-based companies, blockchain gaming and NFTs. Formerly covered entertainment at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and the creator economy while focusing primarily on technological disruption across media. Previous to that he covered corporate, economic and political news in Brazil while at Bloomberg. RT has interviewed a diverse cast of characters including CEOs, media moguls, top influencers, politicians, blue-collar workers, drug traffickers and convicted criminals. Holds a master's degree in Digital Sociology.