The world's preeminent fight promotion and one of the world's most important soccer leagues are teaming up.
The UFC and LaLiga North America announced a partnership Thursday that includes social media and digital collaboration and promoting each other's brands. The UFC will send fighters to Spain for LaLiga events three times a year and LaLiga will promote its league on existing UFC shows in English and Spanish.
The two sides first teamed in September, bringing UFC interim flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Spain-based rising star Ilia Topuria to LaLiga games. Moreno attended games in Valencia and at Atletico Madrid. Topuria, who fights at UFC 282 next week, joined Moreno in Valencia, where the two fighters spoke to youth players who are part of the club's academy teams.
"LaLiga from Spain is crazy, man," Moreno told ESPN in September. "It has a lot of history and a lot of soccer culture. It was awesome."
LaLiga will also create social media with players from the league and storytelling around UFC fighters to further promote the UFC. For LaLiga North America, it's a chance to tap into the UFC's rabid fanbase, which has a strong Hispanic American following. The UFC gets to continue its international expansion in Spain, which has a growing MMA fanbase and several fighters like Topuria coming up.
Moreno fights rival Deiveson Figuereido in a UFC flyweight title unification bout at UFC 283 on Jan. 21 in Brazil. The pay-per-view card will be the first of 2023, which is the UFC's 30th anniversary. La Liga will be involved with promotion for that, as well.
"Hispanics make up a significant percentage of the population in the United States and are at the heart of both LaLiga North America and the UFC's fanbases," LaLiga North America head of content and distribution Adrian Segovia said in a statement. "Our focus will be finding commonalities within the LaLiga and UFC communities and providing value-add opportunities to enhance fan access and create relatable, engaging content."