UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has made history by becoming the first MMA fighter to be sponsored by the athletic apparel company Puma.
‘Stylebender’ has quickly become one of the biggest stars in MMA since capturing UFC gold by knocking out Robert Whittaker inside two rounds at UFC 243 in October 2019.
Earlier this year he was named one of two UFC 4 cover athletes along side Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal. Next weekend he is set to make the second defence of his 185lb title against heavy-handed number one contender Paulo Costa. The pair will top a stacked UFC 253 card on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi on September 26.
Adesanya took to social media yesterday to reveal his Puma partnership with a promo video captioned with the following message: “Whoever said the sky is the limit, doesn’t know about the universe!” Hyped and honored to partner up with a BEAST in the game @puma.”
Ariel Helwani was able to shed a little more light on the Adesanya-Puma deal. The veteran MMA reporter told his Twitter followers that ‘Stylebender’ had signed a multi-year deal to become the face of Puma in Oceania.
“Israel Adesanya has signed a multi-year deal with Puma. He will be the face of their Oceania division but will also be a part of their global marketing plans, as well. It is an apparel and shoe sponsorship. He is the first MMA fighter to ever be sponsored by Puma,” Helwani wrote.
Adesanya joins a long list of high-profile athletes who have penned deals with the company. Just last week Puma announced the signing of soccer star Neymar who left his deal with Nike to put pen to paper on a lucrative long-term deal with Puma.
Do you think other MMA stars will join Israel Adesanya in signing major sponsorship deals with brands like Puma?