UFC will pay fighters bonuses for adding followers on Twitter

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No major sports organization embraces social media like the UFC.

Not only have the head honchos at Zuffa encouraged their employees to more actively participate on interactive websites like Twitter, they are now offering bonuses for it.

MMAFighting.com has the details:

Starting June 1, UFC and Strikeforce fighters will be divided into four categories, based on how many Twitter followers they currently have. At the end of each quarter, three fighters from each category will be awarded a $5,000 bonus. The three winners will be based on who has gained the most followers since the start of the quarter, who gained the highest percentage of new followers and who wrote the most creative tweets. White will be the judge of the last category.

At the conclusion of a full calendar year, the UFC will end up paying $240,000 a year to its fighters for their Twitter usage.

Cha-ching!

The UFC has taken social media promotion to an entirely new level in sports, including offering free fights on their Facebook page for the past couple events, as well as breaking news on the company's official Twitter account.

The world's largest fight promotion has long prided itself on being the most fan-friendly organization around. It looks like that mission is expanding with the continued rise of the sport.

This while its chief competitors are basically shunning Twitter, most notably the NFL.

A couple of star running backs have come under fire recently for controversial -- and reckless -- tweets that caused a stir for their respective organization.

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush went on a Twitter tirade at ESPN personality Skip Bayless for his critical stance on the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Rashard Mendenhall, a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, got himself in deep when he made controversial remarks about the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden.

The NFL, as you can expect, was none too happy about this.

In fact, they've instituted policies that prevent players from engaging in social media interaction at certain times and in certain situations, such as during meetings and anytime they're involved in NFL related activities.

Not the UFC.

Twitter is often a source of contention but the fact is controversy creates cash. And if the stars of the UFC do it right, they can earn a lot more of it.

Assignment time for you Maniacs. Who can find out exactly which UFC star (who is still active as a fighter) currently has the most followers on Twitter? Your reward is an update in this post with your name next to it.

GO!

(Oh, and you can follow MMAmania.com on Twitter right here. Go ahead; make our day.)

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