One of the greatest heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in the world has joined forces with arguably one of the greatest soccer (futbol) stars to ever grace the earth.
Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez is set for UFC 166 on Oct. 19, 2013, live on pay-per-view (PPV) from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. But before they tangle inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon, "Cigano" has signed a lucrative deal to be managed by 9ine, one of Brazil’s biggest sports marketing agencies.
Created by former Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo (not to be confused with Cristiano) in 2011, 9ine currently manages the careers of several sport stars such as Neymar Jr., who recently signed a record deal with Barcelona and UFC’s middleweight star, Anderson Silva.
According to 9ine’s CEO Marcus Buaiz, the managing firm will tailor the slugger's image, social media and contracts with sponsors ahead of UFC 166.
MMAfighting spoke with the number one contender and here's what he had to say about his new deal:
"I’m proud to be part of 9ine’s team. I’m really focused on my next fight on Oct. 19 and signing this deal before such an important fight motivates me even more to get the belt back. I’m sure we will do a great job, my team and 9ine together."
Cookie cutter formal statement if I've ever seen one. Perhaps Chael Sonnen should take some notes?
You can now add 9ine to "Cigano's" growing list of major backers, which already include Nike, TNT and Corinthians. Only a matter of time before the Brazilian follows in Jon Jones' footsteps and is repping Gatorade on his shorts.
For more on the upcoming UFC 166 event be sure to check out our complete news archive right here.