Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has formed a multi-year partnership with mobile games platform, Skillz, to ‘bring competition’ to players worldwide.

Announced at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, the licensing deal will enable Skillz’ developers to create UFC-branded competitive mobile games that are co-marketed by the pair.

In combining esports competition with sports and entertainment, UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products, Tracey Bleczinski, expressed her excitement for the addition, noting: “We’re thrilled to partner with Skillz to bring new mobile games to our fans. 

“UFC is always looking to engage with our fans, and we have found gaming to be one of the best ways we connect with them beyond our live events. Our research shows there is a large number of UFC fans who are prolific gamers, so this is a perfect way to reach this audience.”

Furthermore, the deal also allows selected game creators from the Skillz developer community to utilise certain UFC and UFC athlete intellectual property for mobile game creation and marketing. The new UFC-branded mobile games are slated to launch in 2023.

Andrew Paradise, CEO of Skillz, added: “Skillz’ partnership with UFC is part of our winning strategy that aligns Skillz’ disruptive competitive mobile games platform with the business of sport. We’re delivering an enticing opportunity for developers to create the most innovative, branded mobile games for UFC’s millions of loyal fans worldwide.

“The popularity of the UFC brand, which represents one of the fastest- rising sports globally, combined with Skillz’ mobile gaming expertise, is a huge win for developers seeking to monetize and grow their games through the power of competition. We look forward to nurturing this incredible collaboration to life in the coming months and years.”

It was announced last month that the UFC is set to be broadcast across 11 Eurasian countries in a deal with international pay-TV operator Setanta Sports.

This collaboration sees the platform provide UFC coverage for all live events as well as shoulder programming to fans in Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

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