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If you saw UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou enter the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 270, you may have noticed something different.
Ngannou, who defeated Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision to defend his UFC heavyweight title, was one of an entire MMA roster sporting a whole new look as Under Armour and its hit collaboration with Dwayne Johnson, Project Rock, recently was named the official training shoe of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Since 2017, Project Rock has built a solid reputation for battle-tested sports gear that is designed for the “Hardest Workers in the Room.” Now the brand, led by the former WWE champ and current movie-megastar, has entered the Octagon in the world’s most popular MMA organization, the UFC. The fight promotion presents more than 40 live events each year and will rep Project Rock as its official training shoe.
This new tag-team will be co-branded as Project Rock x UFC Footwear, and the gear will soon be available to the public. Since the UFC boasts a global fan base of more than 625 million people across 175 countries, the agreement is set to provide phenomenal exposure for the Project Rock line. The UFC has more than 187 million social media followers, opening up the possibility of additional cross branded content and digital campaigns.
“UFC athletes are amongst the greatest, toughest, focused, most disciplined and hardest training athletes on the planet,” said Dwayne Johnson, taking to Instagram to announce the exciting new deal. “Every walk to the iconic Octagon by a UFC fighter is fuelled with passion, mana and the deep desire to establish their dominance and LEGACY. I am proud, grateful and humbled that my innovative Project Rock training shoe is now the official global footwear partner of UFC. Being ‘the hardest worker in the room’ isn’t just a catchy slogan. It’s my life. But it’s not just my life. It’s the life and soul of every man and woman that competes in UFC. THEY are the hardest workers in the room. THEY are the ones who walk the walk. THEY are champions. Project Rock looks forward to the endless possibilities within this historic global partnership with UFC and all the hardest workers in the room.”
UFC’s Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products, Tracey Bleczinski also commented on the announcement: “The core mission of the Project Rock brand, to help individuals in their journey achieve greatness by equipping them with the right tools, aligns with UFC fighters’ determination, dedication, and perseverance, as they pursue greatness in their own right—both inside and outside of the Octagon.”
Under the terms of the new partnership, all UFC fighters and their corner teams will don Project Rock footwear during UFC Fight Week events such as public workouts, weigh-ins, and of course; fight night. Initially, athletes will wear the Project Rock BSR training shoe, with a new co-branded BSR2 release expected in the summer of 2022.