It may be coming late in his career at the age of 36, but there’s no doubt that MMA superstar Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
The latest confirmation of that comes with the news that he’s just signed major sponsorship deals with big-time brands Nike and Burger King.
Silva’s deal with Nike sees him become the first Brazilian MMA star to be sponsored by the sportswear giant, and one of a only a select few fighters worldwide (the others being Japanese) that have had the honor of being backed by them.
The deal comes hot on the heels of another major endorsement deal with Burger King in Brazil which will see him feature in a new campaign being launched by the fast-food chain in the near future.
As if that wasn’t enough Silva has also now become linked to the Brazilian soccer team Corintheans, and will wear their jersey during his walk to the Octagon at UFC 134: Rio along with having a new MMA facility in Sao Paulo constructed by the team named after him.
All of this comes off the back of a major breakthrough in Silva’s popularity in his native Brazil since his spectacular win over Vitor Belfort back at UFC 126 in February which was considered must-see TV in the country, mainly due to Belfort’s notoriety as a former contest on the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ show there along with his wife, herself a famous Brazilian model, years ago.
Since that KO victory Silva has himself become a household name and is regularly featured on television talk shows and the like.
Silva also has benefited greatly from signing a deal with the 9nine marketing agency fronted by legendary soccer player Ronaldo at the turn of the year. Ronaldo is practically considered a god in his native Brazil and his influence has played a big part in Silva finally achieving the level of fame that he deserves there.
Meanwhile the UFC are also hoping to capitalize on the increased popularity of the sport in Brazil. Later this month UFC 134: Rio will take place and should do a lot to cement their growing status there, but in a recent press conference in the region the UFC’s Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta made it clear that this wasn’t a one off and that they were planning to bring events to locations all over Brazil in the future.