The UFC’s fighters are currently attending the annual ‘UFC Fighter Summit’ this week in Las Vegas where they’ve already found out that they will be insured for all accidents occuring outside of the Octagon, and now it’s been revealed that a new bonus scheme is to be introduced to encourage them to use the Twitter service as a promotional tool.

All the fighters currently under contract will be separated into four groups based on the number of followers they have, and then each quarter three will be selected to receive a $5,000 bonus based on:

  1. Most followers gained in the quarter.
  2. Highest percentage of new followers gained in a quarter.
  3. Most creative use of Twitter.

That means that in total Zuffa will pay out $240,000 in Twitter bonuses over the course of a year, indicating just how powerful a promotional tool they believe it to be.

UFC president Dana White is well aware of that, currently wielding some 1,425,000+ followers on his own Twitter account.  At UFC 129 in Canada last month White sent out a message to his followers offering tickets to the event to the first people to meet him at a specific location.  Within seconds the first fans began arriving, and within minutes the scene had turned to complete pandamonium as a crowd in the hundreds gathered in the hope of getting a ticket.

The UFC’s forward thinking approach to social media such as this and Facebook as marked them out as something of a trendsetter in the sporting world, and this latest bonus scheme only further enhances that, and will no doubt be met with widespread enthusiasm from the fighters themselves.

Meanwhile some fans are a little wary of the move – on one hand happy that the fighters have another way to earn money, while on the other hand concerned that this will resort to fighters begging for new followers rather than simply using it as a medium to communicate with their fans.