Global mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a new partnership with medical technology company Smith+Nephew.

The medical equipment manufacturer becomes UFC’s first preferred sports medicine technology partner, with Smith+Nephew branding to be present inside the UFC cage at a selected number of its Fight Night series of events.

Smith+Nephew will activate around the Fight Nights, as well as through the co-production of original content to be disseminated across UFC digital and social media channels.

Furthermore, Smith+Nephew branding will also be present on location at the UFC’s ‘Performance Institutes’, training, research, and medical centers in Las Vegas, Shanghai, and Mexico City.

UFC vice president of global partnerships, Robby Miller, stated: “We’re looking forward to advancing that mission by also promoting better health and recovery through technology solutions, such as those offered by Smith+Nephew, that will benefit UFC athletes and fans alike.”

The reach afforded by UFC’s major global viewership, with the promotion claiming in excess of 700 million fans worldwide, was apparently a key driver behind Smith+Nephew’s decision to partner, with the technology company’s president of sports medicine Scott Schaffner saying: “The global reach and influence of UFC is unmatched by any other sports organization.”

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UFC is broadcast in over 170 countries globally, most recently agreeing to a renewed media rights deal with sports broadcast giant ESPN in Australia and New Zealand.

Through the extension, ESPN Australia and New Zealand have retained the rights to deliver all 30 UFC Fight Night events, along with all 12 UFC pay-per-view (PPV) Prelims each year.

UFC partnering with the medical technology company also comes almost immediately following the resolution of two high-profile antitrust class-action lawsuits lodged against the MMA promotion by a number of its former fighters.

TKO Group, the parent company of UFC, agreed a $335 million settlement with the fighters to end the lawsuits that sought up to $1.6 billion in damages. A trial expected to last four weeks was scheduled to start on April 15.

The lawsuits alleged Zuffa, the previous entity that owned and operated UFC, violated antitrust laws by paying UFC fighters significantly less than they were entitled to receive and maintaining a monopoly over the MMA market.