In a historic move, Luana Pinheiro, a talented strawweight UFC fighter, became the first female Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athlete to receive her paycheck in Bitcoin. This groundbreaking initiative came as a result of a partnership between Bitwage, a leading payroll service provider specializing in cryptocurrencies, and Pinheiro herself.

The decision to pay Pinheiro in Bitcoin followed a similar move by her boyfriend, Matheus Nicolau, a prominent UFC fighter in the Flyweight class, who embraced the Bitcoin Standard earlier that year through Bitwage. With Pinheiro now joining him on this financial journey, both fighters set new standards in the world of professional sports.

Bitwage's innovative payroll solution allowed individuals worldwide to convert their regular paychecks into Bitcoin without requiring employer consent. This flexibility opened up new opportunities for athletes like Pinheiro and Nicolau to manage their finances and embrace the potential of digital currencies.

Ranked #15 in the strawweight division, Pinheiro boasted an impressive record of 10 wins and 1 loss, with a remarkable eight-match winning streak. Her decision to opt for Bitcoin as part of her financial strategy reflected not only her confidence in the cryptocurrency's potential but also her long-term perspective, akin to the dedication required in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training.

"I did not think I would have a problem with Bitcoin going down or up," Pinheiro stated. "If it was not volatile, it would not go up either. Think about this: it takes on average 10-15 years for an individual to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so my time preference here is equally long if not longer."

Nicolau echoed Pinheiro's sentiments, emphasizing the importance of taking bold steps for a better future. "Luana joining me in going onto the Bitcoin standard made me very happy, and I was more than confident that bold and courageous steps taken then would be a huge win in the future, for both of us," he said.

The decision to embrace Bitcoin was further reinforced by Pinheiro's personal experience with inflation in Brazil, where the local currency, the Real, had significantly depreciated over time. "I was born around 1994, at that time the Brazilian currency Real was introduced and pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar at that time. Now it is 5 BRL for 1 USD. What do we use Bitcoin again for?!" Pinheiro remarked.

Nicolau highlighted the importance of seizing opportunities and the risks of inaction when it came to Bitcoin adoption: "Opportunity is a naughty goddess that wastes no time with those who are unprepared."

With their bold move to embrace Bitcoin, Pinheiro and Nicolau not only shaped their own financial futures but also set a precedent for athletes worldwide. As pioneers in the UFC, they led the way towards a future where cryptocurrencies played a central role in professional sports.