NBA legend Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna and eight other passengers died in a helicopter accident on January 26 of this year.
UFC President Dana White says that the promotion is going to be paying tribute to Bryant this Saturday Night during UFC 247.
Many MMA personalities paid tribute to Bryant via social media after his passing and Dominick Reyes was planning on wearing a Bryant jersey throughout fight week, but the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok prevented that from happening according to MMA Junkie.
White also reveals that Bryant was an investor in the UFC and the late NBA great got a distribution from that investment a few days before his passing.
“You look at Kobe the basketball player, right? Then the guy won an Oscar, and all the other things that this guy has accomplished in his life – also he was one of the big investors in Body Armor, the company that’s a sponsor of the UFC,” White said. “He was also an investor in the UFC, and the UFC killed it last year. I mean 2019, when I say 2019 was our best year – others years, 2019’s through the roof. It was massive. So the owners got a distribution, and Kobe got a distribution from the UFC, the Wednesday before the incident, and he was so pumped up and so excited.”
UFC 247 takes place tomorrow night from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas with Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.