The Stars Group's online poker brand PokerStars has joined forces with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.

The sponsorship agreement sees PokerStars become the UFC’s first official poker partner, with the operator benefiting from a branded presence inside the Octagon at the UFC’s final Pay-Per-View event of 2018 - UFC 232: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON 2, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, December 29th.

Additional partnership activations for the event will include the integration of PokerStars branding during UFC’s telecasts, as well as digital and social media, and other promotional opportunities.

“We’re excited that PokerStars has joined our roster of global partners and has helped us create a new sponsorship category for our final event of 2018,” said UFC senior vice president of global partnerships Paul Asencio. “This agreement lays the foundation to work together with PokerStars in the future to grow our respective customer bases in key markets.”

Christopher Coyne, chief marketing officer of Stars Interactive, commented: “UFC and PokerStars have a lot in common. We want to thrill and entertain, both in our products and customer experience.

“UFC is the world’s leading MMA promoter with millions of fans and followers around the globe, while PokerStars is the heavyweight of online poker. It’s a classic combination.”

Through UFC’s worldwide programming distribution, PokerStars’ brand has the potential to reach 1.1bn TV households in more than 160 countries and territories in 40 different languages.