'Cigano' signs deal with soccer star Ronaldo prior to UFC 166

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Junior "Cigano" dos Santos has signed an important deal before his next fight at UFC 166.

The former UFC heavyweight champion, who is set to return to the Octagon on Oct. 19 against the current champion Cain Velasquez, is now managed by 9ine, one of Brazil’s biggest sport companies.

"I’m proud to be part of 9ine’s team," dos Santos said. "I’m really focused in my next fight on Oct. 19, and signing this deal before such an important fight motivates me even more to get the belt back. I’m sure we will do a great job, my team and 9ine together."

Created by former soccer star Ronaldo in 2011, 9ine currently manages the career of several sport stars such as soccer players Neymar Jr. (Barcelona) and Lucas (Paris Saint-Germain) and UFC’s Anderson Silva.

According to 9ine’s CEO Marcus Buaiz, the company will take care of dos Santos’ image, social media and contracts with sponsors. "Cigano" is currently sponsored by Nike, TNT and Corinthians.

"Cigano is a great champion with an image that lots of companies want to work with, and he has a good relationship with the media," Buaiz said. "9ine’s goal is to increase what has already been done with our excellence of working athlete’s image."

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