UFC signs new broadcasting deal with ESPN
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, home of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet, has signed a new broadcasting deal with ESPN, giving the channel the rights to all main live UFC events until August 2013.
Confirming its status as the home of the UFC, ESPN's extension of the existing contract guarantees that all major UFC events will be shown in the UK and Ireland for the next 12 months.
The agreement between the UFC and ESPN is for All American Pay-Per-View events and Fight Nights.
Fans will therefore witness all the significant moments as the likes of Jon Jones and Anderson Silva attempt to add to their cloak of invincibility over the next year, while the new generation - Rory MacDonald, Erick Silva and Co - bid to overhaul the old regime.
The new partnership will begin as early as Saturday August 4, with the first card to be featured under the new contract being UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs Vera. The pair headline a card also featuring Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader, as four light-heavyweights battle for the No. 1 contender spot.
The next 12 months promise to play host to some of the most blockbuster fights in UFC history. Can Britain's Michael Bisping finally book his middleweight title shot at Anderson Silva? Will pound-for-pound giant Georges St-Pierre be able to return from a career-threatening knee injury? Might anybody trash talk more impressively than Chael Sonnen?
ESPN televised more than 250 hours of UFC coverage and MMA-related programming in the past year, including the UK's only dedicated, regularly televised MMA news and informaton show: MMA Live.
The world's fastest growing sport also receives dedicated online coverage on ESPN.co.uk and ESPN.com, including the ESPN UFC Podcast.
News of the fresh agreement between the UFC and ESPN could not have come at a better time, with MMA's premier organisation set to head to the UK for a mega Nottingham event in September. Headlined by a heavyweight contender fight between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic, the card also features British stars Brad Pickett, Dan Hardy, John Hathaway, John Maguire and many many more.
The UFC is returning to the UK on September 29 at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. Tickets are available from www.capitalfmarena.com, www.ufc.com and the Capital FM Arena box office.