UK fans have become accustomed to watching all of the UFC’s major events live via ESPN UK over the past few years, but unfortunately Sunday’s ‘UFC On Versus 5’ event (AKA UFC Live 5) will not be broadcast on the channel.
The UFC’s UK President Marshall Zelaznik explains to FightersOnly why this is the case, and how UK fans can still watch the action live on Sunday night.
“Versus programming falls outside of our current deal with ESPN. While efforts were made to get ESPN the carry the Hardy fight, we could not come to terms. We understand UFC fans and ESPN customers will be disappointed, so the UFC has made the entire main card available – for free – live and on-demand all next week to ensure everyone can see this fights,” Zelaznik said.
To clarify, that means that UK fans should visit www.UFC.tv on Sunday night to watch the action as it happens. You’ll have to register with the site first, so be sure to do that in plenty of time to avoid disappointment. The entire preliminary card will also be available to watch via www.facebook.com/UFC.
*UPDATE* UK viewers will be able to catch this weekend’s action on ‘Premier Sports’ (Channel 433) which is available free to all Sky Sports.
The news comes after the two most recent ‘Spike TV Prelim Shows’, which in the past have also aired on ESPN UK, were also missing from the channel’s schedule. It’s possible that the two matters are unrelated however and the latter may be due to a stand-off in contract renewal negotiations between Spike and the UFC.
Ironically, the first major UFC event in recent memory not to be shown live on television will actually be headlined by a UK fighter Dan Hardy who takes on Chris Lytle in a fight that could determine his future in the promotion.