The UFC and Sky Sports today announced a new deal which will see The Ultimate Fighter 12 airing on the UK’s biggest subscription sports network.  The show had previously been airing on digital channel Five USA.

The show will now be broadcast on Sky Sports 2 from Tuesday, 21st September.

Announcing the deal, Sky Sports’ Managing Director Barney Francis said: “We’re delighted to renew our association with the Ultimate Fighting Championship as we were the first UK broadcaster to feature the UFC back in 2002.

“The Ultimate Fighter series offers a unique taster of a sport that has experienced a phenomenal rise in popularity in recent years and we’re sure it’ll prove popular with our viewers.”

UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta added: “We’re very excited to announce Sky Sports as the new home of ‘the Ultimate Fighter’ in the UK and Ireland. This season is going to be fascinating, with two of the biggest names in the UFC – St-Pierre and Koscheck – competing against each other as coaches.

“The Ultimate Fighter series combines the best aspects of reality TV and sport, and will give Sky Sports viewers a great insight into why the UFC’s brand of mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world.”

Speaking to The Telegraph after the news broke, the UFC’s UK president Marshall Zelaznik went into further detail on the benefits of the new deal.

“Putting The Ultimate Fighter on Sky will create a halo effect of mainstream awareness. We are probably three or four years behind the US. We are trying to get it exposed to a new sports fan. We know we already have a solid fan base, but being on the Sky platform means an even bigger market to showcase the sport to mainstream sports fans.”

As well as airing TUF Sky will also now have a dedicated page on their website covering the show.


  1. This is disgusting news and out of order!!
    I don’t have sky sports because I get ESPN (which is £12 a month) because the live ufc is on there and I only have ESPN for that reason!!
    Now you’re telling me I’ll have to pay an extra £10a month!
    That will take my sky bill to £70 a month, to watch the only sport I love more than my native rugby league.

    This is a bad move and an expensive one for uk fans, five USA is free?
    Why didn’t you leave it like that or put it all on one network!

    Like the one thousands of uk fans switched over too when Setanta went bust, ufc moved to espn and the fans followed, that’s loyalty and you are not rewarding your loyal followers just penalising them….us!!

  2. I think that this news is bang out of order….Sky sports love squeezing all the money they can out of people by making them pay £10-£20 just for 2 or 3 extra channels. AND NOW UFC ventures over to them aswell……HELLO MY SKY CONTRACT HAS JUST ENDED AND I HAVE JUST PURCHASED VIRGIN XL BECAUSE UFC IS AIRED ON ESPN AND FIVE USA……….WTF GUYS.

    Im one really p***ed off girl and wants to no how all the other UFC fans will go on without being able to watch TUF 12.



  3. Cannot afford or justifiy two subscriptions to sports channels where the only sport I watch them for is mma. Sky are obviously looking to get the rights from espn when there contract runs down so I will (impatiently) wait till then.

  4. This is outrageous, i too canceled my sky sports for espn (money reasons) because the ufc is on there. Now theyre putting tuf on sky sports!!!!! I’m getting sick of these guys taking advantage of us. All they care about is exposure to the masses and ‘growing the brand’. They don’t care about their existing fans.

  5. Once again UFC have shown a real lack of UK fan knowledge. i love the organisation and everything they do in the states but they seem to be very misguided with their options over here. Seriously – who is advising them on these decisions?

    One day all the shows will be on one channel over here and one day they will realise that we dont want Bisping on every main event staged over here.

  6. I know this is annoying a lot of fans as the extra money for Sky Sports is a bit rediculous, but I agree that a move to Sky Sports can only benefit the UFC, the fighters and the fans. More mainstream exposure for many sports fans who have only ever thought of the UFC as an “excuse for blood” which we will all agree is not the case. This sport needs a bigger following in the UK to elevate it up as high as it is in the USA as we have a lot of promising young talent in this country which with more exposure will come more opportunity to take it to the next level.

  7. Can we please have some kind of official explanation from these rip off merchants?

    TUF series and UFC night have to be on the same channel.

    Are ESPN so dim as to offer no 12 month contract AND lose out on TUF.

    I hope they go the way of Setanta. Move UFC over to SS and we can all cancel the ESPN the day after.


  8. this is stupid will cancel my espn now as well no point if you can watch ufc but not ultimate fighter for your money robbery stupid move by ufc

  9. this is a joke. I have been following the ufc for about 8 years, paid when it was box office, through to subscription channels, now you want more money for something i will not use for anything but tuf, please sort this out put everthing on one channel, because if this carries on you may lose a fan!

  10. Comments that this can only benefit the sport as it will generate a greater awareness is rubbish. We all just need to look at Boxing to see that expensive subscription tv has created a monster. Moving a sport like boxing or UFC away from its main grass roots audience will only stem the flow of up and coming talent that see the sport and want to participate. Boxing is a great example, the sport has went back over big time since leaving terrestial TV. Growing up on a council estate watchingh fighters like Hearns, Haggler, Ben, Eubank, Tyson, Mcguigan, Nelson, Leonard and want to emulate them and then the cycle continues, it was free to watch and reached its demographic. Tell me anyone who will grow up saying they want to be just like Audley Harrison! Thats what happens to a sport when it sells out!

  11. After spending my money to view ESPN, you think i’m going to give my hard earned cash to those money sucking vampires at SKY!! YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bit torrent… here I come !!!

  12. wat do u expect sky sports had more money to offer than espn because they were in the running to buy the rights for ultimate fighter season 12 but because of the offer that sky had to offer i had to take that offer hope u understand

    dana white

  13. Although moving the TUF to sky sports is a little unfair, I shall not be canceling ESPN until the live show move’s over to Sky, which will happen eventually. That will then finally give more exposure to the sport and appreciation to some of the most talented and fittest athletes, also hopefully encourage more young Brit’s onto the sport.

  14. Great, yeah Im very annoyed at this as I have ESPN UK only for UFC events, I have BT Vision which now have SS 1 and 2 but the price is way too expensive, so no biggy for me I will just happily watch a free stream or download a nice HD version when I wake up in the morning. Way to go Zuffa !

  15. really not impressed that ufc isnt on five any more really missing my ufc. dnt have sky or espn so it really does suck. is it going to be coming back to five or what???? any info on where to watch season 12 and 13 without paying sky or anybody else for that matter!!!!!

  16. Sorry Louise, it’s definitely a shame that the program isn’t available to as wide an audience as possible. The show is back on ESPN again now and probably will remain there for a while.