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BBC Three and the Ultimate Fighting Chamionship have an ‘editorial and promotional partnership’ to bring mixed martial arts to a mass audience.
The new deal sits outside of the current UK broadcast relationship with BT Sport and will include them offering preview and behind-the-scenes content via their recently-launched online digital platform.
The partnership will commence this week, building up to this Saturday’s UFC London card headlined by Michael Bisping’s bout with Anderson Silva at the O2 Arena. It has been confirmed that the deal is to include coverage of all the European, Middle East and Asian shows with the option of also covering international shows should they desire.
Speaking to The Sun, the UFC’s EMEA chief James Elliot said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as a valuable asset for BBC Three and the wider BBC Sport team. Audiences across the UK & Ireland are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the skill, athleticism and ethics of MMA fighters and the great events and content produced by the UFC, which is driving fans to seek content from media outlets.
Damian Kavanagh, controller of BBC Three, added: “BBC Three has a history of covering emerging sports that appeal to young audiences in new ways, and our coverage of UFC will be no different.”