London, UK – UFC, the world's premier mixed martial arts organization, and BT Sport today announced a new multi-year media rights deal that builds upon their existing broadcast partnership for the U.K. and Ireland, ensuring that BT Sport will remain the exclusive media home for UFC.
The agreement features all live UFC events, including numbered events and Fight Nights, plus hundreds of hours of programming from original shows such as "UFC Countdown" and "UFC Connected," and a deep library of classic combat sports events, highlighted by the biggest bouts in UFC history.
"We were blown away by the awesome response from the fans at our London event earlier this year," UFC president Dana White said. "The fans from the U.K. and Ireland love this sport and they have always been great to us. And now, our roster of talent from these countries is the strongest it's ever been. We're thrilled to continue our partnership with BT Sport to keep promoting these athletes, building stars, and broadcasting the best combat sports events on the planet to these incredible fans."
"BT Sport is delighted to continue our successful partnership with UFC," BT Sport sports rights director Rachel Knight. "We are entering a golden age for the sport in the U.K. and Ireland, with an incredibly exciting roster of local talent coming through. We look forward to working closely with these brilliant athletes and with UFC to continue to tell the stories and showcase the sport to our viewers in the years to come."
Following a three-year absence, UFC returned to the U.K. earlier this year in March with an event at The O2 Arena. UFC Fight Night 204 recorded a gate of $4.5 million, making it the highest grossing single sporting event in O2 history. Seven British fighters on the card scored victories, including Tom Aspinall, Molly McCann and Paddy Pimblett, highlighting the level of MMA talent currently in the U.K.
With this hugely successful return, UFC cemented their commitment to the market with the return of a second event in London, scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 23, at The O2 Arena. UFC has held 28 total events in the U.K. and Ireland since 2002, and every event has sold out, exemplifying the brand strength which has been built.