The UFC have announced that mixed martial arts fans in the UK will be able to watch two top European UFC events on free-to-air channel PICK.
The Sky-owned channel, available for free on all major TV platforms, has secured the rights to UFC Fight Night Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2 and UFC Fight Night Berlin, both of which will be broadcast live on Sky channel 152, Freeview 11, Freesat 144 and Virgin Media 123.
UFC Fight Night Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2, which will take place in Krakow, Poland on April 11, will be broadcast from 11.00pm in the UK on PICK.
The highly anticipated card features an unmissable bout between London born and bred light heavyweight Jimi ‘Poster Boy’ Manuwa and Polish star Jan Blachowicz.
Scottish strawweight athlete Joanne ‘Badmofo Jojo’ Calderwood, who lives and trains in Glasgow, will face Maryna ‘The Iron Woman’ Moroz from Ukraine.
The Scot, who has appeared on the the UFC’s reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter will be hoping to impress her large fan base on PICK.
UFC Fight Night Berlin, which is set for June 20 in Berlin, Germany, will air at 11.00pm in the UK and is headlined by Alexander Gustafsson fighting Glover Teixeira in the main-event.
Two of the world’s elite light-heavyweights will do battle in a major coup for the UFC’s European expansion, with the duo of stars aiming to rebuild their championship hopes after both recently losing title fights to pound-for-pound great Jon Jones.
Gustafsson most recently lost out to Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson while Teixeira fell to Phil Davis, yet both retain their reputation among the world’s top fighters at 205 pounds. The Swede is No 2 in the UFC’s official light-heavyweight rankings and Teixeira is No 6.
David Allen, Senior Vice President and General Manager UFC EMEA, said: “We’re thrilled that PICK have secured the rights to these events and that, through them, fans in the UK and Ireland can watch two amazing UFC events via free to air TV.
“This is an exciting partnership and continues to expand the reach of our programming to new audiences.
Stephen Ladlow, Director of PICK, said: “We are delighted to be able to broadcast these two thrilling UFC Fight Nights from Krakow and Berlin exclusively in the UK.
“We know our Saturday night PICK viewers enjoy high octane exciting new content and we are proud to be expanding.”
The deal with Sky-owned PICK does not mean the UFC have ended their relationship with BT Sport, with their exclusive deal for the UFC’s top US and international shows still set to run for another 18 months, but the deal does not include rights to the EMEA Fight Night series of live events.
David Allen told Fighters Only: “The BT Sport deal is very much still in place and runs until June 2016, but the Fight Night series was never part of that deal.
“Last year those events were sold separately to BT Sport, but that was only a one-year contract and we were always interested in securing a free-to-air channel for these Fight Night cards.”