BBC to broadcast first ever UFC event

21 May 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will broadcast a UFC event live for the first time when the UFC makes its debut in Liverpool this Sunday.

UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Till, which takes place at the Echo Arena Liverpool, will be aired live on the station during a huge weekend of sport for the city that also sees the red side take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final.

The show will be hosted by presenters OJ Borg and Nick Peet, who produce the BBC MMA Show, a weekly podcast which also features UFC commentator and analyst, Dan Hardy. Also joining the commentary team, and bringing with them years of experience within the combat sports world, will be Malcolm Martin and former UFC athlete Brad Pickett.

The announcement reflects the demand for live UFC action in the UK, with tickets for the event selling out within an hour of going on sale, making it the first combat sports event to sell out the Echo Arena Liverpool.

BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will air the entirety of the main card, starting at 6pm, following the conclusion of the fourth day of the cricket Test between England and Pakistan. The show will end with the headline bout between number one ranked UFC welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Liverpool’s Darren “The Gorilla” Till, the number eight ranked UFC welterweight.

The live broadcast will include backstage interviews from UFC Connected host Layla Anna-Lee with celebrity UFC fans and guest fighters.

David Shaw, UFC senior vice president, international and content, said: “We’re extremely excited that BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will be broadcasting live from a UFC event for the first time.

“The appeal of UFC continues to reach new heights in the UK and it’s fitting that this broadcast will cover such an historic and highly-anticipated event in Liverpool. With tickets to the event selling out so quickly, this gives fans who missed out another chance to follow the action.”

Ben Gallop, head of BBC Radio and Digital Sport, added: “Broadcasting a UFC event live on BBC 5 live Sports Extra is a landmark moment for us. The growing popularity of UFC in the UK, particularly amongst younger audiences, makes it the ideal sport for us to broadcast live, offering comprehensive coverage to our millions of listeners. Our coverage on 5 live Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website will ensure fans won’t miss a moment of the action in Liverpool.”

BBC Radio 5 live also has exclusive radio commentary of Liverpool vs Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final, taking place the day before on Saturday 26th May in Kiev, Ukraine.