The BBC has picked up the rights to all of MMA promotion Bellator’s events in 2021, which will be broadcast on iPlayer in the UK.
The deal follows on from the BBC’s broadcast of Bellator’s Paris event in October last year, the first time the broadcaster had aired live MMA on its network.
The partnership will see every Bellator event streamed live, while the spectacles will be available on-demand after the initial broadcast.
Bellator events will also benefit from increased prominence across BBC Sport’s digital platforms such as the BBC Sport website and app.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring live Bellator MMA action to millions of UK homes on BBC iPlayer,” said David Green, Head of Bellator Europe.
“To have every event from all over the world available for fans in the UK to watch live is something we have been working really hard to achieve, and to be able to call the BBC home for Bellator in the UK is really a fantastic moment for us and for the sport.”
Ben Gallop, Head of Digital, BBC Sport added: “Following on from the success of the Paris show we are delighted to continue our partnership with Bellator.
“We look forward to bringing live, free to air Bellator action to both existing and new fans of MMA on BBC iPlayer.”
The first Bellator event of 2021 is scheduled to take place on Friday 2nd April at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
The event will feature a title fight in the Main Event slot, with Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire and Emmanuel Sanchez going head-to-head for the Featherweight world title in the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix tournament.