Leading MMA promotion Bellator has today announced a historic partnership with the BBC, which will see all of Bellator’s 2021 events broadcast live on BBC iPlayer in the UK.
The ground-breaking deal follows on from the BBC’s broadcast of Bellator’s Paris event in October last year, which was the first time the BBC had aired live MMA on its network.
The partnership affords fans in the UK the opportunity to watch every Bellator event, live, wherever and whenever in the world it is taking place, with the event also 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.
Bellator MMA is home to some of the most entertaining and skilled mixed martial artists in the world including names such as Ryan Bader, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Douglas Lima, Gegard Mousasi, Cris “Cyborg,” Vadim Nemkov and Michael “Venom” Page.
As announced by the promotion earlier this week, 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. The promotion has also confirmed that three further events will be taking place throughout April and May, as they kick off their 2021 calendar with a host of highly anticipated bouts and some of the biggest names from the world of MMA in action.
Head of Bellator Europe, David Green, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to bring live Bellator MMA action to millions of UK homes on BBC iPlayer. 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.”
President of Bellator MMA, Scott Coker, added: “I am absolutely thrilled to be confirming the BBC as our UK broadcast partner. To have every event on the biggest network in the UK is a great opportunity for Bellator. We look forward to working with the BBC to bring our exciting roster of talent and our extensive events schedule to an ever-growing audience.”
Ben Gallop, Head of Digital, BBC Sport said: “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.”