Max Holloway

Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar will begin the UFC on ABC era

The UFC’s deal with ESPN was a huge one when they laid it out back in 2018. That deal was worth 750 million dollars and gave ESPN the exclusive rights to UFC programming and Pay-Per-Views in the United States. ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+ saw their numbers skyrocket with the showing of blockbuster fights such as UFC 246 and more. The deal was for five years and promised 15 events per year on ESPN+. The one drawback to the deal was that UFC would not be seen on basic TV channels. That will come to an end now that ABC has picked up some UFC events in 2021, beginning with the January 16 event featuring a featherweight showdown between Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar.

The ABC deal was first reported by MMAJunkie.com and has since been confirmed with more detail through ESPN. UFC Fight Night Hollway vs. Kattar will be the first of these events to be shown on basic cable in a few years. In the past UFC events have been seen on Fox and Spike. This event will be taking place on the UFC’s Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and perhaps due to the time difference, the start times will be a bit unique. The prelims will begin at 12 pm ET on ESPN+, and the main card at 3 pm ET on both ESPN+ and ABC. It is important to note that the ESPN+ streaming service comes with a price tag of $4.99 per month.

In addition to the ABC deal, ESPN will be raising the prices of their Pay-Per-Views in 2021. The price will go from $64.99 to $69.99 beginning with the much-anticipated return of Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier for the second time at UFC 257 also live from Abu Dhabi. The monthly rate of ESPN+ may also increase to $5.99 a month, so it may seem they are giving the little guy a break by airing these free fights on one of the largest networks in the U.S, they are simply sweetening the deal for a price spike to come.

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