Thu. Apr 25th, 2019

ESPN+ Leans Hard Into Combat Sports This Weekend

“It may be early in the relationship, but UFC and ESPN seem to have found each other at just the right time to get a few wins under each company’s respective belts.”

UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ was a huge success for the streaming platform when it debuted January 19. ESPN will hope to continue that wave with a heavy serving of combat sports this Saturday.

UFC Fight Night starts the night with prelims at 5 p.m. EST on ESPN from Fortaleza, Brazil, and a main card that features two main events as UFC legend Jose Aldo returns to take on Ronaldo Moicano while the closing fight pits Raphael Assuncao against Marlon Moraes in a matchup where the winner is expected to be in line for a shot at TJ Dillashaw’s UFC Bantamweight Championship.

Not only will ESPN feature the UFC Saturday night, the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” will also feature boxing on it’s streaming and network services beginning at 7 p.m. EST and continuing into the twilight hours of Sunday morning.

Featured boxing matches include Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) vs. Carmine Tommasone (19-0, 5 KOs), for Valdez’s WBO featherweight world title and Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) vs. Sergey Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs), for Alvarez’s WBO light heavyweight world title.

It may be early in the relationship, but UFC and ESPN seem to have found each other at just the right time to get a few wins under each company’s respective belts. If Saturdays (or weekends in general) begin to stack up like this one, boxing could see some of the benefits as well.

ESPN is dubbing the boxing portion of the night Super Saturday across the three separate events, but in truth, the whole evening is “super” for combat sports fans. ESPN is giving those fans a chance to watch quality fights without breaking the bank with the possibility of an underwhelming finish.

Another win for ESPN+, another win for digital streaming.