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ESPN Will Show UFC in UK, Ireland

ESPN announced on Thursday that it has secured multiyear UK and Ireland rights to air the UFC, filling a void that was created when the UFC's previous UK TV partner went out of business.

Jeroen Oerlemans, ESPN's vice president, for TV Channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, mentioned the UFC along with rugby, Australian football, basketball and other sports in a statement released by the Worldwide Leader:
"ESPN's aim is to serve UK and Ireland sports fans by bringing the very best of both domestic and international live sport to their living rooms. We are delighted to add UFC, TOP 14 ORANGE, the leading French Rugby Championship, the Australia Football League, EuroBasket and DTM to our growing portfolio of live sport. In addition to our Barclays Premier League and Clydesdale Bank Premier League coverage from this season we will continue to seek out and deliver the best sporting events from Europe and around the globe."
ESPN's rights to the UFC begin with UFC 101 on August 8 and will continue with UFC 102 on August 29 and UFC Fight Night on September 16.

The UFC has scheduled a press conference for Friday, and UFC President Dana White has said he plans a major announcement at that press conference. It is not clear whether this ESPN deal represents that announcement.