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DAZN exec explains ‘easy decision’ to start Canelo vs. Kovalev once UFC 244 main event wraps

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev - Final News Conference Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The UFC isn’t exactly going head-to-head with Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev on Saturday night.

The highly-anticipated title bout for the WBO light heavyweight title will be held until the finalization of the “BMF” title fight between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz at UFC 244, MMA Fighting has learned. That means fight fans that hope to watch both events won’t have to deal with conflicting times.

Alvarez-Kovalev, which takes place in Las Vegas, Nev., should start around 1 a.m. ET, when UFC 244’s main event is expected to conclude.

“We saw Dana’s comments about staggering the start times, and we completely agreed,” Joe Markowski DAZN EVP of North America told MMA Fighting. “It’s a huge night for combat sports fans, and they should be able to see both main events live. It was an easy decision.”

Alvarez, one of boxing’s biggest stars, hopes to collect his fourth major title as he moves up light heavyweight. Kovalev captured the WBO title in February with a win over Eleider Alvarez for his second straight win.

DAZN has invested heavily in boxing over the past year, striking broadcast agreements valued as high as $1 billion to secure star talent. The streaming service also struck a multi-year deal with the Viacom-owned Bellator believed to be worth at least $100 million.

DAZN CEO James Rushton has said he wants to take on the UFC via its partnership with Bellator. But the company apparently has decided to avoid a potential audience split.

The UFC 244 prelims will start at 6:30 p.m. ET with the five-fight PPV main card kicking off at 10 p.m. ET. ‘Canelo’ vs. Kovalev streams live on DAZN.


What fight are you looking forward to the most?

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  • 81%
    Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz
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  • 18%
    Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev
    (235 votes)
1263 votes total Vote Now

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