Mixed martial arts promotion, Bellator MMA, has partnered with BBC Sport for events from outside of America to air live on the re-launched BBC Three channel and BBC iPlayer.
Following a partnership with the broadcaster in 2021, the extension sees the platforms live stream Bellator events taking place outside of the USA, throughout 2022, whilst the organisation’s USA events will also be available to watch live on the iPlayer.
Head of Bellator MMA Europe, David Green, commented: “We’re thrilled to be renewing our relationship with the BBC and to be on BBC Three. We’ve enjoyed an incredibly successful first year partnered with the broadcaster and we’re looking forward to reaching millions more UK homes as part of an exciting new channel.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard to bring live action from this amazing sport to as many people in the UK as possible, and this is yet another landmark step on that journey.”
Speaking to Insider Sport last year, Green described Bellator’s partnership with the UK’s public service broadcaster as a ‘massive indicator’ of the sport’s growing popularity outside the US, particularly in Europe.
Under the term’s of this year’s expansion of the deal, Bellator news, features and results will also be regularly shown across BBC Sport’s digital platforms including the BBC Sport website and app.
Bellator MMA is home to multiple global mixed martial artists such as Ryan Bader, AJ McKee, Gegard Mousasi, Cris ‘Cyborg’, Yaroslav Amosov and Michael ‘Venom’ Page.
Starting on 25 February, the BBC Three tie-up kicks off with a triple-header of European cards, starting with Bellator’s return to the 3Arena in Dublin. The card features a middleweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and Austin Vanderford.
Following this, Ryan Bader will aim to defend his title against French mixed martial artist Cheick Kongo on 6 May in Paris. Finally, in rounding up the first three big European, BBC Three will show Bellators’s return to London on 13 May as the UK’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page takes on the undefeated welterweight champion, Yaroslav Amosov, as he aims to become just the second British champion of the competition.
“I’m so excited by the continued growth of MMA in the UK and delighted that we’ll continue to enjoy the support of the BBC by bringing our events live to existing British fans and new audiences in 2022,” concluded President of Bellator MMA, Scott Coker.