MMA

Irish MMA Fans Furious As Protests Continue Ahead Of BT Sport's Jon Jones Coverage

Irish MMA Fans Furious As Protests Continue Ahead Of BT Sport's Jon Jones Coverage

Irish and UK fight fans are continuing to protest BT Sport's decision to put UFC 239: Jones vs Santos exclusively on Box Office broadcasting.

Tonight's card sees Jon Jones return to action after his impressive victory over Anthony Smith earlier this year. The long-time broadcaster originally announced the pay-per-view move last month but tonight is the first time it will affect fans.

It will cost an additional £19.95 and MMA fans have reacted with anger protesting and even cancelling their subscriptions.

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In a statement on their website, BT Sport declared that they would still offer some live UFC events that are not pay-per-view.

Each year we will make a small number of the biggest UFC numbered events Pay Per View. BT Sport will continue to broadcast the majority of live UFC events, as well as over 100 hours of non-live programming including our new UFC show ‘Open Mat’, as part of a BT Sport subscription.

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Yet this has done little to appease fans furious at having to pay an additional amount on top of their existing subscription fee.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Dave Shaw, the promotion’s Senior Vice President of International and Content, tried to clarify the decision and said there will be further information forthcoming.

"For us, it seemed to, on paper, make a lot of sense. The UK is historically a pay-per-view market with sports, especially with combat sports."

It's been a big event for tonight's star after two drugs-related suspensions during a controversial career. This is Jon Jones third world championship fight in a little over seven months as he bids to make up for the lost time.

But the question on this side of the world is will anybody be watching?

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Maurice Brosnan

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