In case you were not tuning in to ESPN at all this week, the UFC made their long awaited debut on ESPN Saturday night. The event, headlined by a super fight as TJ Dillashaw, the reigning 135 pound bantamweight champion went down in weight to challenge Henry Cejudo, the defending 125 pound flyweight champion on a card that was broadcasted through ESPN + and ESPN. What is ESPN +? ESPN + for those unfamiliar is a subscription based service where consumers are charged $4.95 a month to be given access to a variety of sporting events which now includes live UFC cards.
So how did UFC’s debut on ESPN go? Average at best. The excitement level for people to finally recognize the UFC as a legitimate sport and on ESPN is amazing, however as in every initial event, they will always have hiccups and ESPN + was a frustrating experience with video that occasionally would lag and often refuse to load so the viewer could miss minutes of a fight, sometimes even a round. ESPN was likely not prepared for the heavy traffic an event of this magnitude can generate so hopefully that gets corrected in the future. The card was pretty typical of a standard fight night event with the exception of the main event being quite the match which could headline a Pay Per View yet Dana White, President of the UFC, decided to put it on the initial ESPN + card.
How was the fight? It was over before it even began as TJ got clipped early with a right hand behind the ear which caused his balance to waver and he never recovered as Henry Cejudo finished him with strikes and the ref waved the bout off at 32 seconds of the first round. As the UFC continues to grow, these events and the promotion should only get better as mainstream media starts giving the sport of MMA the respect it deserves which is all that fight fans want.