The landscape of mixed martial arts broadcasts is changing. From the UFCs deal with ESPN, to ONE Championship signing with B/R Live and TNT, fights are finding new homes. As the industries largest organizations make a shift, so does CES. Per a release from the organization, CES inked a multi-year deal to broadcast CES MMA on UFC Fight Pass.
From TV to Streaming
CES MMA’s move from television to online streaming came as a result of an expiring deal with AXS TV. Once the defunct home of diverse North American mixed martial arts programming and broadcasts, AXS TV dumped another combat sports broadcast property. The network previously held deals with the North American Muay Thai promotion, Lion Fight as well as the MMA-centered talk show, Inside MMA. A source revealed to MMASucka, AXS TV did not renew with CES MMA due to a shift in programming that will diminish its MMA programming in the years to come.
While they are no longer on television, the North Eastern promotion partnered with one of the more popular combat sports streaming services in the industry. Of course, big names like DAZN entered the online streaming space next to established services such as FloCombat and FITE TV. UFC Fight Pass among them.
UFC Fight Pass Partnership
“CES MMA is excited to announce its strategic, multi-year partnership with UFC Fight Pass,” said the promotion’s CEO, Jimmy Burchfield Jr. “Live streaming is the future of our sport and the team at UFC Fight Pass are the most talented in the industry. Joining forces provides us with innovative marketing tools and a quality streaming platform that is recognized all over the world. We are proud of the reputation that CES MMA fighters are UFC ready and viewers all over the world will soon get to see why.”
With a subscriber base over 450,000, UFC Fight Pass is a good home for CES MMA. The Rhode Island-based organization sent one fighter to the UFC in 2018, Andre Ewell. Ewell was the organization’s previous bantamweight champion. CES also sent countless others to the Bellator preliminary card and Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
The first broadcast hosted on UFC Fight Pass is the upcoming CES 54. The card already has promotional mainstays and champions booked. Nate Andrews defends his lightweight title in the main event when he takes Bryce Logan. Bantamweight champion, Tony Gravely, looks to defend his newly acquired title for the first time when he takes on local prospect Kris Moutinho. Also on the card, William Knight, Kylie O’Hearn, UFC veterans Tateki Matsuda and Eric Spicely. The card takes place in Lincoln, Rhode Island at Twin River Resort and Casino, set for January 19th.