Since moving to ESPN from Fox, UFC events have primarily been watchable via the ESPN+ streaming service. That won’t be the case to start in 2021.
According to MMA Junkie, the UFC’s January 16 Fight Night event will air on the ABC network instead of any ESPN channels or the ESPN+ streaming service. No reason for why this is happening was given. But speculation has already begun surrounding exactly what the reasons could be.
Whether or not the portion of the card shown on ABC will just be the main card or the entire show remains to be determined. Historically, the UFC splits up the platforms for each section of the card from the main card to prelims to early prelims. Fight Nights are typically just split between the main card and prelims. Therefore, some of the January 16 event could still be seen on an ESPN channel.
Headlining the first-ever UFC event on ABC will be former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway vs. rising contender Calvin Kattar. The fight will be Holloway’s first non-title tilt since UFC 199 in 2016 when he earned a unanimous decision victory over Ricardo Lamas. For Kattar, it will be his third UFC main event.
In total, the card currently has a 13 fight lineup as it kicks off a stretch of three Fight Island events ending with the rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
The full card’s lineup can be seen below. The bout order has yet to be officially set.
- Featherweight – 145lbs: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
- Middleweight – 185lbs: Omari Akhmedov vs. Tom Breese
- Welterweight – 170lbs: David Zawada vs. Ramazan Emeev
- Bantamweight – 135lbs: Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher
- Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: Justin Tafa vs. Carlos Felipe
- Featherweight: Austin Lingo vs. Jacob Kilburn
- Middleweight: Punahele Soriano vs. Duško Todorović
- Bantamweight: Julianna Peña vs. Sara McMann
- Bantamweight: Bethe Correia vs. Wu Yanan
- Middleweight: Rodolfo Vieira vs. Anthony Hernandez
- Featherweight: Nik Lentz vs. Mike Grundy
- Welterweight: Warlley Alves vs. Christian Aguilera
- Welterweight: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Li Jingliang