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Despite being in England, UFC 204 will still have 10 PM ET main card start time

UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2 is official for Manchester, England, but despite the time difference, the main card will kick off at 10 PM ET, as is the standard.

MMA: UFC 199-Bisping vs Rockhold Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

There’s some good news/bad news for UK MMA fans. UFC 204 was formally announced on Monday for the Manchester Arena, where UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping will defend his title in his hometown against Dan Henderson. That’s the good news. The bad news? It could literally be close to sunrise in Manchester by the time Bisping and Henderson are wrapped up.

If you were expecting an earlier pay-per-view start because of the time zone difference, you won’t be getting it. Here’s the UFC’s explanation for keeping the standard 10 PM ET main card timeslot.

“Given the huge global interest in such an exciting main event and card stacked full of international athletes, the event is scheduled to start at 11:00pm with the main card due to start at approximately 3:00am to cater for as many fans as possible to watch live.”

That puts UFC 204’s main event start time roughly in the 5-5:30 AM local time range, with an outside chance that the arena won’t empty until about 6 AM. We’ve seen the UFC air Fight Night and PPV cards in Australia and Japan with a 10 PM ET start, which still translates to a late morning-to-afternoon event duration. I cannot recall the UFC ever going the 10 PM ET route for a card held in Europe.

UFC 204 is set for Saturday, October 8th, although the bulk of the action will technically be on Sunday, October 9th in Manchester.