It’s been fairly quiet on the Zuffa Boxing front outside of Dana White’s repeated promises that they’ll be getting into the boxing business. As the calendar is ready to flip over to 2019, there is some UFC-boxing news to tell you!
On Friday, it was announced that the UFC Fight Pass streaming service will be the home for RJJ Boxing Promotions events, led by retired boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. This agreement is effective January 31st, 2019 and runs through 2021.
From the official press release:
UFC and Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions have reached a new agreement to live stream up to 72 professional boxing events over the next three years on UFC FIGHT PASS, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports.
The inaugural event in the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS series will stream January 31, starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, live from Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California. WBO #2-rated world title challenger, “Mighty” Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs), and unbeaten WBO #4 ranked Jose “Chiquiro” Martinez (20-0-2, 13 KOs) will headline in the 12-round World Boxing Organization Junior Bantamweight Title Eliminator.
“I was elated when my partner, Keith Veltre, told me he had started talking with UFC,” Jones said. “This is just the beginning stages of a long, lucrative partnership between these two brands.”
”Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions will give us competitive, compelling fights to stream to our FIGHT PASS subscribers around the world,” said UFC Dana White. “This agreement allows us to enhance our roster of combat sports while partnering with one of the legendary fighters of all time.”
UFC Fight Pass notably streamed Jones Jr’s final fight, a unanimous decision over Scott Sigmon earlier this year. RJJ Promotions does not feature the biggest names in the sport, but for a smaller caliber promotion they do have a steady stream of shows per year, and both Palicte and Martinez are legitimate contenders at 115 lbs.
In addition to this deal, It looks as if we might see other boxing promoters hook up with Fight Pass.
Expect more boxing coming to UFC Fight Pass. I’m told at least one more regional promotion has a pending deal for the broadcast of boxing events. https://t.co/QK9glhzvdh— Nolan King (@mma_kings) December 29, 2018
Perhaps we are seeing the foundation built for Zuffa Boxing... or this is just currently a way to help fill content demands for UFC Fight Pass, especially as live UFC fights will soon be on ESPN+ next year.