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Bellator, Sky Sports sign one-year deal to broadcast events live in UK, Ireland

Bellator fans in the UK and Ireland will be able to watch fight cards live starting with Bellator 216.

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Starting later this month, fans in the UK and Ireland will no longer have to watch Bellator MMA events on tape delay.

Bellator announced Friday a one-year television deal with Sky Sports, which will broadcast 20 US and international shows live in the UK and Ireland.

The first card that will be aired live is Bellator 216, which is headlined by a welterweight grand prix opening-round bout between rivals Paul Daley and Michael “Venom” Page. The event takes place Feb. 16 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“This is a groundbreaking partnership for MMA in the U.K. and Ireland, and we are thrilled to finally bring LIVE Bellator events to our passionate fanbase there,” Bellator president Scott Coker said in a press release. “We have worked diligently to find the right network in the U.K. and Sky Sports will undoubtedly deliver for our viewers. I’m excited that our fans overseas will now be able to be part of our events that take place around the globe and witness some of the best athletes in the sport today.”

Per the release, numbered events 217 through 220 have been confirmed as events that will be broadcast on Sky Sports. Bellator 217 marks the promotion’s return to Dublin, Ireland and is headlined by SBG Ireland product James Gallagher against Steven Graham.

Bellator recently announced a partnership with European broadcaster Channel 5, which will broadcast the promotion’s upcoming Europe series. It gets underway this weekend with Bellator Newcastle, headlined by former lightweight title challenger Patricky Freire vs. Ryan Scope.