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Eddie Hearn criticizes ESPN for UFC 249 coverage: ‘Obviously, they want ratings and money’

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Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is questioning ESPN’s decision to broadcast UFC 249 amid the global pandemic.

Oleksandr Usyk and Derek Chisora Press Conference Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Not too long ago, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn admitted his “jealousy” towards the UFC’s business model and how Dana White runs things. But after the recent finalization of UFC 249, the Matchroom Sport exec is changing his tune.

First, he went after ESPN, the UFC’s broadcast partner and the network that will air the April 18th card.

“I’m quite surprised ESPN are going ahead with this,” Hearn told Express Sport. “Obviously they want ratings and money.

”But with Sky Sports and DAZN, I would not be allowed to stage events right now. It’s bad taste to be quite honest.”

And while he does admire White to some degree, he went on to throw jabs at the UFC president.

“This is stubbornness. These are many of the things that make him successful but at some point you have to sit back and say ‘white flag,’” Hearn said of White.

“He wants to be a trailblazer, people have told him he can’t do it. But I know the feeling of being told something and you do it anyway.

”Half of me admires him for cracking on but the other half says ‘come on don’t be mad’.”

As White himself stated, “the UFC Is back up and running” as of April 18th, with future cards likely taking place in some private island he plans to secure. UFC 249’s venue has yet to be determined, but reports have surfaced, claiming it will take place at the Tachi Palace Casino in California.

Showtime Boxing head Espinoza also recently stated that even if White finds a way to host UFC 249 during COVID-19, he won’t follow suit.