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Report: Early start for UFC 267 equals a free pay-per-view for North America

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Well, free if you have ESPN and/or ESPN+.

UFC 259: Blachowicz v Adesanya Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

North American Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans are used to getting hosed when it comes to pay-per-view (PPV) prices. Nowadays, one must pay for ESPN+ for the honor of paying $70 PPVs, while other countries get events for way less ... if not free. Of course, if you want to watch UFC in Europe you have to stay up til 5 a.m. to do it, so there are plusses and minuses for everyone.

But, in the case of UFC 267 on Oct. 30, 2021, stateside fans will finally get a taste of what it’s like to get a free PPV because of an unusual time scheduling.

The event, headlined by Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira for the 205-pound strap and Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2 for the Bantamweight belt, will be held in Abu Dhabi on “Fight Island.” And in order to offer the event up at primetime for the Middle East and Europe, the card will start at 11 a.m. ET. So rather than struggle to draw decent numbers, former ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani is reporting that UFC is going to give this one to ESPN / ESPN+ subscribers for free.

This is great news and a nice present for UFC fans, who deserve a lot of credit when it comes to following UFC to ESPN+ and paying for a subscription when the service first started. You can also see that UFC is thinking of it as an expensive commercial for UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden (COVID permitting).

No word yet on who will headline that card, but you know UFC likes to try and stack its cards whenever it is in “The Big Apple.”