£200-a-seat UFC fight starts at 5am – so Americans can watch it in the evening

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A UFC match in the UK is being held at five in the morning – so American TV audiences can watch it live in the evening.

Fans are paying up to £242 for tickets promising them Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson’s match in the brutal combat sport at Manchester Arena on Saturday October 8.

But now they are up in arms after the revelation that the headline fight will actually not take place until 5am on the Sunday morning.

The early starting time has been organised so that the UFC can charge US pay-per-view TV audiences £45 to watch the match in the more civilised hours of the evening.

UK fans are reacting strongly to the news on social media.

Commenting on the event on Facebook, Rajman Bharat said: “What a load of s* to do this to the UK fans.

“All past UK events were normal time and then they pull this s* just to cater for the Americans.”

The sport has exploded in popularity across the world in recent years
The sport has exploded in popularity across the world in recent years

Steven Barclay added: “Not a good move – maybe they could return the favour and have the US cards shown at UK times.I doubt it!”

Ian Wood said: “Why do an event in the UK but have the times suited for the Americans? That should mean every event in america should be suited for English times then.”

Peter Akers piled in: “Why is it at a f*ing stupid time? Seriously? We have to deal with it when it’s in the US, So why can’t they deal with it the ONE time it’s in England?”

Others pointed out that – with audiences at the event likely to be drinking – many may not make it to the 5am fight without falling asleep.

One critic on Facebook posted a picture of a man asleep in the audience at a fight, commenting: “I’ve been to a few UFC events and at each one, I’ve seen lads who have paid around £200 for a ticket p* up and asleep while the fights are on.

“I love a drink myself but at the times of this event people will have a skin full and be asleep or kicking off.”

Fans were also dismayed at the price of some tickets being sold by touts.

The official ticket vendor sold out of £40 – £215 seats in just six minutes, but they were soon being resold for as much as £5,000.

Micheál Cusack said: “Refreshed the page the second they went on general sale and there were no tickets available. Then they are on resale instantly for three times or four times the price. This is a joke.”

Ian Clarke added: “UFC need to put something in place. Real fans are getting robbed. I really wanted to go, but can’t justify £140 for a £40 ticket.”

Earlier events and fights on the night will start from 11pm.

But the headline Bisping vs Henderson fight will be the last of four 25 minute “main card” fights slated to start at 3am.

With a slim margin of preparation time between fights, that means it is likely to be around 5am before they take to the ring.

Meanwhile the main live TV event is being advertised to viewers on the west and east coasts of the US with a start time of around 9pm to midnight.

In a press release regarding the fight, the UFC said: “The event will start at 11pm on the Saturday night, with the main card kicking off at 3am UK time to accommodate pay-per-view television in the US.”

The UFC have been contacted for comment.

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