MMA fans left helpless after UFC 301 PPV purchases deemed unsuccessful

Many MMA fans are having issues watching the UFC 301 pay-per-view. Here's what to do if you are one of those fans.
May 4, 2024; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Elves Brener (red gloves) fights Myktybek Orolbai (blue
May 4, 2024; Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL; Elves Brener (red gloves) fights Myktybek Orolbai (blue / Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Fans hoping to tune in to UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro might have issues watching the pay-per-view card. UFC 301 on ESPN+ comes with a $79.99 price tag, an increase from some of the previous PPV prices during the UFC's ascent. Some prominent UFC fans and pundits are being robbed of their money due to issues with ESPN+. You can check out some of what MMA fans are saying about the ESPN+ technical issues below.

As of this writing, ESPN hasn't publically addressed some of the reported outages with the UFC 301 pay-per-view card. The preliminary portion of the card was broadcast for free to ESPN+ subscribers before switching to the PPV. The Pantoja tops the main card vs. Erceg headliner and the return of UFC Hall of Famer José Aldo.

The UFC and ESPN agreed to a five-year broadcasting rights deal in 2019, after the UFC broadcasted most of its previous events on FOX and Spike TV. The deal is set to expire in 2025 and the two sides are expected to meet later in 2024 to renegotiate. The issues with the UFC 301 PPV could be a factor in those contract talks.

The UFC 301 PPV issues come after one of the most successful combat sports broadcasts at UFC 300 in April. The card featured plenty of exciting fights, including Max Holloway's viral knockout and Alex Pereira's triumphant title defense. It was one of the most lucrative cards in UFC history.

The reported ESPN+ viewership issues are also concerning given the upcoming slate of UFC PPV events. UFC 302 features a massive lightweight showdown between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier on June 1, while June 29 headlines the return of Conor McGregor against Michael Chandler at UFC 303. Both events are expected to amass high PPV buy numbers.

UFC 301 marks the promotion's return to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after a brief one-year hiatus. The UFC hosted a light heavyweight title pay-per-view clash between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill at UFC 283 in Jan. 2023. It's been a successful run for Brazilian fighters after they tallied six combined wins on the preliminary portion of the card.

Pantoja last defended the flyweight belt by defeating Brandon Royval at UFC 296 in December. Erceg earned the fast track to the title following three consecutive wins, including a knockout of Matt Schnell in March. He entered UFC 301 on an 11-fight winning streak.

How to get a refund from ESPN for UFC 301

For those MMA fans unable to watch the PPV due to technical problems, or for those not able to afford the price tag, check out the up-to-date live results and highlights from UFC 301 here. Hopefully, ESPN is moving quickly to fix some of the technical issues preventing buyers from watching the PPV.


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