The UFC will be moving to the ESPN+ network in 2019; after so much time spent with FOX, it seems that the organization sees much more potential with the new sports subscription service and will carry on their endeavors on that front.
The UFC Fight Pass platform will in fact be disbanded, and ESPN+ will be the full platform for all UFC needs. I really hope this is a new dawn for the fight organization because things really did need to change from FOX's restrictions.
FOX had a bad habit of overly censoring both fights and post fight speeches. Nate Diaz had a legendary call out of Conor McGregor in late 2015, but in rediscovering the rant, one really only hears bleeps and random cheers from the crowd.
FOX also had a habit of trying to cover blood up on the canvas in between fights. Imagine two guys coming out with a canvas setter paint to cover blood when a dozen more fighters need to work on that exact canvas.
That is toxic and some fighters have said that the paint was still wet when they fought. FOX was willing to risk fighter health to cover blood, something that comes naturally with a fight. Anyone watching the UFC knows what is entailed: punches, kicks, and the possible tooth being spit out.
Mixed martial arts is a culmination of fight styles at the highest level, and kinetic motion in a fight is beautiful when seen completed by some of the world's best athletes. ESPN appreciates this newfound fame of the UFC (post Zuffa era), and Dana White seems pleased with the new agreement.
The Disney engagement with the UFC will be quite interesting, especially when it comes to events. MMA is a new age sport that is still seen as quite barbaric, so seeing how ESPN can merge the martial arts into mainstream sports will be quite interesting.
For now, there will be a lot of talk of Conor McGregor and the Cormier's of the world, but who knows, in two years time some of these young fighters may becomes household names.. especially with Disney propelling their future.
I can only wish the best for both Disney, ESPN, and the UFC. I love this sport, and I hope they keep it pure.