Michael Bisping probably isn’t going to make the UFC brass too happy with his recent admission.
We’re fresh off UFC 265 weekend where we witnessed the crowning of an interim UFC Heavyweight Champion. In the main event, Ciryl Gane went one-on-one with Derrick Lewis. Going into the bout, Gane was the sizable betting favorite and he showed why that was the case.
Gane simply overwhelmed Lewis with leg kicks and then aimed for the head with punches. In the third round, Lewis hit the mat and Gane finished the fight with strikes.
During a UFC 265 review for BT Sport, Bisping admitted he caught the event on a streaming website, and let’s just say it wasn’t through ESPN+ (via Sportskeeda).
“Listen, I hate to grass myself up but I watched it [UFC 265] on an illegal stream last night.”
Bisping’s comments come shortly after UFC Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence Epstein, told Sportico that illegal streams financially hurt fighters (h/t Bloody Elbow).
“We love our fans and want more fans. We’re not trying to stop them from showing video of Conor [McGregor] or other fighters. We are going after the pirates . . . we are trying to stop illegal profiting and reselling of copyright material.
“Every buy that’s stolen is hurting [McGregor] and other fighters. This is not a victimless crime or one that just hurts the big corporation—it hurts the individual athletes . . . remember they have as short window [of life] to monetize their athletic abilities and skills.”
The UFC has long made it a goal to reduce the unauthorized reproduction of their live events. UFC President Dana White has gone as far as to claim there’s been a new breakthrough in piracy that allows the promotion to better find those who reupload or air their content live without consent.