Brendan Schaub Criticizes UFC PPVs On ESPN+

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Brendan Schaub
Image Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Brendan Schaub isn’t impressed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) exclusive pay-per-view deal with ESPN+.

UFC 236 marked the first time that a UFC PPV aired exclusively on ESPN+. Many on social media, including fighters, were having issues getting a feed no matter what device they were on. UFC president Dana White promised a smoother experience going forward.

Brendan Schaub Not A Fan Of ESPN+ Exclusivity

Schaub took to his “Below The Belt” podcast to explain why the ESPN+ exclusive deal for UFC PPVs isn’t ideal (via BJPenn.com):

“Did anyone else have problems with ESPN+? So, I have all the family around. We got food and everything. Everyone ready? Here we go. Click. It goes, ‘This service does not work on this device.’ I’m like, ‘Ok, well, that’s not good.’ Try doing it again. Nothing. Try doing it from my phone. Nothing. ESPN, UFC, I’m trying to give you $80. And then finally I went, ‘Yo, if I don’t figure this out in five minutes… I’m going to turn to the dark side and have to illegally stream this.’ I must’ve got 2,000 DMs with different links. When I clicked on that link, that thing was better quality than I had on my f*cking… Than ever!

“What’s best for the fighters, what’s best for [Israel] ‘Stylebender’ [Adesanya] and Kelvin Gastelum and Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier, is getting as many eyeballs on this thing as possible. Not limiting, making people pay behind two paywalls so you’re getting this very small number of diehards that are going to tune into this thing. That’s not the best thing for the fighters. You’ve just lost so many casual fans. Cause you know what my dad did when I couldn’t figure it out? He went, ‘Who cares? Oh, it’s too much. I’m out.’”

UFC 236 featured two interim title bouts. In the main event, Dustin Poirier took the interim lightweight gold via unanimous decision over Max Holloway. The co-main event saw Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum engage in a “Fight of the Year” candidate for the interim middleweight championship. Adesanya won the fight via unanimous decision.

How was your experience with ESPN+ for the UFC 236 pay-per-view?