Thanksgiving is this Thursday, which leads me to wonder this:
Where has the time gone?
I’m serious about this, because it seems just like yesterday that we celebrated the new year.
Now, it seems like all you have to do is blink your eyes and boom—we have just over one month in not only this year but also this decade.
Every year at Thanksgiving, we take stock as to everything we have to be grateful for, such as your family, your friends, your job and your health.
As fans of the sport of mixed martial arts, we have plenty to be grateful for in 2019, but before we go any further with this article, I’m going to pause to allow you to grab a plate and get some food.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the relish tray.
Believe me when I tell you that you’ll regret it if you don’t.
I’ll be here when you get back, and that’s a promise.
Hey, you’re back, so we can continue.
ESPN’s increased coverage of MMA:
Last Thanksgiving, I said that MMA fans were thankful that ESPN had signed a five-year contract to become the exclusive United States television and streaming rightsholder to events from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Now, a year later, ESPN has a two-year extension to this contract, as well as a two-year television deal to air Professional Fighters League events and exclusive United States streaming rights to UFC pay-per-views on ESPN+.
I’d say that’s something for which to be thankful, and I think many of you in our reading audience would certainly agree with me,
Cris Cyborg joins Bellator MMA:
Back in the summer, Cris Cyborg’s contract to fight in the UFC expired following UFC 240’s co-main event against Felicia Spencer.
After a stint in free agency, Cyborg signed with rival promotion Bellator MMA on Sept. 3 and made her first appearance on Bellator television shortly thereafter in an interview with Bellator analyst and veteran MMA referee John McCarthy.
Cyborg (real name Cristiane Justino) will make her first Bellator MMA appearance as a competitor during the Jan. 25 Bellator card in Los Angeles against Julia Budd in a Women’s Bantamweight championship fight.
Kayla Harrison’s championship bid:
Less than a year ago, on the heels of the PFL signing former Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison to a contract in its new Women’s Lightweight division, she fought in the PFL championship card in a showcase fight against Moriel Charneski.
Now, a year later, she’s in the PFL championship card against Larisa Pacheco fighting for the belt.
Harrison’s star has risen rapidly in slightly more than a year’s time and she could be the next big star in women’s MMA.
LFA on UFC Fight Pass:
Finally, MMA fans are grateful this Thanksgiving for UFC Fight Pass becoming the new media partner for Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Two LFA events have already been livestreamed on Fight Pass as part of the promotion’s new pact with the streaming platform, which covers every LFA event between now and the end of 2021.
LFA events are now available to a wider audience throughout the world.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday and don’t eat too much.
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