Even in the darkest hours of pay-per-view, DirecTV always stood alongside the UFC. That long-time relationship nearly ended - and still might - ahead of Saturday's UFC 234: Whittaker vs. Gastelum event. Up until late Thursday, the television provider and the MMA promotion had not reached an agreement on a new deal to broadcast pay-per-view cards.
That changed, though, with a one-fight deal agreed upon by the two to air Robert Whittaker's middleweight title defense vs. Kelvin Gastelum. The card also features former champion Anderson Silva facing rising contender Israel Adesanya from Australia.
Earlier in the day, the UFC provided a statement on the matter:
"UFC's live events are some of the most-watched pay-per-views in the country and remain must-see viewing for all MMA fans. Unfortunately, we have been unable to reach an agreement with one of our primary distributors, DirecTV. Though we continue to work to reach a resolution, UFC 234, LIVE from Melbourne on Saturday, February 9, will not be available on DirecTV."
UFC president Dana White posted in a video on social media that "I will have this (expletive) worked out in the next couple weeks."
A DirecTV executive, Jamie Dyckes, responded for Eric Winter on Twitter prior to the announcement that DirecTV would be offering the fight:
Customers can order now. Looking forward to a great fight from down under.— Jamie Dyckes ?? ?? (@WarriorDucks) February 8, 2019
Below is the current fight card for UFC 234:
MAIN CARD (PPV/10 p.m. ET)
UFC Middleweight Championship
Robert Whittaker (c) vs. Kelvin Gastelum
* Middleweight: Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva
* Bantamweight: Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon
* Lightweight: Devonte Smith vs. Dong Hyun Ma
* Light Heavyweight: Sam Alvey vs. Jim Crute
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN/8 p.m. ET)
* Featherweight: Shane Young vs. Austin Arnett
* Female Flyweight: Montana De La Rosa vs. Nadia Kasseum
* Flyweight: Kai-Kara France vs. Raulian Paiva
* Bantamweight: Teruto Ishihara vs. Kyung Ho Kang
PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass/6:30 p.m. ET)
* Lightweight: Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa
* Lightweight: Jalin Turner vs. Callan Potter
* Bantamweight: Wuliji Buren vs. Jonathan Martinez