This is why British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has rejected offers to get involved with UFC

Eddie Hearn is widely acknowledged as the most powerful man in British boxing.

But he has rejected multiple opportunities to move into mixed martial arts (MMA) companies like UFC.

Hearn represents world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, world super middleweight champion James DeGale, and former world middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs.

Having risen to the top of sports business in British boxing, Hearn recently announced plans to conquer the American market.

But would he ever consider a move into MMA? “I’ve been asked to get into UFC a number of times,” Hearn told Business Insider at a recent boxing event in London. “By existing UFC banners, MMA banners, and also through starting up my own [company].”

He added: “I don’t have the same passion for UFC as I do for boxing. That doesn’t mean I will never get into it, I enjoy it. But, when you sell anything, if you have passion for it, you can really sell it. If you don’t, you can still sell it, but not in the same way.”

Sky Sports would have to bid for UFC rights.

Hearn, who has an exclusive UK and Ireland deal with Sky Sports, has previously been vocal about Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather’s landmark boxing rules bout earlier this year.

McGregor’s popularity was underlined when over one million people in Britain bought the pay-per-view fight with Mayweather on Sky Sports.

If Sky were to ever broadcast a McGregor fight again, it would have to bid for UFC rights, which are currently owned by BT Sport until the end of 2018.

“I think when UFC rights come up it is certainly something Sky will look at,” Hearn said.

“We’ve let the UFC world into boxing”

Sky executive producer Adam Smith told Business Insider: “It was looked at before and was decided it wasn’t an option at that time. But what we’ve learned from Conor McGregor is that we’ve let the UFC world into boxing and we’ve had a look at their world, too.

“I’ll now certainly be Octagonside with my new UFC friends. I’ll be at Conor’s next fight and also at the next UFC events.”

He added: “I like the way they package things and tell the stories. The personalities appeal to the young and they use social media brilliantly.”

In terms of wheter Sky would ever make a bid? “Never say never,” he said. “Let’s see what happens.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.