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UFC 'incredibly disappointed' by technical difficulties, Dana White reassures fans

The UFC is now working to find out why so many of its fans couldn’t watch “The Money Fight.”

“We’re incredibly disappointed by the technical difficulties that were experienced Saturday night, and we’re working with our vendor NeuLion to assess exactly what happened,” read a statement sent first to USA TODAY Sports and obtained by MMAjunkie.

After the UFC’s app and UFC Fight Pass crashed repeatedly on the promotion’s biggest night of business, UFC President Dana White wants to make things right with those affected.

“Nothing is more important to the UFC than our fans,” said White in a prepared statement. “They’ve always been incredibly loyal and supportive and we’ll always take care of them.”

Customer service reps for UFC.tv initially directed refund requests to NeuLion. But now it appears the promotion is taking the initiative to root out the problem.

Fans demanded a refund on social media when they were unable to log in or were booted off the live stream while attempting to watch Conor McGregor(21-3 MMA, 0-1 boxing) face Floyd Mayweather (50-0 boxing) using video game systems, smart phones, computers and TV streaming devices.

Shortly after the pay-per-view card got underway, the official UFC Fight Pass account claimed “overwhelming traffic” led to login issues and later directed customers to broadcast partner Showtime’s online platform. But the problem wasn’t limited to the internet. MMAjunkie also spoke to customers of Verizon Fios who saw their TVs go black in the middle of the main event.

“Unfortunately, that was for the entire fight,” said Justin Giamanco, a corporate accountant from Queens, N.Y. “I spent $100 bucks for absolutely nothing.”

Showtime delayed the Mayweather vs. McGregor main event approximately 20 minutes while the issues were worked out. But ultimately, many fans missed major portions of the fight, including one man who was told by a UFC.tv customer service rep to watch it via illegal stream.

“If anyone else other than a conglomerate like the UFC jipped people out of millions of dollars, they would be in front of a judge next week,” said Nashville-based entrepreneur Trevor Sarver, who tweeted screen shots of his interaction with UFC.tv customer service reps. “It’s not about $100. It’s about $100 multiplied by 1000s.”

At the event’s post-fight press conference, Mayweather said server issues in Florida and California caused the problems. The boxer’s company may be hauled into court to defend that claim. An Oregon man has already filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Showtime of delivering a substandard broadcast.

A joint effort from Mayweather Promotions, UFC and McGregor Sports and Entertainment, “The Money Fight” was projected to be the most lucrative event in pay-per-view history, with White predicting it would beat the 4.6 million buy record set by Mayweather’s “Fight of the Century” with Manny Pacquiao.

If the UFC chief answers the demands for a refund, the final revenue tally could take a hit.

For more on “The Money Fight,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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