One streamer managed to broadcast UFC 218 on multiple platforms, including Twitch, by pretending the fights were a video game. AJ Lester can be seen in the lower corner of the screen with a controller in hand and headset on, taking part in a form of pantomime as the fights waged on.
Some footage of the match with Lester’s performance was shared on Twitter, with one of the clips garnering nearly 165,000 likes and more than 74,000 retweets as of this writing.
In one clip, Lester can be heard jamming down on the buttons on his controller and reacting to what is unfolding on the screen, including comments like, “Come on man, stop it,” during the headline match between Max Holloway and Jose Aldo.
How has he pretended to play a ufc fight on stream to avoid getting copyrighted LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL pic.twitter.com/I4ykqwqrTA
— Aaron (@TheRealSMA) December 3, 2017
Another clip shows Lester reacting to the knockout punch landed by Francis Ngannou on Alistair Overeem.
— Kanye (@KanyeTwittee) December 4, 2017
Streamers generally make money on platforms like Twitch through the fans that watch them playing, particularly fans who appreciate the person’s unique form of color commentary on the experience along with viewing the game itself. In some cases, streamers can receive enough in donated funds to avoid traditional work entirely.
Lester’s streaming of the UFC event would fall into a risky category, as the fight material could be copyright protected and generally isn’t meant to be shared on such platforms. However, it isn’t the first time live sporting events were illegally broadcast online through platforms like Twitch, as the Mayweather v. McGregor fight in August could also be found in live streams at the time.
According to The Verge, Lester has not been contacted about potential copyright violations by any authorities at this time, even with the UFC being notoriously protective of their properties.