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Stream the biggest fights in the world: How to watch UFC live without cable

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Feb 12, 2020 — 4 min read

UFC

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In an effort to fight the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), this event has been postponed.

As the largest mixed-martial-arts organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become synonymous with the sport. It features the biggest names in the fighting world, including Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and the retired Chuck Liddell. The Khabib-Conor pay-per-view match sold an enormous 2.4 million buys in 2018, demonstrating just how popular the sport has become. 

UFC events are scheduled in arenas all over the globe from Moscow to Beijing. And you can tune to ESPN and ESPN+ to catch the action. Just keep in mind that for the high-dollar pay-per-view (PPV) matches, you’ll need to chip in some extra green to stream. 

Below we break down some of the finer details of how and when to stream live events, free of cable. 

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2020 UFC event schedule

Below we list some of the upcoming UFC events taking place in early 2020. 

The times provided in the schedule are for main card events. For early prelims and prelims information, monitor the UFC schedule for updates. 

February 

  • UFC Fight Night | Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, Feb. 15 – 5 p.m. | Santa Ana Star Center
  • UFC Fight Night | Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, Feb. 22 – 4 p.m. | Spark Arena
  • UFC Fight Night | Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, Feb. 29 – 5 p.m. | Chartway Arena

March

  • UFC 248 | Main Card | Early Prelims on Fight Pass, Prelims on ESPN, Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, March 7 – 7 p.m. | T-Mobile Arena
  • UFC Fight Night | Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, March 14 – 5 p.m. | Nilson Nelson Gymnasium
  • UFC Fight Night | Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, March 21 – 1 p.m. | 02 Arena

April

  • UFC Fight Night | Early Prelims on Fire Pass, Prelims on ESPN, Main Card on ESPN+
    • Saturday, April 18 – 7 p.m. | Barclays Center

Channels showing UFC fights 

The UFC ended its long-time broadcasting partnership with FOX in 2018. Previously they aired the UFC across its various channels. But in January 2019, ESPN entered into a partnership with the UFC, as part of a five-year deal valued at $1.5 billion. Now all events are broadcast via ESPN and ESPN+. When explaining the deal to The Washington Post, UFC President Dana White said, “It’s all housed in one home. We were all over the map…. [the UFC] is a one-stop-shop at ESPN. Everything will be on ESPN.”

  • ESPN — UFC preliminary fights

What’s the difference between streaming and cable? 

The difference is astronomical. While you can watch 10 preliminary fights on cable TV, 20 fights will stream on the ESPN+ app. PPV fights will only take place on ESPN+.  So, if you’re all about UFC action, you’ll definitely want to use ESPN+.

You also have the option to watch early prelim fights by subscribing to UFC Fight Pass. The UFC app gives you access to live fights, original shows and its library of past fights. You won’t get headliners or PPV coverage. ESPN+ won’t let you record live matches or PPV broadcasts, but you can always turn to Fight Pass’ library to watch archived versions of relatively recent PPV fights. Streaming also permits you to watch matches on multiple screens. ESPN+ allows you to share the experience with two others with its simultaneous streaming feature. Purchased PPV events can only be streamed from one device. 

How to stream UFC fights live without cable 

The next best thing to watching the fights live at the arena is streaming them live from any of your devices. That’s where ESPN+ comes in to play. There will be 20 UFC events streaming through ESPN’s app and another 10 will be broadcast on its networks. 

You can also turn to the many cable alternative streaming services on the market. The only catch is you’ll be able to stream the 10 matches that air on ESPN’s networks, but will still require an ESPN+ subscription to watch the other 20. So take the following list with a grain of salt. 

Top streaming options for watching UFC

Keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay to view PPV matches shown on ESPN+. ESPN+ costs $4.99/mo. and, along with Hulu, is part of the Disney+ bundle that costs $12.99/mo. Whether you have ESPN+ or not, you’ll need to shell out $64.99 for PPV events. Another option is to take advantage of the ESPN+ Annual Plan for $84.98/yr. — it includes a year’s subscription as well as access to UFC 247 featuring Jon Jones facing off against Dominick Reyes as the headline event.

The bottom line

UFC’s 2020 schedule started out with fireworks with Conor McGregor defeating Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 40 seconds. To make sure you don’t miss out, you’ll need to secure access to ESPN and ESPN+. If you plan on streaming live, make sure your internet service is dependable to avoid hiccups. And if you need more tips for watching your favorite sports on streaming services, take a look at our Resource Center.