High-speed internet has made it easy and economical for millions of people to “cut the cord” and ditch traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions in favor of online streaming services. But due to regional broadcasting restrictions, sports fans have had to wait a while to enjoy on-demand content. Movies and TV shows have been readily available on services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for almost a decade now, and today’s 4K smart TVs even come with built-in internet connectivity and pre-loaded streaming apps — but only recently have services like ESPN+, FuboTV, Sling, and Hulu done the same thing for live-action sports like the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
This is great news for MMA fans, as UFC’s tight relationship with ESPN now makes it extremely easy to live stream UFC fights. The world’s biggest mixed martial arts fighting league has joined with ESPN to bring you all of your favorite UFC content in 2021, both online and on TV. Fox previously held exclusive broadcasting rights to UFC through 2018, but starting in 2019, the contract went to ESPN. This means that for the foreseeable future, all Ultimate Fighting Championship content — including Pay-Per-View events like UFC 257, featuring the return of Conor McGregor — will air only on this sports network.
If you already have ESPN with your cable subscription, then you can enjoy all the hard-hitting MMA action right on your TV. For the cord-cutters out there, however, ESPN rolled out its own premium streaming service called ESPN+ in the spring of 2018. We’ll keep you up to date with all the latest results, scheduled fights, top fighters, and more from the UFC in 2021.
If you already have a streaming package you like and all you want is ESPN+ by itself for streaming UFC fights and pay-per-view events online (although it also offers a mountain of other sports content beyond MMA), then you can simply sign up for it and you’re good to go. It’s a great value at just $6 per month or $60 per year, although ahead of pay-per-view showings, new subscribers can that offers a year’s worth of ESPN+ along with the upcoming PPV package for $90 — a nice $40 discount off the price of purchasing them separately. You can use ESPN+ with virtually all modern smart TVs, streaming devices (including smartphones and tablets), computer web browsers, and PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles.
Other streaming platforms
On the other hand, if you’re only now cutting the cord and are looking for a streaming TV package that comes bundled with ESPN channels — particularly the ones where you’ll be able to watch UFC — then you’ve got a few options. Just bear in mind that none of these currently air live UFC pay-per-views; you’ll still need ESPN+ for that. All of these premium streaming services work on Android, iOS, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku devices, as well as modern computer web browsers unless otherwise noted:
- Hulu includes ESPN as part of its $55-per-month Live TV plan. You can also add premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, for an extra fee. If all you want is ESPN+, then a more economical might be that comes with Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+. Hulu can be used on your Xbox console, Samsung smart TV, and Vizio SmartCast TV as well as the devices listed above.
- Sling TV has two packages which include ESPN channels: The $30 per month Orange plan and the $45 per month Blue + Orange plan. Premium channels cost extra, although HBO and Cinemax are not available with Sling. Sling is now available on Roku devices and it can be used with LG and Samsung smart TVs as well as the Xbox One.
- YouTube TV, available for $65 per month with additional premium channel subscriptions on offer, comes with ESPN, and it now also supports HBO and Cinemax as add-ons. You get unlimited DVR cloud storage, however. YouTube TV cannot be streamed on Fire devices (although that’s coming later this year), but it is available on the Xbox One.
- has two standard plans — The $65/month “family” plan and the $80/month “Elite” package — both of which include ESPN. The Family plan includes 116 channels and 250 hours of DVR cloud storage, while the Elite plan comes with 161 channels and up to 1,000 hours of cloud DVR.
What UFC Fights are happening in 2021?
In general, UFC seasons start in January and finish up in the fall. Last January saw Conor McGregor’s explosive first-round victory at UFC 246, and despite announcing his retirement, “The Notorious” will be returning to the Octagon again at UFC 257 on January 23 — so stay tuned for that.
The schedule is constantly shifting, so your best bet is to check the UFC event schedule fairly regularly to see when things are happening. Below is a quick overview of fights in the queue right now:
|January 23||UFC 257||Poirier vs. McGregor|
|February 6||UFC Fight Night||Overeem vs. Volkov|
|February 13||UFC 258||Barber vs. Grasso|
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