The Ultimate Fighting Championship is returning to Miami for the first time in 20 years today. There, at the Miami-Dade Arena, Alex “Poatan” Pereira will be defending his newly won title against former champ Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya. This title rematch is the fourth encounter between these two fighters, and since it’s a pay-per-view event, you’ll need to sign up for ESPN+ watch UFC 287 at home. That’s right: There’s no free UFC 287 live stream — not a legal one, anyway.
UFC 287 is the MMA promotion’s big pay-per-view event for April. The league typically runs one of these PPV shows each month (with some exceptions, like last month where fans got treated to two pay-per-views), and in the U.S., the only venue for watching UFC PPV events is ESPN+. The American sports broadcaster launched tits premium streaming app in 2018, and since then, it has become the number one outlet for any MMA fans looking to stream UFC fights online.
It’s a paid service, though, and currently costs $10 per month or $100 per year after a recent price increase. UFC pay-per-views also got another price raise recently and will now set you back $80. Purchased separately, a one-year ESPN+ membership and the UFC 287 PPV would total $180. However, ahead of these pay-per-view events, new subscribers can grab an annual ESPN+ membership along with a UFC PPV ticket for $125, with this one-time bundle offer giving you a nice $55 savings.
The two main event contenders have a score to settle at UFC 287. Although billed as Pereira vs. Adesanya 2, this is actually the fourth meeting between these two fighters — it’s only their second matchup within the UFC. Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya both came into MMA from kickboxing and fought in the Glory of Heroes promotion. There, Pereira faced Adesanya twice, handily defeating him both times. Both would later go on to join the UFC where Adesanya would become the middleweight champion, defending his title successfully five times before the two faced off again at UFC 281 last November. There, Pereira triumphed over Adesanya for a third time to claim the middleweight title. Of all the opponents that The Last Stylebender has faced in the ring, Pereira has proven to be his toughest challenge, and Adesanya has serious work ahead of him if he wants to avenge his former defeats and reclaim his championship belt tonight.
For the co-main event, former welterweight title contenders Gilbert Burns and Jorge Masvidal — both of whom have unsuccessfully challenged Kamaru Usman for the belt — will be facing each other in the Octagon. The odds strongly favor Burns, as Masvidal, 38, seems to have hit a wall in recent years. The veteran fighter has lost all three of his last fights, the latest of which was at UFC 272 last March where he was beaten by Colby Covington. Weeks later, the two got into an altercation at a restaurant in Miami, which culminated in Masvidal being charged with battery. Tonight will tell if Masvidal, a fan favorite and holder of the symbolic UFC “BMF” Championship belt, can reverse his recent misfortune and get his fighting career back on track.
Although streaming services have made it easy to watch live sports online, they don’t completely circumvent regional broadcasting restrictions. That means that if you’re traveling or living outside of the U.S., you probably won’t be able to access ESPN+ and watch the UFC 287 live stream as you normally would — but there’s a solution. A virtual private network, or VPN, can route your online traffic through a remote server (in this case, one located in the U.S.) to allow you to bypass geographical streaming restrictions with ease.
One of the best VPN services, and our favorite for streaming, is NordVPN. After signing up, all you have to do is install the app on whichever device you’ll use to watch UFC 287 online, connect to one of NordVPN’s U.S. servers, log into your ESPN+ account, and get streaming. Not only will this make it appear as if you’re watching the UFC 287 live stream in the U.S., it also keeps all of your online activities totally private via end-to-end encryption. Better still is that it’s on sale right now, letting you grab a subscription for as little as $3.30 per month if you pay in advance for the two-year plan.
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