The fighting game is an opportunity for two people to showcase their potential, their intelligence, and their athleticism. And perhaps most importantly, it pits those two people against each other without giving them the opportunity to rely on other people on a team.
It’s against that backdrop that UFC 243 will be kicking off from the Marvel Stadium in Docklands, Australia on Saturday, October 5. The event will be headlined by Middleweights Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya, as well as Lightweights Al Iaquinta and Dan Hooker in the co-main. But it’ll also feature hours of outstanding fighting across several other divisions, including Heavyweight, Women’s Bantamweight with Holly Holm, and much more.
You won't want to miss this action live, so here's how to watch UFC 243 online.
Where can I live stream UFC 243?
Like other big UFC events, watching UFC 243 won’t be the easiest thing in the world. In fact, you’ll need to be willing to jump around to different services and try out some streaming offerings to make it happen.
Although the fights are happening at the Marvel Stadium in Docklands, Australia, you’ll still be able to watch them on Saturday, October 5 at around the same as other major UFC events. The early prelims start at 6:45 p.m. ET, followed by the preliminary card at 8 p.m. ET. The main card, featuring the biggest fights of the night, will start at 10 p.m. ET.
The early prelims will air on UFC Fight Pass, a $9.99-per-month service that allows you to stream fights both live and on demand. The preliminary card will air on ESPN 2, and the main event will be available on PPV via ESPN+.
Here’s a fight breakdown:
Early Prelims on UFC Fight Pass
Women Flyweight: Nadia Kassem vs. Ji Yeon Kim
Bantamweight: Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva
Preliminary card on ESPN 2
Welterweight: Jake Matthews vs. Rostem Akman
Welterweight: Callan Potter vs. Maki Pitolo
Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs. Jamie Mullarkey
Women Featherweight: Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn dos Santos
Main Card on UFC Fight Pass, PPV
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker vs. Israel Adesanya
Lightweight: Al Iaquinta vs. Dan Hooker
Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergey Spivak
Welterweight: Luke Jumeau vs. Dhiego Lima
Heavyweight: Justin Tafa vs. Yorgan De Castro
Women Bantamweight: Holly Holm vs. Raquel Pennington
How do I use a VPN to live stream UFC 243?
If you're traveling outside the country during UFC 243, you'll still be able to watch it. A virtual private network, or VPN, can help you connect to your desired streaming service through a U.S. server and watch the draft as if you were at home.
We've evaluated many VPN services, and our top pick is ExpressVPN. It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. It's also affordable at $12.95 per month. (Signing up for longer periods of six months or a year reduces the cost even more.)
Here are three VPN options worth considering, should you need them during UFC Fight Night 160.
NordVPN: Cheap and secure, NordVPN is just $2.99/month for a three-year contract, and makes it easy to use streaming services. A connection wizard makes it a breeze to get started, and you can expect good security with 2048-bit encryption.View Deal
IPVanish: Costing $6.49 per month for a one-year contract, IPVanish supports plenty of different platforms and offers speedy customer support if you run into problems. Unfortunately, there's no free trial.View Deal
First things first, if you want to watch every fight on Saturday, you’ll definitely need to have a subscription to UFC’s Fight Pass, which costs $10 per month to access the company’s live-streaming fights, as well as an archive of bouts from previous events. It’s available on a slew of device types, ranging from smartphones and tablets to your favorite set-top box.
If you’re not already signed up, you’ll want to do that now.
Aside from that, you’ll also need to be a subscriber to ESPN+, a $50-per-year service that streams a slew of sports games, including UFC fights. Be aware, however, that since UFC 243 is a PPV event, you’ll need to spend $60 on ESPN+ to watch the bout if you’re already an ESPN+ member. If you’re not, you can get a package deal and sign up for ESPN+ and UFC 243 for $80.
Between the early bouts on UFC Fight Pass and the main card on ESPN+, you’ll need to be able to stream ESPN 2. Luckily, there are several places to watch ESPN 2, and you can see where below:
AT&T TV Now: AT&T TV Now features ESPN 2 its entry-level $50 tier.
Hulu + Live TV: Hulu's Live TV package costs $45 per month for 60 channels, including ESPN 2. You can also record up to 50 hours of programming to Hulu's cloud DVR.
Playstation Vue: With a $50-a-month PlayStation Vue subscription, you can stream ESPN 2 on the service’s Access tier, its cheapest option.
SlingTV: Sling’s Orange tier features ESPN 2. Sling Orange usually costs $25 per month, but you can get it now for $15 per month, a 40 percent savings.
YouTube TV: The $50-a-month YouTube TV has more than 70 channels, including ESPN 2. YouTube TV also has an unlimited cloud DVR storage.
How can I watch UFC 243 with a cable or satellite subscription?
If you still have a cable or satellite subscription and you’re simply not someone who’s in to streaming, you might have some trouble watching the entire UFC 243 card.
Unfortunately for you, in order to watch the early prelims, you’re going to need to sign up for the $10-a-month UFC Fight Pass streaming service. UFC doesn’t offer a television stream for that round.
Of course, you’ll be able to watch the UFC 243 preliminary round, thanks to ESPN 2, which is ubiquitous on the dial, but then you’ll need to turn to ESPN+ to watch the main card.