UFC 281 live stream: How to watch Adesanya vs. Pereira online right now, card

(L to R) Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira will face off in the UFC 281 live stream's main event
(Image credit: Jeff Bottari / Getty Images)

IT, IS, TIME, to watch UFC 281 live stream online tonight, and you get a card featuring two matches where fighters didn't make weight and two were they almost didn't. All from the historic Madison Square Garden. 

UFC 281 time and date

Date and Time: UFC 281 is today (Saturday, October 22)
UFC 281 main card:
The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT / 3 a.m. BST / 2 p.m. AEDT
Early prelims begin four hours earlier, at 6 p.m. ET, main prelims are two hours before the main card, starting at 8 p.m. ET.
UFC 281 main event time: Ring-walks are estimated for 12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT / 5 a.m. GMT / 4 p.m. AEDT — but they could always go on earlier.
The event is live from New York City's Madison Square Garden.
Watch in the US — ESPN Plus (opens in new tab)
Watch in the UK — BT Sport Box Office (opens in new tab)

And at the top of the card, Israel Adesanya's defending both his UFC middleweight championship and his nearly-perfect MMA record of 23-1 — against one of the few fighters who has a decent chance. 

That's because Alex Pereira handed Adesanya two losses — in kickboxing. As for how much the champ should let that history weigh on him? Well, the good news is that he's the favorite for gamblers. The bad news? Pereira's won his last 6 MMA matches in a row, five of which by KO or TKO.

Pereira is seen as having the power advantage, with Adesanya having movement on his side. The former has been training with Glover Teixeira, the former UFC light heavyweight champion. Pereira, though, only showed up to the weigh-ins with less than 5 minutes left, pushing things to the limit.

Nicolae Negumereanu barely made weight and had to use the box to cover himself up in order to challenge at light heavyweight. Ryan Spann and Michael Trizano, however, both failed to make weight, and will compete as catchweights — and forfeit 20% of their purses.

Elsewhere on the card, Dustin Poirier is looking to regain momentum. His target: former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler. If Poirier can make the fight go long, at his own pace, the match is likely his.

And for the odds: Adesanya (-215 — wager $205 to win $100) is the favorite over Pereira (+185 — wager $100 to win $175) according to DraftKings (opens in new tab). The exact same odds favor Sterling (-210) over Chandler (+180).

Here's everything you need to know about UFC 281 live streams, including the recent changes to the main card and prelims.

UFC 281 live streams: Get the PPV and a whole year of ESPN Plus

You're going to need ESPN Plus (opens in new tab) to watch UFC 281 live streams — and all the upcoming numbered UFC PPVS — so let's talk about the best deal to make this happen. 

You can get UFC 281 plus a year of ESPN Plus for $124.98, which is savings of $50 (ESPN Plus costs $99.99 per year and UFC 281 costs $74.99). 

The main prelim fights are on ESPNEWS, so those who haven't subscribed to the latter yet can get a taste of it all for themselves, before forking out the cash. 

ESPNEWS is available on most cable packages, as well as two of the best streaming services: namely Sling TV (Orange + Sports Extra) and FuboTV

UFC 281 Early Prelim fights start at 6 p.m. ET on UFC FightPass (opens in new tab), which is $9.99 per month. Then, the higher-up set of prelim fights that start at 8 p.m. ET, on ESPNEWS.

ESPN Plus for UFC 281 (opens in new tab)

You're gonna need ESPN Plus for UFC 281 (opens in new tab). While UFC 281 live streams cost $74.99 (on top of ESPN Plus), new subscribers and those on current monthly plans can save $50 by getting UFC 281 and the annual ESPN Plus subscription for $124.98. That subscription will renew at $99.99 for your second year.

Sling TV (opens in new tab)

Sling TV (opens in new tab): ESPNEWS is available with the Sling TV Orange + Sports Extra combo package. This also gets you the MLB Network, ESPN U and much more. 

How to watch UFC 281 in the UK and Australia

UFC 281 back to normal at a bad time in the U.K., and a good time of day down under. 

In the U.K., you'll likely start Adesanya vs. Pereira at approximately 5 a.m. GMT. It's live on BT Sport Box Office (opens in new tab), where it costs £19.95. Prelims are on UFC Fight Pass.

Just a heads up, though, the UFC 281 live stream is not available via a web browser, but through apps on Now TV devices, PlayStations, Xbox, Apple TV and some Smart TVs.

In Australia, UFC 281 is live on Sunday at 5 a.m. AEDT on Kayo (opens in new tab), where it costs AU$54.95.

How to watch UFC 281 live streams in Canada

Our neighbors in the great white north will watch the early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims are on TSN and RDS. UFC 281's main card is available on various providers, including BELL and Rogers.

UFC 281 fight card and results

Early prelims (6 p.m. ET) on UFC FightPass

  • Matt Frevola vs Ottman Azaitar (Lightweights)
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs Silvana Gomez Juarez (Women's Strawweight)
  • Michael Trizano vs Seungwoo Choi (Catchweight)
  • Julio Arce vs Montel Jackson (Bantamweight)
  • Carlos Ulberg vs Nicolae Negumereneau (Light Heavyweight)

Prelims (8 p.m. ET) on ESPNEWS

  • Brad Riddell vs Renato Moicano (Lightweight)
  • Dominick Reyes vs Ryan Spann (Catchweight)
  • Erin Blanchfield vs Molly McCann (Women's Flyweight)
  • Andre Petroski vs Wellington Turman (Middleweight)

Main Card (10 p.m. ET on ESPN Plus)

  • Israel Adesanya (c) vs. Alex Pereira for the UFC Middleweight Title
  • Carla Esparza (c) vs Zhang Weili for the UFC Women's Strawweight Title
  • Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler (Lightweight)
  • Frankie Edgar vs Chris Gutierrez (Bantamweight)
  • Dan Hooker vs Claudio Puelles (Lightweight)
Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.