The most anticipated UFC fight in years will soon be underway.
After collecting an estimated $100 million payout from his bout against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor is stepping back into the Octagon tonight to face off with the Russian champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — universally known by his first name — at UFC 229.
While McGregor might be the bigger name between the two fighters, Khabib is undefeated and has comported himself with calm, suggesting the big fight might not go as easily as the brash and outspoken McGregor might have you believe.
Ultimately, the McGregor-Khabib fight promises to be one of the better UFC bouts of late. Two million people or more could find themselves watching the main event when it kicks off from Las Vegas at 10 p.m. ET.
If you plan to watch the match, there are plenty of things to know. The following guide will fill you in on all the ways to watch the big show.
What are the three events?
Yes, UFC is promoting three separate broadcasts that are all part of the event.
The first event, called the Early Prelims, will start at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be viewable only on UFC Fight Pass, the company's subscription service that allows you to watch both live and on-demand UFC fights as little as $7.99 per month. (There's a seven-day free trial.)
The second event, called the Prelims, will air on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. That will be free to watch to anyone in the U.S. who has Fox Sports 1 through their cable or satellite provider.
The third and final event, called the Main Card, will kick off at 10 p.m. on pay-per-view (PPV) and UFC Fight Pass.
Who's fighting in each broadcast?
Here's a breakdown:
- Ryan LaFlare vs. Tony Martin
- Gray Maynard vs. Nik Lentz
- Lina Lansberg vs. Yana Kunitskaya
- Scott Holtzman vs. Alan Patrick
- Aspen Ladd vs. Tonya Evinger
- Vicente Luque vs. Jalin Turner
- Sergio Pettis vs. Jussier Formiga
- Michelle Waterson vs. Felice Herrig
- Derrick Lewis vs. Alexander Volkov
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Dominick Reyes
- Tony Ferguson vs. Anthony Pettis
- Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor
Are the broadcasts free?
Technically, the only free broadcast is the Prelims, which will air on Fox Sports 1. UFC Fight Pass and PPV are both paid services.
How much does the PPV cost?
The UFC 229 event, which includes the five main card fights, will cost $64.99 for HD streaming, and $54.99 for SD streaming.
Where can you watch the PPV event?
- AT&T U-Verse
- Bright House Networks
- Charter Spectrum (including former Time Warner Cable)
- Verizon FiOS
Bars (Yes, Bars)
- UFC Bars
How to Stream UFC 229 from UFC
UFC Fight Pass is a streaming service from the fighting organization that gives you access to a vast library of free and on-demand content. But if you're hoping to watch UFC 229 from the service — or free, at that — you're looking in the wrong place.
For one, UFC Fight Pass doesn't give you access to PPV content. Instead, the company makes PPV shows available on the service 30 days after they first air.
If you want to stream UFC 229 from a UFC service, you need to pay the full $65 for the HD stream on UFC TV, the company's stand-alone content offering.
Is there a freebie workaround in Sling TV or Amazon Prime Video?
If you're hoping to watch UFC 229 for free on Sling TV or Amazon Prime Video, you're out of luck.
Amazon Prime Video comes with an Amazon Prime subscription. And Sling TV offers a free trial that gives you access to its content before you start paying.
At first blush, then, you might think that you can simply sign up for Prime or the free Sling TV trial and then turn them off after the show.
But, alas, Amazon and Sling are way ahead of you. In order to watch the event from their services, you'll need to pay a separate $65 fee to get access to the event.
How to use VPN to watch McGregor vs. Khabib
VPNs can prove to be extremely handy in finding deals on paid services. Content makers offer different prices on services in different parts of the world. While a PPV event might be a certain price in the U.S., the cost of watching the event could be substantially cheaper in other countries.
Note that we are not endorsing any illegal use of VPN services and that the use of a VPN may violate the terms of service for UFC Fight Pass and may result in accounts being terminated and streams being blocked.
According to VPNRanks, a site that helps folks find event pricing around the world, the Philippines and Singapore might be good places to buy PPV access to the main card of UFC 229.
The site claims the UFC price to stream UFC 229 in the Philippines is $17.12. It's just $24.99 in Singapore, according to the site. Using Hotspot Shield, we confirmed that $24.99 is the displayed price in Singapore.
MORE: Best Free VPN Services - Full Reviews
However, if you try to access UFC's site from a U.S.-based connection, you'll be redirected to the U.S. page, where the price is $65.
To take advantage of the better pricing, you'll need to have a VPN that has servers in the Philippines or Singapore. PureVPN works in the Philippines, and NordVPN and Hotspot Shield have servers in Singapore.
When it’s time to order the fight, simply download the VPN app you need and turn it on. You can then connect to a server in the desired country.
Since the UFC site will think that you're in the Philippines or Singapore, you'll have the ability to buy it and stream it for the reduced price, according to VPNRanks.
A Russian loophole? Maybe not
According to a posting on MatchTV.Ru, a Russian site, MatchTV.ru will be streaming the event live from its website. It's unclear from the page whether it would be a paid or free stream, but it appears to be the latter.
Again, to access the Russian stream, you'll need to use one of the VPNs that work with Russian servers, including Avast SecureLine, Express VPN, NordVPN and Hotspot Shield, among others.
We decided to try it out to see if we'd be able to get back to the site on Saturday night to watch the event. When we tried to connect to the site on Hotspot Shield from a Russian server, the site was blocked.
When we went back to a U.S.-based server, the site was online, but the stream you'd use to watch the fight live was blocked there.
In other words, it looks like the Russian loophole might be closed.