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This is a big one. An interim title bout between top-ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson and fourth-ranked Justin Gaethje would be important to sports fans under any circumstances. And, given the fact that virtually all other sports are MIA during the COVID-19 crisis, the lights will be even brighter this Saturday night. There won't be any fans in the stands, but there will be a whole lot on the line, and no UFC fan — or sports fan in general, for that matter — is going to want to miss this one. But you can't buy a ticket to this event, and you won't find its biggest moments on cable or satellite. So how can you watch UFC 249 without cable? We'll lay out how to stream UFC 249 below.

 

When is UFC 249? What channel is UFC 249 on?

If it had been up to Dana White, the larger-than-life president of the UFC organization, UFC 249 would've gone down last month. The COVID-19 crisis made that pretty much impossible, though. Government regulations and objections from UFC's broadcast partner, ESPN, got the event shut down before it started. But White went ahead and booked a new date for the event and managed to get both the state of Florida and ESPN on board with the idea. As a result, we'll finally get some real live sports action this weekend.

UFC 249 will take place on Saturday, May 9th. The broadcast will kick off at 6:30 PM Eastern, with the main cards starting up at 10:00 PM Eastern. The headliner is the lightweight interim title bout between #1 Tony Ferguson and #4 Justin Gaethje. Also on the main card is a bantamweight championship bout between title-holder Henry Cejudo vs. Dominick Cruz, as well as three other bouts (Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, heavyweights; Jeremy Stephens vs. Calvin Kattar, featherweights; and Greg Hardy vs. Yorgan De Castro, heavyweights).

What: UFC 249
When: May 9, 2020 at 6:30 PM ET (prelims), 10:00 PM ET (main card), and 12:15 AM ET (Ferguson vs. Gaethje)
Where to watch: Pay-per-view via ESPN+ (main card and Ferguson vs. Gaethje); ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+, and UFC Fight Pass (undercards only)

The whole broadcast will be run by ESPN and UFC, but different portions will air in different ways. The prelims will be simulcast on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+, and UFC Fight Pass. For the main attractions, though, you'll need to pony up for the pay-per-view available through ESPN's streaming service ESPN+. UFC has a special deal with ESPN, so you'll only find the main card streaming on ESPN+.

How to watch UFC 249 online without cable

There are a lot of great ways to watch ESPN without cable. While ESPN is a pay TV station any way you slice it, we don't have to go to the cable or satellite giants to get covered; we can just turn to a live TV streaming service instead. And since many of these services have earned their “skinny bundle” nicknames by slimming down both channel bundles and pricing, we'll be able to snag live UFC on the cheap. We could even use a free trial offer to watch UFC 249 for free — well, the UFC 249 undercards, anyway. We can also turn to UFC Fight Pass for undercard coverage.

We're big fans of many of these services, including Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and others. We heartily recommend them, and they make great ways to check out the prelims ahead of UFC 249's main card.

But getting the main ESPN network without cable won't help us get the main event, and UFC Fight Pass won't help us there, either. If you've read our article on how to watch UFC without cable, you know that UFC has a special deal in place with ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+. To get the main card and the Ferguson vs. Gaethje fight, we'll need to get ESPN+ and pay for the pay-per-view coverage that kicks in at 10:00 PM Eastern on the big day.

Stream UFC 249 with ESPN+

Try It

ESPN+ is ESPN's direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. It's packed full of sports content, including sports documentaries, sports news shows, and live sports events. The content on ESPN+ is run by ESPN and features plenty of familiar faces among the commentators and reporters, but ESPN+'s broadcasts are usually exclusive to the streaming service. That means you won't find them on the cable networks ESPN runs. ESPN+ is different from ESPN's TV channel (as well as from ESPN 2, ESPN U, and the rest of the gang). It's its own separate thing.

As of this writing, you can't get ESPN+ for free via and ESPN+ free trial. That's the bad news, but the good news is that ESPN+ only costs $4.99 per month. Once you're an ESPN+ subscriber, you'll be able to buy the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 249 for a one-time price of $64.99.

ESPN+ and UFC also offer a special discount deal to new ESPN+ subscribers. If you're new to the service and want to watch UFC tonight, you can combine the UFC pay-per-view with a year-long ESPN+ subscription for $84.98. It's usually fifty bucks for an annual ESPN+ subscription, so this combo deal saves you about thirty bucks.

Can I watch UFC 249 on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

A real live sporting event is a great reason to settle down in front of your big-screen TV for a while. But how do you get your UFC 249 ESPN+ pay-per-view up onto that glorious big screen? If you're a fan of one of the major streaming platforms, you're in luck.

ESPN+ supports the Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast platforms. It also works great on Android TV. That means that any reasonably up-to-date device running one of these platforms should have you covered for UFC 249. ESPN+ also works on some smart TVs that use other platforms (Samsung).

If you'd rather stream on a small personal device or on the go, you can easily do that, too. ESPN+ has mobile apps available for both Android and iOS devices, so you can whip out your smartphone or tablet to watch the big matchups, too.

ESPN+ also has an in-browser app, which makes it easy to watch on your computer (or on any other device with a supported browser.

Even video game consoles are an option. ESPN+ offers apps for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

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