“IT’S TIMEEE” for Conor McGregor to step back in the Octagon after nearly a year’s absence. The Notorious returns to MMA action on January 23 when he takes on Dustin Poirier in a highly anticipated match. His last fight was at UFC 246 on January 18, 2020, when he quickly dismantled Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in less than a minute.
It will be a much-awaited rematch between both veteran fighters, who last locked horns six years ago at UFC 178. The Irishman claimed another swift first-round victory at the time, winning by TKO in less than two minutes. Since then, both men have had pretty much similar results, suffering defeats at the hands of the undefeated (and now retired) Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The stakes are significantly high for the UFC 257 main event, with the winner getting a shot at the lightweight title later on this year. Therefore, Poirier vs. McGregor and the other bouts on the fight card make UFC 257 a must-watch.
- UFC 257 Broadcasters
- UFC 257 Geo-Blocked
- Avoid Geo-Blocking with a VPN
- Best VPN for UFC 257
- UFC 257 with Unlocator
- About UFC 257
- Final Round
Who Will Broadcast UFC 257?
The coronavirus outbreak last year canceled, postponed, or moved nearly all sports events. And even with the adoption of recent vaccines, new COVID-19 cases continue to rise significantly worldwide. That didn’t stop Dana White, though. He relocated UFC fights and events to a ‘fight island’ he created. And before you start envisioning a Mortal-Kombat-like location, it’s all taking place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
This allowed Ultimate Fighting Championship showdowns to resume on May 9 with UFC 249. White hadn’t rolled out his fight island at the time, and the event was held at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, behind closed doors. The good news is that UFC 257 will feature limited attendance, the first time since March last year.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism announced the news but did not provide further details.
Everyone else must stream UFC 257 live online, depending on their local broadcaster.
UFC 257 on ESPN+ in the US
ESPN is the exclusive home for UFC in the United States. The majority of bouts, including main cards, take place on ESPN+, the sports network’s streaming platform. Now, UFC 257 is a pay-per-view event, meaning even if you have an ESPN+ subscription, you must pay extra to watch it. And as of January 8, ESPN’s parent company Disney increased pricing for the ESPN+ annual and PPV packages.
The monthly subscription plan remains at $5.99, while Disney’s triple-threat offer of ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ is still $12.99/month. Furthermore, existing annual ESPN+ subscribers will continue to pay $49.99 until at least March 2 before the new prices take effect.
Here are the applied price changes as of January 8:
|PREVIOUS PRICING||NEW PRICING|
|PPV + Annual Plan Bundle||$84.98||$89.98|
The best value for money is to bundle the annual package with the PPV event. It allows you to save 35%. However, the offer is only available for new subscribers.
There is no shortage of UFC and MMA broadcasters, with the sport becoming increasingly popular over the years. ESPN may have coverage rights in the USA, but each country or region has its own exclusive network for UFC 257 and other sports events. But even though Poirier vs. McGregor is taking place in Abu Dhabi, it will follow US prime time.
The early prelims start at 6:30 PM Eastern time, while the main card should kick off at 10 PM. That means Poirier vs McGregor likely won’t step into the Octagon until 12 AM/5 AM GMT. Fans in Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia/Pacific regions will watch UFC 257 on Sunday, January 24. But at least Australian residents won’t have to get up early in the morning to stream the event.
Here are some of the UFC 257 broadcasters:
Most of these streaming platforms haven’t confirmed their pricing for UFC 257 PPV. BT Sport usually charges £19.95 (around $27) for pay-per-view events, although in some cases, there’s no extra cost to the subscription fee. The same applies to DAZN, which doesn’t require a PPV bill. Until we know more about pricing, BT Sports and DAZN are the most affordable choices for cord-cutting UFC fans. The first costs £25 (around $32) per month, while the latter is available at €11.99/month (around $14) or €119.99 (around $141) per year.
UFC 257 – Geo-Blocks in the Way
As we mentioned earlier, each country or region has its own broadcaster for streaming sports events. That is due to licensing agreements between TV networks or standalone streaming channels and sports organizations. For instance, US residents can only watch the English Premier League on NBC Sports. Meanwhile, those who live in Canada or the MENA region must subscribe to DAZN and beIN Sports, respectively.
And although DAZN is available in over 200 countries, each region has its own library. In other words, sports coverage differs depending on where you live. Yes, there are many of geographic restrictions when it comes to showcasing sports, movies, and series, but that is how each service protects its broadcasting rights.
Streaming platforms determine your location through your IP address. If they see that you are outside their coverage area, they use their geo-blocking technology to keep you out. That explains the geo-error message you encounter when you try to access a certain service from abroad.