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UFC 261 takes place Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.
A championship tripleheader sits atop a stacked UFC 261 card, which takes place Saturday night from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The card also marks the first UFC event to take place in front of a sold out crowd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In July 2020, Kamaru Usman defended his UFC welterweight title with a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal. Despite the lopsided win — only one judge scored a single round for Masvidal — Usman wanted a rematch with Masvidal. His reasoning was he did not want Masvidal to have an excuse for the loss. Masvidal accepted the first fight on short notice when he replaced Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for COVID-19 nine days before the fight card. Masvidal signed on with six days’ notice to replace Burns.
The two welterweights face off for the second time when they headline Saturday’s UFC 261 event.
Usman is coming off a third-round TKO win over Burns in February. Masvidal has not fought since his loss to Usman.
Usman’s welterweight crown is once again up for grabs in the headlining bout of UFC 261.
In the main event, Jorge Masvidal rematches Kamaru Usman with Usman’s welterweight championship on the line. Weili Zhang will defend her women’s strawweight championship against former champion Rose Namajunas in the co-main event. Rounding out the trio of championship bouts, women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will defend her belt against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.
Can 36-year-old US MMA star Jorge Masvidal snatch the welterweight crown from undefeated champ Kamaru Usman? We’ll find out when the pair stage a rematch of their UFC 251 encounter on Fight Island that saw the Nigerian Nightmare earn a unanimous points victory to keep his belt.
“I’m just so far ahead of these guys that I’m coming back around and I’m lapping them now,” a confident Usman told reporters at this week’s weigh-in. “But after this one, we have to take a really hard look and see what there is out there for me because it’s not these guys. So whether it’s crossing over and doing something else or maybe walking away, you never know.”
Meanwhile, Masvidal is convinced he can outclass his opponent this time around: “When I win the rematch, we definitely will go for the trilogy,” Masvidal told ESPN. ‘I will not go down in history 1-1 with this individual. It’s just not going to happen… all my energy is focused on breaking Usman’s face.” Yep, there’s definitely some bad blood between these two.
A stellar undercard will set the scene for Usman vs Masvidal 2. Valentina Shevchenko will attempt a record fifth defence of her flyweight world title against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade, while China’s Zhang Weili makes her first octagon appearance in a year when she faces Rose Namajunas.
1. UFC TV: Official Channel
UFC TV is the official channel to watch the UFC 261 match. You can either get a UFC Pay-Per-View subscription for $64.99 for HD quality. There you’ll purchase for each match and are for live events. There’s also the UFC Fight Pass, which is a subscription-based service that costs $9.99 per month.
The price goes down to $8.99 per month if you’ll pay twice a year, or $7.99 if you’ll pay for the full year. The latter lets you watch past MMA events, check out fighter profiles, and find out about new fights as they are scheduled. Some live events are also available. UFC.TV is available worldwide and you can check our review if you have the time.
ESPN +:- Official Channel
ESPN+ is the official channel to watch the UFC 261 live stream online. It will be headlining the very first fight night in January. The sports streaming service has exclusive rights to show every single UFC event in the US and of course, that includes UFC 261.
How much that costs depend on whether or not you already subscribe to the service. If you don’t, then the best way to go is with a UFC Bundle, costing you $79.99. That won’t just buy you the UFC 261 PPV, but you’ll get a year-long subscription to ESPN+ (that would normally cost $60 alone). For those that already have an ESPN+ subscription, you can still buy access to UFC 261 for $59.99.
3. BT Sports
UFC fans in the UK can watch all the action at UFC 261 on BT Sport. The network has the exclusive rights to UFC in the UK and Ireland and will offer a live stream online as well as spoiler-free coverage on TV. However, Saturday’s Main Card starts quite late in the UK at 3 am so do prepare accordingly. If that’s a bit too late for you, don’t worry as BT Sport also offers a spoiler-free replay page that will showcase reruns of the two main fights shortly after their completion as well as the full main and preliminary cards at a later time.
For those who don’t mind losing sleep to catch all the action at UFC 261, BT Sport will show a live stream of Cejudo vs Moraes on its BT Sport app and on its website (the Pre-Fight Show begins at midnight). If you’d prefer to watch on your TV, the network will show the full event on BT Sport 1 HD at the same time. If you’re a BT Sport subscriber but find yourself outside the UK and want to tune in, it’s simple to do with a handy tool. Simply grab a VPN and follow the instructions above to live stream the action.
4. Sling TV
Next up, we have Sling TV to watch UFC 261. It is one of the platforms that are particularly easy to customize. There are three bundles to choose from – Orange ($25/mo), Blue ($25/mo), and Orange + Blue ($40/mo). You can then add more channels by choosing any of the extra packages grouped by interest, or premium networks. In the end, it just depends on how much you’re willing to pay.
Sling TV is home to a lot of channels. ESPN channels – and there are quite a few of them -are all present in the Blue and the Orange + Blue bundles. This means you have two pricing options, as you can see above.
The platform offers no cloud DVR space to its users, at least not by default. You can enjoy 50 hours of cloud space for the price of $5 per month. Things branch out when we discuss watching Sling TV on multiple devices at once. That’s because Blue subscribers enjoy three simultaneous streams, while Orange + Blue subscribers enjoy four of them. As a side note, the Orange bundle comes with a single stream per account. Read Sling TV review for all the details you need to make a decision.
5. Hulu TV
Next up we have Hulu, which is better known for the video-on-demand service it offers. The live TV plan, however, which costs $44.99 per month is growing in popularity, as it offers dozens of great channels. There are also a couple of extra channel packs you can add, or premium networks if you want to customize it all. Hulu’s list of channels includes a lot of networks, including several ESPN channels. In a word, you’re good to go.
On Hulu, subscribers can access up to 50 hours of cloud DVR space, but they can also upgrade to 200 hours by paying $14.99 per month. Even though regular VOD Hulu subscribers can only watch content on one device, the live TV plan comes with two simultaneous streams. The “unlimited screens” feature that’s available for another $14.99 per month gives users unlimited simultaneous streams while on the home network. The number drops to three screens while away. Read the Hulu review to get loads more info on what the platform is all about.
6. YouTube TV
Straight from Mountain View, YouTube TV has some great features and a great collection of channels. With a single bundle available for $40 per month, and a bunch of premium networks, YouTube TV hopes to appeal to those who don’t like making a gazillion choices to customize their plans.
On YouTube TV, you can enjoy loads of channels. Thankfully, several ESPN channels are also on the list and can help you watch any UFC fight you want. YouTube TV comes with unlimited cloud DVR space so you can record anything your heart desires. As a bonus, the recordings are saved for up to nine months. Subscribers can also enjoy content on three devices at once, which is particularly great since you don’t have to pay extra for that third device. Read our YouTube TV review to find out everything there is to know.
7. Direct TV Now
Following next is DirecTV Now to watch the UFC 261. It is a cool platform that gives you loads of decisions to make. The platform recently underwent some massive changes, cutting off the original five bundles and dropping only two – Plus ($50/mo) and Max ($70/mo). Then, the old bundles were brought back with a new name and a price that’s double than the original – Entertainment ($93/mo), Choice ($110/mo), Xtra ($124/mo), Ultimate ($135/mo), and Optimo Mas ($86/mo). You can still add three international packs, two Spanish-language channel packs, and a few premium networks. Talking of which, Plus and Max both feature HBO and Max also has Cinemax.
That leaves Showtime and Starz. You can find ESPN in both the two new main bundles – Plus and Max -, as well as in four of the new bundles – Entertainment, Choice, Xtra, and Ultimate. In Optimo Mas which features mostly Spanish-language channels, you can find ESPN Deportes. On DirecTV Now, users get to enjoy 20 hours of cloud DVR space, which isn’t much, but it’s more than nothing. Plus, subscribers can watch content on two screens simultaneously, but a third one can be added for a mere $5 per month. Check out the DirecTV Now review for all the details that you need to know before making a decision.