How to Watch the UFC Matches Online

article by Maria Perinic
January 16, 2020
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to be huge in 2020 with the McGregor vs. Cowboy match starting us off in January. Sports fans all over the world have been scratching their heads when it comes to tuning into these matches. Not all of us have expensive cable or satellite subscriptions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tune in.
There are numerous platforms that you can access in order to watch UFC which don’t include cable. There are often restrictions, however, as blackouts occur, limiting those who live outside of the permitted region.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for watching UFC matches online:

  • ExpressVPN – Consistently fast speeds and reliable connections at all times.
  • CyberGhost – Complete privacy guaranteed with an excellent zero-logging policy.
  • Surfshark – Affordable prices with unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • ZenMate – Simple to use, a perfect VPN solution for any beginner.
  • Proton VPN – Top-notch security features that go above and beyond protecting your online activity.

Our pick for Best VPN for the UFC: ExpressVPN

How to Live Stream URC 2020

It might seem impossible, but accessing ESPN and ESPN+ can be done from any location in the world. The streams are all geo-blocked, meaning that they can only be viewed from within the US acting like any other website by reading your IP address in order to determine your location.

Basically, if it finds that your IP address is located from anywhere outside of the US, you will not be able to tune in to your favorite UFC matches. Luckily, you can easily bypass geographical restrictions with the help of a VPN. A Virtual Private connection will be able to mask your IP address and trick the site you are visiting into thinking you’re in the United States when in reality you’re on the other side of the world.

UFC Fight Pass

Investing in a UFC Fight Pass will set you back just $8 per month on an annual plan. Fans can watch all the fights as well as background pieces and interviews. If you don’t want to commit to a whole year, the price rises by a dollar if you opt for the six-month plan, or by two dollars if you prefer the monthly plan.

The Fight Pass also comes with a free seven-day free trial which should be more than enough for you to work out whether this is the right option for you.

If you decide that you cannot commit to a UFC Fight Pass, but still wish to watch the occasional fight here and there, you can always choose to go the pay-per-view route which will set you back $8 per match.

ESPN+

The well-known sports channel, ESPN+ is a popular option amongst people and it costs $5 per month or $50 a year. It supports a wide number of platforms including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, FireTV, PS4, Xbox One, and many more. There is a large library of content available in HD quality with five streams allowed simultaneously.

Sling TV

Sling TV is another popular choice amongst UFC fans as it is a platform that is simple to use and is customizable. There are also three options to choose from including the Orange, Blue, and Orange + Blue plans. The Orange and Blue plans cost $25 per month while the last option will set you back $40 per month, but there is also the option of adding other channels for an additional cost. There is a seven-day free trial available.

Hulu

Streaming giant Hulu allows UFC fans to tune in and watch matches and also comes with a free seven-day trial. It supports devices such as iOS, Android, Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Roku, Chromecast, some Samsung TV models as well as browsers. Hulu costs $44.99 per month, and there are 50 hours of Cloud DVR, which is expandable to 200 hours for $15 per month.

Youtube

YouTube TV has a lot of channels on offer as well as unlimited cloud DVR space, allowing you to record as many matches as you want. This will be kept for nine months. You are allowed to stream content on three devices simultaneously for $49.99 or $54.99 per month via Apple.

 

How to Watch UFC 2020 From Anywhere in the World

If you are making your way across to another country when UFC matches are scheduled, you probably will not be able to take advantage of your streaming subscriptions. Streaming platforms like Hulu and Sling TV are unavailable for residents outside of the United States unless you look at how to get around these geographical restrictions.

UFC fights are often restricted to those countries and regions where the fight is taking place, so even though you might have purchased a Fight Pass subscription, you might not be able to tune in.

You will instead be met with the following message,

“Due to broadcast restrictions, this video is not available within a UFC Fight Pass subscription or as a pay-per-view in your region. Please check your local TV listing for viewing information.”

It will then go on to list the countries in which the match is blacked out. Viewers who see this message will usually have to wait a further 48 hours before they can watch the match in their region, rendering their Fight Pass useless.

To watch that particular fight live, users will have to order a pay-per-view from the local rights holder, even though they’ve already paid for their Fight Pass subscription. Doesn’t seem fair now does it?

You can always avoid a UFC blackout with the help of a VPN.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is the solution. Tunneling your traffic through a remote server, it will reroute your IP address and mask your connection. Not only will a VPN grant you access to watch UFC matches online, but you will also be able to save money.

How to Set up a VPN to Watch UFC Matches

  1. Find an excellent and reliable VPN which will allow excellent speeds to watch the UFC without buffering. After reviewing dozens of VPNs, we recommend ExpressVPN for this exact reason.
  2. Subscribe to the service.
  3. Download and install the app.
  4. Once installed, choose a US-based server and click “connect”.
  5. Wait for a few seconds until your connection is established. Your VPN will let you know when this happens.
  6. Load the streaming service website on your browser.
  7. Locate the channel you need to watch the match.
  8. Enjoy the fight.

The Best VPNs for Watching the UFC

As mentioned earlier, a VPN is an excellent way to get around UFC blackouts and subscribe to any of the above platforms for watching the UFC.

Another highlight of investing in a VPN for tuning into the UFC is that it will save you money on pay-per-view fights. By choosing a country location with lower prices, your pay-per-view pass can cost you less than half of what you would normally be paying, with some of the biggest savings being in Australia.

Here is a list of the top VPNs we recommend for accessing the UFC.

#1 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN LogoWhen it comes to the best VPN for watching the UFC, we cannot go past ExpressVPN. Offering more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries and 160 locations around the world, you will never be short of a connection.

You can watch the UFC with ExpressVPN on all major platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, AppleTV, Fire Stick, and more. ExpressVPN also has jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands which doesn’t have any data retention laws. This is detailed in its privacy policy,

“We do not collect logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. We also never store connection logs, meaning no logs of your IP address, your outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration.”

Ensuring your privacy and identity will never be compromised, ExpressVPN also has security protocols to back that up. These include OpenVPN, DNS leak blocking, five-party DNS, IPV6 leak blocking, webRTC leak blocking, as well as a Network Lock. The Network Lock acts much like a kill switch that ensures your internet connection stops as soon as your VPN connection drops.

There are five simultaneous connections available with ExpressVPN, as well as excellent customer service which is available 24/7 throughout the year via the online chat service. ExpressVPN also offers users a page dedicated to the UFC and ESPN, letting you know how to tune in.

When watching the UFC, it is important that your VPN connection is fast, and with many services, you might find that your internet connection drops as much as 60-70%. This isn’t the case with ExpressVPN which offers one of, if not the fastest VPN services on the market at the moment.

Here are some more reasons as to why we recommend ExpressVPN for the UFC:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Ultra-fast streaming speeds
  • Compatible with Android TV (Box) and Fire TV
  • Apps available for every device
  • Hides your streaming activity
  • No connection logs
  • No activity logs
  • P2P possibility
  • Ping times that are minimally affected
  • ExpressVPN works extremely well in high censorship countries
  • Military-grade encryption
  • Large international server network
  • 30-Day money-back guarantee
  • Outstanding customer service
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Up to five simultaneous connections

Want to know more about ExpressVPN? Find out everything you need to know in our detailed review.

#2 CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPNThe second-best option in our opinion for watching the UFC is CyberGhost. This is because there are more than 5,900 servers across the globe in 90 locations worldwide. This VPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOs, Android, Linux, and your router.

One of the biggest highlights is that you can piggyback off your CyberGhost connection from any of your other devices that are running the CyberGhost app, such as your laptop or smartphone.

CyberGhost is based in Romania, which doesn’t have to comply with GDPR laws set in Europe, as it has rendered its laws unconstitutional. Logging the bare minimum, CyberGhost also has a transparency report available for its users which can be accessed at any time.

“We do not log real IP addresses, we do not log assigned servers, we do not log login or logout times, we don’t merge any real data (like purchase data) into account data, we do not log traffic data (e.g. which website are visited) nor any information sent via a CyberGhost server.

CyberGhost VPN neither observes nor records content like messenger chats, telephone calls, video chats, or other communication forms, nor stores IP addresses (not the ones the users are heading to, and not the ones users have, when logging into the CyberGhost VPN network). Furthermore, it’s not possible to record, which account logged into which server at what time or to connect a real person to a certain CyberGhost VPN account.”

Installation is quick and simple, with the user interface very friendly for first time VPN users. Should you have any trouble with your connection or installation, you can always contact the support team. They are available at all hours of the day, 365 days per year via the online chat platform. There is also the option of emailing customer service or submitting a ticket.

One of the best things about CyberGhost is that it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. Should you decide that CyberGhost isn’t the VPN for you, you will receive your money back with no questions asked during that period.

Here is why we love CyberGhost for watching the UFC:

  • Strict No-Logs Policy
  • High speeds
  • Automatic Kill Switch
  • Simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices
  • Easy to use
  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Unlimited bandwidth and traffic
  • OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols
  • Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers

Want to know more about CyberGhost? Find out everything you need to know in our detailed review.

#3 Surfshark

Surfshark VPNAnother excellent choice of VPN for the UFC is Surfshark, which has more than 1,000 servers around the globe. This fairly new service has come a long way in a short period of time and offers extremely fast connections with unlimited simultaneous connections.

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands meaning that it will not “ collect IP addresses, browsing history, session information, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, network traffic, and other similar data.”

Security protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN and military-grade encryption come together with protocols like MultiHop which allow you to connect too more than one server location.

Other highlights include the CleanWeb feature which blocks phishing attacks and malware as well as pesky ads.

“Countless malware-infected websites put your computer at risk. CleanWeb blocks malware so you can surf in a clean cyber ocean. It actively prevents you from accessing any of these malicious websites. Our databases are updated continuously and currently contain over one million infected websites.”

Surfshark is a great choice for accessing the UFC. Here’s why:

  • Great download speeds
  • Zero logging
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited platform protection
  • Unlimited Server Switching
  • Some servers work with Netflix
  • Strong encryption
  • Torrenting allowed
  • CleanWeb feature
  • Unlimited devices
  • Whitelister feature

Want to know more about Surfshark? Find out everything you need to know in our detailed review.

#4 ZenMate

 zenmate 210x100ZenMate is used by 43 million people around the globe and has hundreds of servers in 35 countries. Based in Germany, this VPN is adamant that you will never be identified when using their service.

“We do not store or log your personal data which can be used to identify you or what you’re doing online. We do not monitor your online sessions. In fact – we can’t! Strict German privacy laws regulate our company’s use of your information. As we don’t store the data in the first place, this also means that we can’t be forced into giving away personal data to any government or sell it to any 3rd parties.”

Here are more reasons why ZenMate might be the VPN for you:

  • High-speed servers
  • Kill switch
  • Works with Netflix
  • Simple to use
  • Strict zero-logs policy
  • Offers separate free ad-blocking software
  • Free version available
  • Always on switch
  • 7-day free trial
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Compatible with all major platforms
  • OpenVPN, L2TP protection protocols
  • Identity shield

Want to know more about ZenMate? Find out everything you need to know in our detailed review.

#5 ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN 210x100 bgProtonVPN is often used by those who like to have extra security measures in place. When it comes to the protocols on offer, ProtonVPN has AES-256, highly secure IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN and none of the ProtonVPN servers use the less secure PPTP or IPSec.

There are more than 500 servers to choose from 42 countries. This Swiss-based VPN is meticulous about user privacy and has a true zero logs policy.

“As a Swiss VPN provider, we do not log user activity or share data with third parties. Our anonymous VPN service enables Internet without surveillance.

When you use ProtonVPN, we do NOT do any of the following:

 

  • Log users’ traffic or the content of any communications
  • Discriminate against devices, protocols, or applications

 

  • Throttle your Internet connection”

There is a freemium plan available, which has no bandwidth restrictions and includes country locations in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US.

Here are some more reasons as to why we think it’s a great choice for watching the UFC:

  • Strong encryption
  • Forward secrecy
  • All major platforms covered
  • Strong protocols
  • Swiss Based
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • DNS leak protection
  • Kill switch
  • Tor over VPN
  • Easy to use
  • Professional support
  • P2P support
  • Up to ten devices covered
  • Quick country selector
  • Quick connect

Want to know more about ProtonVPN? Find out everything you to know in our detailed review.

UFC Schedule for 2020

MCGREGOR VS COWBOY

Sun, Jan 19 / 4:00 AM CET / Main Card

T-Mobile Arena

Las Vegas, NV

United States

BLAYDES VS DOS SANTOS

Sun, Jan 26 / 2:00 AM CET / Main Card

PNC Arena

Raleigh, NC

United States

JONES VS REYES

Sun, Feb 9 / 4:00 AM CET / Main Card

Toyota Center

Houston, TX

United States

ANDERSON VS BLACHOWICZ

Sun, Feb 16 / 2:00 AM CET / Main Card

Santa Ana Star Center

Rio Rancho, NM

United States

FELDER VS HOOKER

Sun, Feb 23 / 1:00 AM CET / Main Card

Spark Arena, Auckland

New Zealand

BENAVIDEZ VS FIGUEIREDO

Sun, Mar 1 / 2:00 AM CET / Main Card

Chartway Arena

Norfolk , VA

United States

TBD VS TBD

Sun, Mar 8 / 4:00 AM CET / Main Card

T-Mobile Arena

Las Vegas, NV

United States

TBD VS TBD

Sun, Mar 15 / 1:00 AM CET / Main Card

Nilson Nelson Gymnasium

Brasilia, DF

Brazil

TBD VS TBD

Sun, Mar 22 / 12:00 AM CET / Main Card

O2 Arena, London

United Kingdom

NGANNOU VS ROZENSTRUIK

Sun, Mar 29 / 12:00 AM CET / Main Card

Nationwide Arena

Columbus, OH

United States

KHABIB VS FERGUSON

Sun, Apr 19 / 4:00 AM CEST / Main Card

Barclays Center

Brooklyn, NY

United States

Why Does the UFC Use Blackouts?

The UFC is able to make more money by licensing its content to other providers. These providers resell the same broadcast via individual Fight Pass subscriptions or pay-per-view orders. Splitting the market in this way makes it more profitable for the UFC.

When the UFC agrees to sign over broadcast rights to a certain broadcaster in a different country, it also agrees not to complete with the broadcaster in question, hence the blackouts.

For some years now, the UFC has done anything possible to block any unauthorized broadcasts of fights, taking any action necessary to stop people from pirating its product.

“BT Sport, the broadcasting rights owner for UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) events in the UK has decided that it would be a good idea to charge its subscribers an additional fee to watch big matches. BT Sport has been offering UFC content in the UK since 2013, with the regular subscribers experiencing no weird or optional limitations. However, the company decided to take a turn this Saturday with the UFC 239 match between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. To watch the fight, subscribers were asked for an additional “pay per view” fee of £19.95.

Instead of seeing more money flowing in, BT Sport was met with rejection as its regular subscribers decided to turn to piracy and watch the match through illicit channels. In addition to this momentary failure, BT Sport experienced subscription cancellations, as many were paying for a package only to access UFC events. Obviously, this didn’t play out the way that the broadcasting platform thought it would, and it serves as an example for all live sport streaming platforms which could be processing and evaluating such moves right now.”

Conclusion

When it comes to watching the UFC in 2020 blackouts are inevitable and can be quite challenging if you are not in the United States when the match is on. This is why viewers are able to subscribe to individual Fight Pass subscriptions or pay-per-view orders. However, these aren’t the only solutions.

There are a lot of paid options available, but some might end up being cheaper than others when you use a VPN.

A VPN is the best way to remain anonymous online and save up to half the expected costs when watching the biggest UFC matches in the world.