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How to Watch UFC and Bellator MMA 2020

CableTV.com breaks down the 16 best TV packages and apps for watching MMA action.

Best cable provider for MMA

Price: $49.99–$89.49/mo.
MMA channels: ESPN, CBS Sports Network

Best satellite provider for MMA

Price: $64.99–$134.99/mo
MMA channels: ESPN, CBS Sports Network

Best livestreaming provider for MMA

Price: $64.99–$79.99/mo.
MMA channels: ESPN, CBS Sports Network

Best streaming app for MMA

Price: $5.99/mo.

MMA channel: UFC livestream (excluding pay-per-view)

Fists (and remotes) up: How to watch UFC and Bellator MMA

Unlike most professional sports, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting isn’t seasonal—it goes down year ‘round, meaning there’s almost always some weekend octagon action on TV.

But, MMA is also tougher to watch without a cable, satellite, or livestreaming TV subscription. The bigger name in MMA, UFC, is currently exclusive to ESPN, while Bellator is owned outright by ViacomCBS and therefore corporately coupled to CBS Sports Network. You won’t see either on a broadcast network (sorry, antenna people).

Fortunately, CableTV.com is here to help you navigate MMA’s fight-night submission hold on pay TV. Here are our top picks for watching UFC and Bellator MMA, based on price and availability.

Top TV packages for UFC and Bellator MMA

The channels you’ll need to watch UFC and Bellator MMA

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) events can be seen on ESPN via cable, satellite, and livestreaming TV and ESPN+ (streaming only). The latter, ESPN’s $5.99-a-month app, is the streaming heart of UFC—if you want all of the action, you’ll want ESPN+.

Bellator events are carried live on CBS Sports Network, which is as widely available as ESPN on cable, satellite, and livestreaming TV. DAZN, a popular streaming sports subscription app, also runs live Bellator fights.

Best cable providers for UFC and Bellator

Price UFC and Bellator channels
$49.99–$89.49/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$25.00–$69.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$74.99–$124.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$59.99–$66.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$44.99–$89.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Best satellite providers for UFC and Bellator

Provider
DIRECTV
DISH
Price UFC and Bellator channels
$64.99–$134.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$59.99–$94.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

ESPN and CBS Sports Network aren’t difficult to find on cable and satellite TV services—just be prepared to pay a little more for them with these services. ESPN and CBS Sports Network tend to be available only on pricier upper-tier plans, though ESPN is more likely to be found on some providers’ lower-tier plans.

For cable, we like Xfinity and Cox because they’re both available in large chunks of the country. On the satellite side, DIRECTV is a better pick for sports fans who’re into more than just MMA, though you’re more likely to find cheaper ESPN-only plans with DISH.

Here are CableTV.com’s UFC and Bellator cable picks, based on price and availability:

Here are CableTV.com’s UFC and Bellator satellite. based on price and availability:

Best livestreaming providers for UFC and Bellator

Price UFC and Bellator channels
$64.99–$79.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$64.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$54.99–$60.99/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$55.00–$183.00/mo. ESPN, CBS Sports Network
$30.00–$45.00/mo. ESPN

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

As with cable and satellite, ESPN and CBS Sports Network have solid coverage across the major livestreaming (internet-delivered) TV platforms—with the exception of Sling TV, which doesn’t carry CBS Sports Network.

Like DIRECTV, fuboTV is a great choice for sports fans, especially if your other favorite sport after MMA is soccer—fubo has more fútbol than you probably even knew existed, from all over the world. It’s also more expensive, however; YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are slightly cheaper alternatives in livestreaming.

Here are CableTV.com’s UFC and Bellator livestreaming picks, based on price and availability:

Best streaming apps for UFC and Bellator

Swipe Left to See All →
ProviderPriceUFC or Bellator channels
ESPN+$5.99/mo.1 (UFC)
UFC Fight Pass$9.99/mo. ($95.99/yr.)1 (UFC)
DAZN$19.99/mo. ($99.99/yr.)1 (Bellator)
Pluto TVFree1 (Bellator)

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The ESPN+ streaming app carries all of UFC’s live events, which makes it a great (and inexpensive) choice if UFC is your singular focus. But, you’ll still be shelling out extra money for pay-per-view events, as they don’t come free with ESPN+’s $5.99-a-month subscription.

The UFC Fight Pass streaming app ($9.99 a month or $95.99 a year) delivers live UFC and MMA content beyond what ESPN and ESPN+ carry, including original analysis shows and classic bouts and events. If you remember Strikeforce and Invicta FC, Fight Pass might be for you.

Streaming app DAZN (pronounced “da zone”—clever) carries the Bellator MMA events not shown on CBS Sports Network, as well as live and archived international boxing matches and fighter interviews. At $19.99 a month (or $99.99 a year), DAZN is for serious fisticuffs fans.

Free streaming app Pluto TV (which, like Bellator, is owned by ViacomCBS) features a 24/7 channel dedicated to past Bellator bouts—over 500 and counting. There are unskippable commercial blocks, of course, but free is free.

Here are CableTV.com’s UFC and Bellator streaming app picks:

Final take: UFC and Bellator in the (paid) cage

MMA is one of the most popular sports in the world, but one of the few you have to pay to watch—the fights haven’t caught on with rabbit-ears broadcast TV, despite CBS and FOX’s best swings. ESPN and CBS Sports Network are where it’s at for UFC and Bellator, respectively.

Here are our cable picks for watching UFC and Bellator, based on price and availability:

Here are our satellite picks for watching UFC and Bellator, based on price and availability:

Here are our livestreaming picks for watching UFC and Bellator, based on price and availability:

Here are our standalone streaming app picks for UFC and Bellator:

As AC/DC once observed, “If you want blood, you’ve got it”—now it’s up to you to grapple with your MMA TV choices.

How to watch UFC and Bellator MMA FAQ

Are UFC pay-per-view Fight Night events free on ESPN+?

While UFC Fight Night preliminary bouts leading up to the main events are available for no extra charge on ESPN and ESPN+, the big PPV (pay-per-view) bouts will still cost you $64.99 per event.

New ESPN+ subscribers can bundle in a single PPV Fight Night or event with an annual subscription for $84.98. This can be auto-renewed the following year for the same price—basically, you get one PPV event for $20 instead of $64.99.

Can you stream UFC fights for free?

You can stream previous fights either through ESPN+ or the UFC Fight Pass app for the cost of either’s monthly subscription—the fights are included, but not technically free.

Can you stream Bellator fights for free?

Pluto TV’s Bellator MMA channel (ch. 730) streams past bouts for free 24/7. DAZN also includes an extensive archive of bouts with its $19.99-a-month (or $99.99-a-year) subscription.

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