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Here’s everything you need to know to watch the featherweight matchup.
Both Emmanuel Sanchez and Georgi Karakhanyan are in need of a victory on Friday. Both are coming off losses the last time they performed in Bellator, and both are trying to get back into the featherweight title picture.
The last time they engaged with each other, Sanchez won a majority decision at Bellator 170 in January 2017. At Bellator 218, Karakhanyan gets another crack at him.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch Bellator 218 and the Sanchez vs. Karakhanyan live stream for free on DAZN.
Bellator 218: Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
- When: Friday, March 22 at 6:45pm ET (prelims); 9pm ET (main card)
- Where: WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK
- Streaming: DAZN (free with one-month free trial)
If you have cable TV, you can watch the Bellator 218 card on the Paramount Network. But if you’ve cut the cord, DAZN is the way to live stream Sanchez vs. Karakhanyan. A subscription to DAZN costs $9.99 per month—more on that below—but if you’ve never subscribed before, you also get an extensive one-month free trial. That means you can watch Bellator 218 and Sanchez vs. Karakhanyan for free.
DAZN has been a great resource for boxing and MMA fans. It was introduced to U.S. audiences in September 2018, and since then, the service has signed Canelo Alvarez to a $365 million deal and Gennady Golovkin to a rich contract. Considering DAZN is also the platform to watch heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, that means the service has three of the most popular boxers in the world. For MMA, it’s been streaming Bellator, and DAZN says that with the two combat sports combined, it’s showing more than 100 fights per year.
But that $9.99 per month deal that used to feature the best free trial in all of streaming will change next week, when the monthly cost jumps to $9.99 per week or $99.99 annually. If you sign up before March 25, you’ll be able to lock in the current rate (and the free trial).
DAZN works with Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and both iOS and Android phones. All you have to do is download the DAZN app and log-in with your subscription credentials. You can also stream via computer browsers Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Opera.
Sanchez vs. Karakhanyan: Why it matters
In his last fight, Sanchez (17-4) competed for the featherweight title, losing to Patricio Freire by unanimous decision last December. But he’s still a top-notch fighter. The sting of the loss, though, still pains him, even though Freire later called him one of the toughest opponents he’d ever faced.
“That’s life,” Sanchez told MMA Junkie. “Sometimes you don’t get that job you desperately want. Sometimes you don’t get the pay raise that you wanted or whatever it is you do in life, but that doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen.
“You always have to think of the positives and still stay hungry, stay encouraged, stay motivated. Never lose your passion, never lose your desire. And that’s how I feel.”
Karakhanyan (27-8-1) likely feels the same way now that he gets another shot at Sanchez. Originally, he had signed to face another fighter on the card, but two days after inking that deal, he was informed that Sanchez was his new opponent.
“And that was it, man. I was pretty excited and I couldn’t resist and I said, ‘Yeah just send me the fucking contract. Let’s do this.’” Karakhanyan told MMA Mania. “It’s going to be a little different because we fought in 2017 and I was a totally different fighter. I’m pretty sure he’s improved and I improved and … it’s just going to be a little different, you know? I’m going at this with a different approach and I do not want to let this go to the judges.”
The first time they met, Sanchez performed well early, nabbing the first couple of rounds, but he was also penalized a point for an illegal knee and then lost the third round. Eventually, Sanchez pulled out the victory. On Friday, Karakhanyan is looking for the opposite result.
“Emmanuel brings a lot of things to the table,” Karakhanyan told MMA Junkie. “There’s not just one thing you’ve got to watch out for from him. He has multiple things. I like forward-pressure fighters because that’s my style, too. … I feel very excited fighting him and this time around will be different.”
Bellator 218 live stream schedule
Main card | 9pm ET
- Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
- Valentin Moldavsky vs. Linton Vassell
- Anatoly Tokov vs. Gerald Harris
- Norbert Novenyi Jr. vs. Will Lavine
Preliminary card | 6:45pm ET
- Malin Hermansson vs. Victoria Leonardo
- Vladimir Tokov vs. Ryan Walker
- Jordan Newman vs. Joseph Holmes
- Christian Edwards vs. Roman Huerta
- John Macapa vs. Kevin Croom
- Johnny Eblen vs. Chauncey Foxworth
- Ky Bennett vs. Deborah Kouzmin
- Craig Fairley vs. Luis Erives
- Aaron Vickers vs. Isaiah Gutierrez
- Nation Gibrick vs. Nick Page
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Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.