How to stream Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington in UFC 245

UFC 245: Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington


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UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (15-1) fights Colby Covington (15-1) on Saturday night at UFC 245, and you’d be forgiven for feeling like the soul of America is on the line. Ever since Covington transformed himself into a race-baiting xenophobe two years ago and busted into MMA’s collective consciousness in a MAGA hat, many fans have been praying for his comeuppance. And who better to give it to him than Usman, an American citizen born in Nigeria who is selling himself as the corrective to Covington’s cynicism and political malignancy.

Rarely has an MMA fight—which you can stream on ESPN+—been so loaded with social resonance, so weighed down with meaning.

Anyway, that’s what Usman and Covington and the UFC would like you to believe. They know nothing sells like the culture wars. Or rather they’ve learned it over time. Before Covington’s rebranding as an alt-right rabble-rouser, he was just another mild-mannered wrestler quietly toiling away on the middle rungs of the welterweight division, a bland innocent with a flattop. And before Usman declared himself the defender of all immigrants in the Age of Trump, he was an unassuming fighter with stifling wrestling skills but little fan attention.

Both fighters were mostly forgettable.

And if their respective transformations had never happened, the UFC would have been stuck promoting a championship fight that barely generated interest inside the MMA world, much less outside of it. The UFC’s marketing team would have had trouble convincing fans that such a match, sure to lean heavily on ground-fighting and plodding work against the cage, deserved to headline the last major event of the decade, or that they should spend $80 to watch it on pay-per-view.

Which makes Saturday night’s main event a masterpiece of rebranding and mythmaking by everyone involved. Particularly Covington. As an accomplished athlete sitting at home wondering why no one was paying attention to him and why his paychecks were so small, it’s hard to fault him for making up a controversial new persona, something fans wouldn’t be able to look away from, even if it meant they hated him.

Of course, one has to ask if there wasn’t a slightly different path he could have chosen, something not quite so poisonous. But to hear Covington tell it, that he’s in the UFC at all, much less competing for a title, is proof of the power of poison. Earlier this week he claimed he was on the verge of being let go by the UFC before he made his now-infamous post-fight speech in October 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the one in which he called Brazilians “dirty animals” and announced himself as the UFC’s resident racist. Before that moment, the promotion didn’t see him as its resident anything, despite his success inside the Octagon. He was just another name on the roster.

Afterward, Covington swears, UFC couldn’t wait to give him a new contract. But that could just be more Covington bombast and mythmaking. Either way, Covington got his wish. On ESPN+, hundreds of thousands will pay hard-earned money in the hopes of seeing him lose. Which he won’t, no matter what happens between him and Usman. In the fight game, the self-promotion wizard exists somewhere beyond victory and defeat.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch UFC 245 without cable.

Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington live stream UFC 245 UFC.com

UFC 245: How to watch Usman vs. Covington

Thanks to a huge seven-year deal, ESPN+ is now the only way to watch UFC 245 (and all subsequent UFC PPVs). Aside from ESPN+ becoming your one-stop shop for the MMA promotion, the OTT service also offers the UFC PPVs for $5 less than you used to have to pay. Here’s how it breaks down:

UFC 245 cost:

In other words, you can buy UFC 245 for $59.99, but if you spend just $20 more, you’ll also receive one year of ESPN+ for free. That’s a $50 value, and if you’re a big MMA fan, that’s a nice deal. Along with plenty of exclusive live events (see below), you can also watch 20 UFC Fight Night events every year with ESPN+.

If you don’t currently subscribe to ESPN+, you can purchase UFC 245 from your desktop or smartphone here. If you already subscribe, you can easily buy the PPV from the ESPN app by simply clicking on the event in the ESPN+ tab.

One thing to remember: Only the UFC 245 main event card will be featured on ESPN+, and you will have to pay the $59.99 PPV fee (full schedule and watch guide below). Here’s the main event card:

  • Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
  • Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski
  • Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo
  • Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

What is ESPN+?

Devices: Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku players and TV, Oculus Go, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices

ESPN+ is ESPN’s subscription streaming service. It works as an extension of the ESPN app that you probably already have on your mobile device. Have you ever noticed the live events, articles, or series tagged with a gold “E+” in the corner of the app? Those are the ones that are locked behind the ESPN+ paywall. It’s literally thousands of events per year, including the aforementioned 20 UFC Fight Nights and a bunch of exclusive Top Rank boxing events. You’ll also get all of the best 30 for 30 episodes, daily MLB action, every out-of-market MLS game, international soccer matches, and more college sports than you can dream of.

Along with access to a number of original series, your ESPN+ subscription also gives you fewer ads across the ESPN network.

TL;DR: It’s a pretty great deal and essential for just about every sports fan.


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UFC 245 live stream: ESPN2 prelims

In case you need a reminder: Your ESPN+ subscription will not allow you to watch the ESPN2 prelims for free. You’ll still have to have a cable or live TV subscription to watch it on the network beginning at 8pm ET. Here are the matches you’ll be able to watch on ESPN2:

  • Geoff Neal vs. Mike Perry
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana
  • Ian Heinisch vs. Omari Akhmedov
  • Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders

If you don’t already have a way to watch ESPN2 online, every major live TV streaming service carries the channel, and all of them offer at least a one-week free trial before you have to start paying. Once you download the ESPN app and punch in your credentials, you can watch the prelims and the main event from one convenient location. Here are a few options for you:

1) Hulu with Live TV

  • Cost: $54.95 per month
  • Devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices

2) Sling TV

3) YouTube TV

  • Cost: $49.99 per month
  • Devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
  • YouTube TV channels

Usman vs Covington UFC 245 streaming UFC.com

UFC 245 live stream: Fight Pass early prelims

For the die-hard fans out there, UFC’s Fight Pass carries the early prelims, which start at 6:30pm ET. Here’s the full Fight Pass lineup:

  • Chase Hooper vs. Daniel Teymur
  • Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara France
  • Jessica Eye vs. Viviane Araujo
  • Punahele Soriano vs. Oskar Piechota

UFC Fight Pass launched in 2014. The service hosts the early undercard bouts of every UFC PPV, and it’s also where you’ll find the smaller, more local UFC events that aren’t picked up by ESPN (it’s also begun hosting more boxing cards). The app is incredibly versatile. You can download it via Apple TVXbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, LG smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices.

Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington live stream schedule

All times in ET.

Main card | 10pm on ESPN+

  • Kamaru Usman vs. Colby Covington
  • Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski
  • Amanda Nunes vs. Germaine de Randamie
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo
  • Petr Yan vs. Urijah Faber

Prelims | 8pm on ESPN2

  • Geoff Neal vs. Mike Perry
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Irene Aldana
  • Ian Heinisch vs. Omari Akhmedov
  • Matt Brown vs. Ben Saunders

Early Prelims | 6:30pm on Fight Pass

  • Chase Hooper vs. Daniel Teymur
  • Brandon Moreno vs. Kai Kara France
  • Jessica Eye vs. Viviane Araujo
  • Punahele Soriano vs. Oskar Piechota

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Josh Rosenblatt

Josh Rosenblatt

Josh Rosenblatt is the author of "Why We Fight," published by Ecco, and the former founding editor of Fightland. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.