If you’re ready to watch UFC 253, you already know you’ve got an exciting main card with two title fights to close out the show.
In the Main Event, the UFC Lightweight title is on the line, as champion Israel Adesanya defends his belt for the second time. This time he faces a fighter that is his equal in professional perfection, because challenger Paulo Costa is undefeated as well. Both fighters are known for quick and powerful strikes, so expect fireworks in this one.
In the co-main event, Jon “Bones” Jones’ vacated Light Heavyweight championship is up for grabs. Now Dominick Reyes, who gave Jones his toughest challenge in years this February, will fight Jan Blachowicz for the strap.
You can stream this striker vs. striker battle live Saturday Night with UFC 252 Pay-Per-View featuring Adesanya vs. Costa (opens in new tab) in the ESPN app.
When is UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa?
UFC 253 will be broadcast live on Saturday, September 26, from the UFC Fight Island, also known as Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
UFC 253 (opens in new tab) will be a split-broadcast event available with cards on ESPN Plus(ESPN+), ESPN2 and PPV, but you can see everything in the ESPN app. The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. and the Main Card PPV will start at 10 p.m.
In the U.K., UFC 253 is available on BT Sport1HD which is a part of the BT Sport Pass (opens in new tab). The Prelims begin at 1 a.m. British time, and the Main Card starts at 3 a.m. British time. Replays of the entire card will be available the next day in the BT Sport app.
How to watch UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa
In the U.S., you can watch UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa on ESPN+ by purchasing the ESPN+ UFC 253 Pay-Per-View. You have a few options to choose from, and it breaks down like this.
- If you are new to ESPN+, you can get a special offer of UFC 253 PPV and a full year subscription to ESPN+ for only $84.98 (opens in new tab).
- If you already have a monthly ESPN+ subscription, you can upgrade to an annual plan to bundle UFC 253 PPV and a full year subscription to ESPN+ for only $84.98 (opens in new tab).
- If you already have any ESPN+ subscription or get ESPN+ through the Disney+ bundle, you can choose to only purchase UFC 253 PPV for only $64.99 (opens in new tab).
In the U.K., UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa is available on BT Sports Pass (opens in new tab) for £25 a month.
How to watch UFC 253 Prelims in the U.S.
ESPN networks owns over 10 different channels, but the UFC 253 Prelims will be on both ESPN2 and ESPN+ (opens in new tab). This Prelims Card includes five fights including a bout between two Lightweights, when Brad “Quake” Riddell (8-1) faces Alex “Leko” da Silva (21-2).
You can get the UFC 253 Prelims from ESPN2 on five of the largest live TV streaming services. Hulu with Live TV (opens in new tab) and some of the other services offer a variety of free trials, while Sling TV (opens in new tab)’s Orange Plan offers the lowest regular price.
Fubo TV (opens in new tab) is new to the UFC game, as the live TV streaming service just added ESPN. You can also watch the UFC 253 Prelims on YouTube TV (opens in new tab) and AT&T TV Now, and they could be better options for big time fans of other sports too, because they offer a wider selection of other sports channels.
UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa — The Main Event Preview
All times shown are Eastern time.
• Prelims: 7 p.m. ESPN+ / ESPN2
• Main Card: 10 p.m. PPV
• Post Show: 1 a.m. ESPN+
The full event fight card
• Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa
• Dominick Reyes vs. Jan Blachowicz
• Kai Kara-France vs. Brandon Royval
• Ketlen Vieira vs. Sijara Eubanks
• Hakeem Dawodu vs. Zubaira Tukhugov
• Brad Riddell vs. Alex Da Silva
• Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Matthews
• Shane Young vs. Ludovit Klien
• William Knight vs. Aleksa Camur
• Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes
• Khadis Ibragimov vs. Danilo Marques
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (19-0) is the UFC Middleweight Champion and the fourth ranked fighter in the Men’s Pound-For-Pound rankings. Adesanya is both undefeated and undisputed. He won the interim title from Kelvin Gastelum in the 2019 Fight of the Year, then unified the title by finishing Robert Whittaker with a phenomenal knockout left hook.
Adesanya defended his title once already this year, when he defeated Yoel Romero by unanimous decision at UFC 248 right before the pandemic led to shutdowns across the country and in the sports world. He is Nigerian by blood, and a New Zealander by birth, and he’s got experience as a champion in multiple promotions, including AFC and Hex.
Paulo “The Eraser” Costa (13-0) is the number two contender for the UFC Middleweight title, and like Adesanya, he has never lost in his professional mixed martial arts career. The similarity between these two fighters doesn’t end there, as both are relatively new to the UFC. Costa has only had five fights with the promotion after he made the move over from Jungle Fight MMA back in 2017.
In these last three plus years, Costa has been busy fighting some of the best of the Middleweight field, and they have resulted in action packed fights. In his last fight, Costa went the distance against another top five fighter, Yoel Romero. The fight had vicious strikes from the first minute to the last, and Costa earned a unanimous decision and Fight of the Night honors. Now he will need to keep his hands busy if he hopes to go strike for strike with Adesanya.
UFC 253 (opens in new tab) has another title fight on the Main Card and it’s for a surprising reason. After UFC 252, the number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter Jon “Bones” Jones dropped his Light Heavyweight championship and that vacant title needs to be filled.
Enter Dominick Reyes (12-1) vs. Jan Blachowicz (26-8), where these two fighters will compete for the undisputed Light Heavyweight title. Reyes’ only loss was to Jones earlier this year, and it came in a fight that went the distance. There are many MMA commentators, writers, and fans who believe Reyes should have won the decision in that fight. Blachowicz may not have gotten a shot at Jones, but he’s been outstanding of late, going 7-1 in his last eight fights.
How to watch UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa in the U.K.
UK fight fans can watch UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa live stream on BT Sport. You don't need a long term contract either with the BT Sport Pass (opens in new tab). For just £25 a month, fans can see UFC Fight Night events along with Premier League football and tons of other sports.
BT Sport Pass (opens in new tab): £25 a month
You can watch the BT Sport coverage live stream of UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa starting at 1 a.m. BST. The event will stream in the BT Sport Box Office app, available for iOS and Android, or on the BT Sport website.
How to watch UFC 253 Adesanya vs. Costa on your devices
The ESPN app has everything you need to watch all of UFC 253 online on your TV. If you need help, we can guide you through how to login and watch ESPN+ on your TV. The ESPN app is available on the major streaming platforms and game consoles including iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Roy Delgado is a freelance writer for WhatToWatch. His focus is streaming, specializing on sports. He binge-streams 32 games over the first two days of NCAA March Madness annually. He built his own DVR 15 years ago, and still tinkers to make his media setup its best.
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