Like many other sporting events, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been seriously impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. But UFC supremo, Dana White, has been determined to keep the action alive – though behind closed doors. Now, the date for UFC 253 has finally been announced. The UFC and president Dana White confirmed Adesanya vs Costa for UFC 253 set UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, September 26.
UFC 253 is an upcoming mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that is set to take place on September 26, 2020, at the UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Several bouts have been announced including the UFC Middleweight Championship bout between Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa. Others include the Women’s Strawweight bout, Featherweight bout, Heavyweight bout, Bantamweight bout, Flyweight bout, and Light heavyweight bout.
When is the UFC 253?
UFC 253 has been set to take place on September 26, 2020. The event is scheduled to take place in the UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, although the specific venue is yet to be decided.
Early prelim – 3:15 PM (PST) 6:15 PM (EST) (ESPN/ESPN+)
Prelims – 5:00PM (PST) 8:00 PM (EST) (ESPN/ESPN+)
Main Card (Pay Per View) – PPV 7:00PM (PST) 10:00 PM (EST) (ESPN+)
Who is the headliner for the main event?
The UFC Middleweight Championship bout between the current champion, Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa will serve as the headliner for the main event.
UFC 253 Background
The UFC 235 is going to be an exciting event with a series of bouts lined up. The bout between Adesanya and Costa was originally targeted for UFC 248, but Costa wasn’t able to compete because of an injury. Adesanya faced former title challenger, Yoel Romero, and won.
Officials initially targeted a welterweight bout between former UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley, and dormer interim champion, Colby Covington to serve as the headliner but Woodley announced his injuries would not allow him adequately prepare before the date.
Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa Fight Preview
The UFC 253: Israel Adesanya vs Costa fight will be a great battle between two formidable opponents. When it does happen, it will be the second time in UFC’s history where two undefeated men will clash for a UFC title. The first happened at UFC 98 in 2009 when Rashad Evans defended his title against Lyoto Machida, which he won by knockout.
The two men hate each other, and it’s not fake feuds. With series of trash-talking between both men to the point where Adesanya, “The Last Stylebender” accused Costa “Borrachinha” of being on steroids and Costa mocking Adesanya’s power and thin frame. The fight was supposed to go down in UFC 248 but Costa tore his left biceps.
It’s not going to be an easy match for both opponents. Costa is known for his insane pressure and is just going to keep throwing everything he’s got so hard at Adesanya and he has the strength to do that all rounds. His physique and power are superb.
Adesanya is a great fighter with quality skills and technicalities. His records are even more impressive considering he has won all of his 19 previous bouts. Costa also has all of his previous 13 bouts.
It’s going to a thrilling, and exciting and we all anticipate the arrival of September 9, 2020.
Paulo Costa’s Last Fight vs Romero Analysis (UFC 241, Aug 18, 2019)
The middleweight showdown between Yoel Romero and Costa was an intense fight, where both men put each other through hell in the quest for victory.
Just minutes into the first round, Costa dropped Romero; but moments later Romero retaliated with a heavy shot that landed Costa to the floor. However, Costa delivered a series of heavy punches that caused Romero to collapse to the canvas. The second round continued with Costa slightly dominating.
The turn came in the third round when Romero started the final round with some clean power punches to Costa’s face. Costa returned punches, as well as body kicks. With two minutes to the end of the round, the two decided to let it go due to exhaustion.
Although a close call, Costa won with a unanimous victory of 29-28 across the board – one of the best fights of last year!
Israel Adesanya’s Last Fight vs Romero analysis (UFC 248, March 7, 2020)
Israel successfully fended off Yoel Romero’s bid for his middleweight title in the main event of UFC 248 from Las Vegas, but the fight was quite an uneventful affair in which both fighters played safe.
Romeo came out waiting for Adesanya to make the first move. Although the challenger gave some moves, it was nothing Adesanya couldn’t handle. As Adesanya tried to go on the offensive in the second round, he was met with effective aggression from Romero.
Changing tactics in the third round, Adesanya relied heavily on his leg kicks, which he used to deliver deadly strikes to Romero’s lead leg as the fight progressed. But that was enough to see him retain the title at the end of the fifth round.
Both fighters were risk-averse but Adesanya eventually had the upper hand, extending his undefeated record to 19-0-0.
How Much Does UFC 253 Cost?
The main card of UFC 253 is available via per-per-view on ESPN+ for fans in the United States. However, you need to first have a monthly or annual subscription to ESPN+.
For current yearly ESPN+ subscribers, the PPV price for UFC 253 is $64.99.
Existing monthly ESPN+ subscribers will either be able to upgrade to an annual plan and purchase PPV for $84.98 OR purchase UFC PPV for $64.99.
New ESPN+ subscribers can buy a bundle of UFC 53 (streaming in HD) and an ESPN+ annual recurring subscription for $84.98. The ESPN+ annual subscription will auto-renew after one year at the price of the renewal rate.
Different other countries have their channels where you can watch the match from. However, prices vary globally depending on your location. More on that in the following subsections.
How to Watch Via a VPN
UFC has seen an increase in popularity across the globe in the last two decades. However, for fans all around the world, watching a UFC live event can be a pricey affair – just think PPV in the US, for instance. However, with a VPN, you can mask your IP address to look like you’re connecting from another country. This can be useful considering some countries air the events more cheaply or even free.
ExpressVPN is the trusted leader among VPNs. They currently have three plans:
1-month plan at $12.95 per month
6 months plan at $9.99 per month
15 months plan at $667 per month.
Here’s how to watch UFC with a VPN:
Get a VPN subscription (ExpressVPN recommended).
Download the VPN software on the device you want to watch UFC.
Open the VPN and connect to the server of the country you want to watch from.
Visit the streaming site for that country.
Search the name of the events and make payments as though you were from that country.
Enjoy the fight!
How To Watch Without Cable
There are several cable alternative streaming services in the market. The only catch is you’ll only be able to stream a fraction of the matches that air on ESPN’s networks, but will still require an ESPN+ subscription. Top streaming options include:
AT&T TV Now
Hulu + Live TV
UFC Fight Pass and,
YouTube TV requires a monthly subscription fee of $65. It comes with an additional premium channel in offer and ESPN. It now supports HBO and Cinemax as add-ons.
You get unlimited DVDR cloud storage. You should note that YouTube TV cannot be streamed on Fire devices yet, but it’s available on Xbox One. You’ll also have to pay to view PPV events ($64.99).
Sling TV has two packages which include ESPN channels: The Orange Plan for $30 per month and Blue + Orange Plan for $45.
Sling is available on Roku devices, LG and Samsung smart TVs, and Xbox One. You will receive 50 hours of cloud storage. Since UFC 253 is a PPV event, you’ll have to pay $64.99 to watch it.
AT&T TV requires a two-year contract. The plan starts at $60/month for the first year, then increases to $93/month in the second year. You’ll gain access to ESPN and ESPN2 where you can watch UFC. It comes with 500 hours of DVR storage. To watch UFC 253, you have to pay for an ESPN+ subscription and PPV event ($64.99).
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu’s Live TV contains over 60 channels, including ESPN and many other major networks as part of its $55/month Live TV plan. If all you want is ESPN+, then they have a $12.99/month bundle that includes Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN. You can also record up to 50 hours to Hulu’s cloud DVR.
Other Streaming Platforms
ESPN+ is home for the UFC PPV and live events. Luckily, you can also stream it on your Roku, Fire Tv, Apple Tv, Android devices, and iOS devices. But before that, you have to first subscribe to ESPN+.
Each device has a unique process of accessing ESPN+ but they all involve downloading and (or) starting the ESPN app, then selecting the ESPN+ subscription. After logging in, note down the activation code. Then visit http://espn.com/activate/ to enter the activation code. Thereafter, either login to your existing ESPN account or create a new one. Once completed, your subscription will be linked to your device.
How to Watch in The UK
In the UK, BT Sport has exclusive broadcast rights to UFC events. Subscribers can watch every UFC Fight shown on BT Sport. For the specific time and channel, you should check your TV listings before the event.
UFC 253 is a big-ticket ‘numbered’ fight. But the good news for UK subscribers is that you do not need to pay the expensive PPV of $65 for a single event those in the US will pay. The best deal available is the £25 BT Sport Monthly Pass. With it, you have access to all UFC fights – cool, isn’t it?
Most big card fights like UFC 253 will begin seeing coverage by 1 am BST on Saturday/Sunday morning (26th September). The main card will commence by 3 am BST.
How To Watch In Australia
You can watch UFC 253 on the streaming service, Kayo Sport. They are ESPN’s partner in Australia. The basic cost is $25 per month to stream on two screens. The premium plan allows streaming on three screens and it costs $35 a month.
On TV, Foxtel Sport is where Aussie UFC fans watch the Fight Night actions – you’ll need to purchase a Sport Package.
Since UFC 253 is a PPV event, you need to pay extra. You can watch UFC 253 on Kayo but you need to pay. You can also watch it via Foxtel Main Event or stream with UFC Fight Pass but you’d need to pay around $54.95.
Coverage for the main card will start by noon AEST, Sunday, 20th September 2020.
How to Watch in Canada
Canadians can watch UFC 253 either on TV or online. UFC 253 PPV event will be covered by major cable providers including Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Bell, and Eastlink, but you’ll have to pay $64.99 to watch the event.
UFC Fight Pass is your safest bet if you want to watch it online. You will be required to pay the pay-per-view costs of $64.99. But for other UFC fights you can stream it on The Sports Network at $4.99 per day or $19.99 per month subscription.
The main event will start at 9 pm Central Time Zone, Saturday, 26th September 2020. Make sure to convert to the appropriate time zone based on your region in Canada.
UFC 253 Fight Card
After many deliberations, and adjustment, here is the full list of the bouts taking place with UFC 253.
Middleweight bout: Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa [Headliner]
Women’s Strawweight bout: Mackenzie Dern vs Randa Markos
Featherweight bout: Hakeen Dawodu vs Zubaira Tukhugov
Heavyweight bout: Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Ciryl Gane
Bantamweight bout: Casey Kenney vs Heili Alateng
Flyweight bout: Jordan Espinosa vs David Dvorak
Light heavyweight bout: Johnny Walker vs Ryan Spann
Prediction and Odds (Adesanya vs Costa)
The fight between Israel, a master technician, and Costa, a pressure fighter is going to see Costa come in full force, trying to close in on range to deliver devastating impacts. Israel, the slick technician is going to rely on his adept understanding of range, and distance, as well as his amazing footwork.
As it stands, Adesanya is favored by pundits to win the fight, but Costa is going to be a formidable underdog.
The odds are set as:
Israel Adesanya to Win -150
Paulo Costa to Win +120