UFC 252 kicks off this Saturday. And while it’s hardly the , it’s a well worth a watch regardless, playing host to maybe the most compelling heavyweight trilogy fight in UFC history: Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier.
This will be the third time the pair have faced off against one another with the UFC heavyweight title on the line, and there’s an argument to be made that this fight will determine who is the greatest ever in that weight class. Cormier got the better of Miocic with a first round KO during their first encounter. Miocic got his revenge in the second fight after brutalizing Cormier with body shots in a fourth round TKO.
Who will win in the rubber match? It’s incredibly difficult to predict.
Oddsmakers agree. And, despite being basically a coin toss between these two world class heavyweights, I’m picking Cormier. Both are capable of knocking out the other, but Cormier’s a former Olympic wrestler and while he opted to use his wrestling sparingly in the first two fights, he’s openly stated he plans to wrestle in the third fight. That’s bad news for Miocic, who was taken down and mostly held there for the majority of the first round in their last fight.
Beyond the main event, UFC 252 has a few compelling fights. Rising star Sean O’Malley faces off against Marlon Vera — let’s see if that hype train keeps on rolling. Junior Dos Santos takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik in a battle between two of the heavyweight division’s hardest hitters. Those fights alone make UFC 252 worth tuning in for.
How to watch UFC 252
This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, but bad news for consumer choice. Especially if you’re one of the UFC fans who want to watch UFC live in the US.
In the US, if you want to know how to watch UFC 252, you’ll only find the fight night on PPV through ESPN Plus. The cost structure is a bit confusing, but here are the options to watch UFC on ESPN, according to ESPN’s site.
- Existing yearly ESPN Plus subscribers can order the upcoming UFC fight for $65.
- Existing monthly ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to either upgrade to an annual plan and buy UFC PPV for $85 or purchase the ability to watch the UFC event on PPV for $65 by itself.
- New ESPN Plus subscribers can buy a bundle of one UFC PPV event (streaming in HD) and an ESPN Plus annual recurring subscription for $85. The ESPN Plus annual ESPN subscription will autorenew after one year, at the price of an ESPN Plus annual subscription at the time of autorenewal.
You can do all of the above at the link below.
- The main card starts Aug. 15, 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT)
- The prelims start Aug. 15, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT)
- The early prelims start Aug. 15, 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT)
- The main card starts Aug. 16, 3 a.m. BST
- The prelims start Aug. 16, 1 a.m. BST
- The early prelims start Aug. 15, 11 p.m. BST
- The main card starts Aug. 16, 12 p.m. AEDT
- The prelims start Aug. 16, 10 a.m. AEDT
- The early prelims start Aug. 16, 8 a.m. AEDT
The card has already lost a fight — Ion Cutelaba tested positive for COVID-19 so his fight against Magomed Ankalaev has been taked off UFC 252. Here are all the fights we know are on the card at time of writing. We’ll update later with additional info.
- Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier
- Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera
- Junior Dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
- John Dodson vs. Merab Dvalishvili
- Herbert Burns vs. Daniel Pineda
- Jim Miller vs. Vinc Pachel
- Felice Herrig vs. Virna Jandiroba
- TJ Brown vs. Danny Chaves
- Ashley Yoder vs. Livinha Souza
- Chris Daukaus vs. Parker Porter
- Kai Kamaka vs. Tony Kelley