In the world of mixed martial arts, one promotion stands tall above the rest: the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Even people who aren’t really into MMA know about the UFC, with the star power of fighters like Conor McGregor and Jon Jones now reaching well outside the Octagon. Online streaming services – in particular, ESPN+ – also now make it easier than ever for fans to enjoy all the action online, from live events and pay-per-views to replays, analysis, interviews, press conferences, and more.
The UFC hosts events pretty much every Saturday and big pay-per-view shows about once a month or so, and the promotion has already hit the ground running in the early part of 2020 so far. Below, we’ve put together a run-down of what to expect for the UFC 2020 schedule as well as a list of which fighters to keep your eyes on, plus a quick guide on how you can watch UFC (including those PPV events) with ESPN+.
How To Watch UFC
You can watch most UFC events with any service (cable, satellite, or streaming) that includes ESPN channels, but ESPN+ is by far the best way to get access to everything – and it’s the one and only way to watch UFC pay-per-view events. It goes without saying that these PPVs are the ones you don’t want to miss: So far for 2020, we’ve seen MMA legends Conor McGregor and Jon Jones step back into the Octagon, and more great stuff is coming down the pipe as the year progresses.
ESPN+ is a premium streaming service which the sports broadcaster launched in early 2018. Sports content tends to have stricter regional restrictions than other types of media, which is part of the reason why ESPN was slower than others to join the streaming revolution; now that ESPN+ is here, though, it has grown into a must-have for fans of MMA, boxing, and all kinds of other sports like Major League Soccer.
Your ESPN+ subscription gives you access to live games and matches, pre- and post-event on-demand content, exclusive shows like Dana White’s Contender Series, and more, which you can enjoy on your computer web browser or your mobile device via the ESPN app. It’s pretty cheap, too, at just $5 per month or $50 per year (a better deal), but if you’re looking for a bigger streaming package, the best value is easilyfor just $13 per month.
UFC 2020 Schedule and Results
UFC 246: Conor McGregor defeats Donald Cerrone
UFC started off 2020 with a bang, with its first pay-per-view event of the year featuring MMA all-star Conor McGregor finally stepping back into the Octagon after a 15-month hiatus for UFC 246 on January 18. It was a performance worthy of McGregor’s pedigree, with “The Notorious” handily defeating Donald Cerrone via a first-round knockout in just 40 seconds.
UFC 247: Jon Jones defeats Dominick Reyes
February saw another iconic UFC star, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, claiming an impressive win. Jones successfully defended his title against undefeated challenger Dominick Reyes, issuing Reyes his first loss via unanimous decision.
UFC 248: Israel Adesanya defeats Yoel Romero
Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title belt for the first time at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7. As predicted, Adesanya remained undefeated, but he do so in a ver lackluster performance. The match against Yoel Romero went the distance without much excitement.
UFC 249: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson on April 18
April will see the UFC’s fourth pay-per-view event, this one also featuring some of the top talent in the MMA world. Undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov – who notably defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229 to defend his belt – will be going fist-to-fist with title challenger and former interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson.
UFC Fighters to Watch out for in 2020
Conor McGregor — Lightweight/Welterweight
Conor McGregor should need no introduction among UFC fans, and even if you’re not that into MMA, chances are good you’ve heard of him. The boisterous Irish fighter, a lightweight-turned-welterweight with a record of 22 wins and four losses, most recently defeated Donald Cerrone at UFC 246 after a 15-month hiatus following his loss to Khabib at UFC 229. There’s little doubt that he’ll be itching for another title shot sooner rather than later – but it’s yet to be seen how he’ll fare at this heavier weight class against talent like Kamaru Usman.
Khabib Nurmagomedov — Lightweight Champion
Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of a very few combatants in the UFC who boast an undefeated record, and a very impressive one at that with 28 professional wins. The Dagestani grappler is the current UFC Lightweight champion, having won the vacant title at UFC 223 when he defeated Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision. Khabib then scored a dominant victory in his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 where he forced “The Notorious” into submission with a fourth-round neck crank.
Jon Jones — Light Heavyweight Champion
Jon Jones is one of the few fighters who is considered to be truly undefeated, even though his official record counts one loss along with his 26 wins. That “loss” came via disqualification due to an illegal move, and Jones’ run has not been without other controversies as well: He was stripped of his light heavyweight title after testing positive for an illegal performance-enhancing substance in 2017, but he reclaimed the belt at UFC 232 and has defended it since – most recently against the formerly undefeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 247.
Daniel Cormier – Heavyweight
Cormier is one of the UFC’s top heavyweights with a record of 22 wins and two losses, although he fought at light heavyweight from 2014 to 2018. For a time, the American held both the light heavyweight and heavyweight championships simultaneously, being the second of four fighters in UFC history to do so. The former champ relinquished the light heavyweight belt before moving back to heavyweight, where he won the title only to lose it in his most recent bout at UFC 241 against Stipe Miocic. Cormier has since stated that his next fight will be his last and that he is hoping for it to be a rematch with Miocic.
Israel Adesanya — Middleweight Champion
Israel Adesanya is a rising star in the world of MMA. The Nigerian-born kickboxer (now fighting out of New Zealand) boasts an undefeated professional record of 19 wins, and with 14 of those being KOs, it’s safe to say that Adesanya is one of the UFC’s premier knockout artists. Adesanya most recently won his March 7 bout defending his title against raising star Yoel Romero at UFC 248.
Amanda Nunes — Double Bantamweight/Flyweight Champion
Hailing from Brazil, Amanda Nunes is a reigning double champion who currently holds both the women’s bantamweight and featherweight title belts – something that should suit the fighter who sits at the number one spot on the UFC woman’s pound-for-pound rankings. She has a professional record of 19 wins and four losses, although she hasn’t lost a single fight since 2014 and has enjoyed three years of successful title defenses so far.
Stipe Miocic — Heavyweight Champion
Currently the reigning UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic is one of only two fighters to have the distinction of beating Daniel Cormier, a victory he won at UFC 241 in 2019 which earned him the title belt (although he lost their first bout at UFC 226 a year earlier). Unfortunately, during his second fight against Cormier, Miocic suffered retinal damage due to multiple eye pokes and is out of action until some time this year.
Francis Ngannou — Heavyweight
Sitting at number two in the UFC’s heavyweight rankings, Cameroonian-French fighter Francis Ngannou is a talent that has flown somewhat under the radar. His record of 14 wins (10 by knockout) and three losses is impressive, and he’s scored some notable victories including his most recent win against Junior dos Santos last June where he was awarded Performance of the Night. Ngannou is next slated to face Jairzinho Rozenstruik on March 28.
Tony Ferguson — Lightweight
Tony Ferguson has been fighting professionally since 2008 and has since enjoyed one of the most successful MMA careers. The American formerly held the interim lightweight championship which he won at UFC 216 in 2017, but was stripped of the title due to an injury that kept him out of the Octagon for a while. However, Ferguson has another shot at the title very soon, as he will be challenging Khabib Nurmagomedov for the belt at UFC 219 on April 18.
Jorge Masvidal — Welterweight
Despite being only 35 years old, American welterweight Jorge Masvidal could be said to have had one of the longest and most impressive runs in MMA history – without having ever held a championship belt. Not an official belt, anyway; last year, UFC President Dana White held a special match for a “BMF” belt, which Masvidal won via decision against Nate Diaz. Nonetheless, we expect that we’ll see him get a proper title shot soon.
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