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- Israel Adesanya will defend the UFC Middleweight Championship against Paulo Costa in the main event of UFC 253 on September 26.
- Adesanya and Costa both enter UFC 253 undefeated; Costa is known for his knockout power while Adesanya is respected for his fluid fighting style.
- UFC 253 is the first in a series of five new events planned for UFC's Fight Island campus in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- You'll need an ESPN+ subscription to watch UFC 253 in full — the main card is a $64.99 pay-per-view event, plus the price of your subscription.
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya will defend his title against Brazil's Paulo Costa in a clash of undefeated fighters at UFC 253 on September 26. UFC 253 will stream exclusively via ESPN+ with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET and early prelims beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Adesanya established himself as one of UFC's most dominant champions in 2019, defeating UFC legends Anderson Silva and Robert Whittaker to claim the belt. Costa has a reputation as one of UFC's most powerful fighters, earning knockouts in 11 of his 13 career matches. Positive tests for performance enhancing substances derailed Costa's UFC career in 2018 but his unbeaten record and knockout prowess make him one of UFC's most highly regarded fighters.
UFC 253 is the first in a series of five new events planned for UFC's Fight Island campus on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The league held a previous series of events on the island back in July. The new UFC Fight Island matches will include multiple UFC Fight Night events with high profile fighters, like Holly Holm, Marlon Moraes, and Chan Sung Jung a.k.a. "The Korean Zombie."
Fans will not be in attendance for UFC 253 or any of the other events due to the coronavirus pandemic. UFC has implemented at least 18 different safety precautions for staff, including advanced medical screenings, temperature checks, and social distancing guidelines.
Here's the match schedule for UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa
Early Prelims — 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT only on UFC Fight Pass
- Khadis Ibragimov versus Danilo Marques [Light Heavyweight]
- Juan Espino versus Jeff Hughes [Heavyweight]
Prelims — 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on ESPN+ and ESPN
- William Knight versus Aleksa Camur [Light Heavyweight]
- Shane Young versus Nate Landwehr [Featherweight]
- Diego Sanchez versus Jake Matthews [Welterweight
- Brad Riddell versus Alex Da Silva [Lightweight]
Main Card — 10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT only on ESPN+ for $64.99
- Hakeem Dawodu versus Zubaira Tukhugov [Featherweight]
- Ketlen Vieira versus Sijara Eubanks [Women's Bantamweight]
- Kai Kara-France versus Brandon Royval [Flyweight]
- Dominick Reyes versus Jan Blachowicz [Light Heavyweight]
- Israel Adesanya versus Paulo Costa [Middleweight Title Match]
How to watch UFC 253
UFC 253 is separated into three portions: the early prelims, the prelims, and the main card. The early prelims are only available to UFC Fight Pass subscribers, while the prelims will air on ESPN+ and the ESPN cable channel. The main card, meanwhile, is an ESPN+ exclusive pay-per-view event.
This means that you have to subscribe to the ESPN+ streaming service before you're able to purchase the PPV fight. An ESPN+ membership costs $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year. The UFC 253 PPV event costs $64.99 for ESPN+ subscribers.
You can access the ESPN+ app on all major mobile and connected TV devices, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, and more.
Ways to save on the UFC 253 pay-per-view price
If you plan on signing up for ESPN+ to watch UFC 253, you can take advantage of a special discounted package.
New subscribers can purchase a year-long ESPN+ membership with access to UFC 253 included for a total of $84.98. That's over 25% off the standard price. Following your first year of service, ESPN+ will then renew for the regular annual price of $49.99.
Bundle the next UFC PPV with an ESPN+ Annual Plan to save over 25%
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