What is ESPN+? How to watch UFC 297: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis through streaming app

The UFC bantamweight title is on the line when Sean Strickland defends the belt against Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 on January 20. The fight is in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, the UFC’s first visit to Toronto since 2018.

Strickland is 15-5 in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2014. He had his six-fight win streak snapped by Alex Pereira, considered a top contender fight. After losing another fight against Jared Cannonier, the 32-year-old went 3-0 in 2023, beating Nassourdine Imavov and Abusupiyan Magomedov before outclassing Israel Adesanya in September to win the UFC middleweight title.

A former kickboxing champion, du Plessis turned pro in 2013. The South African won welterweight and middleweight gold while with EFC and KSW. Joining the UFC in 2020, du Plessis is 6-0 with the promotion, with his last contest being a TKO win against former champion Robert Whittaker in July. The challenger, who has attempted to psyche Strickland out by bringing up his rough childhood, believes he not only has the mental edge but also the edge in the octagon.

“Yes, he has great boxing, but this is not boxing,” du Plessis told TNT Sports via Sportskeeda. “This is MMA. And I will make sure to test him on every single aspect of MMA, and I know for a fact that I am better than him in every single aspect of MMA.”

WATCH: UFC 297: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis, exclusively on ESPN+

The co-main event will be Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant UFC bantamweight title. Pennington turned pro in 2012 and is 12-5 with the UFC. On a five-fight win streak, Pennington competes for the title for the second time in her career. Silva is a former Dana White’s Contender Series alum and is 6-2-1 with one no-contest in the octagon. “Sheetara” was on a three-fight win streak when she beat Holly Holm in July, a fight that got overturned after she tested positive for ADHD medication.

Fans must download the ESPN+ app to watch UFC 297.

What is ESPN+?

ESPN+ was founded in 2018 as an OTT streaming service. A standalone service to ESPN’s linear coverage of sports, the app provides access to live sports, exclusive on-demand documentaries and shows, and more.

Live content available on the app includes the four major sports (NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA), as well as soccer and the WNBA. It also signed a deal with the UFC, Professional Fighters League, and Top Rank Boxing, making it the premier home of combat sports.

ESPN+ is separate from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN News. A subscription will not grant you access to live broadcasts of those channels. The app is available on phones, tablets, laptops, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox One X|S, and Samsung Smart TVs.

MORE: Ranked: The 25 best MMA fighters under the age of 25

UFC and ESPN+

ESPN became the exclusive broadcast partner of the UFC after inking a seven-year deal worth around $300 million per year. The former maintains exclusive rights to all UFC PPV broadcasts. That started with UFC 236 (Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier 2) in 2019.

Sports Business Journal was the first to report both parties agreed to a two-year extension that runs until 2025. The only exception to outside streaming happen to be bars and restaurants.

“We’re really redefining the pay-per-view business,” Endeavor President Mark Shapiro said at the time. “It’s not moving away from pay-per-view. It’s evolving the pay-per-view model to be more in line with how fans are watching sports today.”

What UFC fights will be on ESPN+ in 2024? 

UFC 297 is in Canada on January 20. The main event is Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis for the UFC middleweight title. The co-main event is Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the UFC bantamweight title.

Other UFC fights on the app include:

  • February 3: Roman Dolidze vs. Nassourdine Imavov
  • February 10: Jack Hermansson and Joe Pyfer
  • February 17: UFC 298 – Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Ilia Topuria for the UFC featherweight title
  • February 24: UFC Mexico City: Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval 2
  • March 9: UFC 299 – Sean O’Malley (c) vs. Marlon Vera 2 for the UFC bantamweight title
  • March 16: Tai Tuivasa vs. Marcin Tybura
  • March 30: UFC Atlantic City – Sean Brady vs. Vicente Luque
  • April 6: Marvin Vettori vs. Brendan Allen
  • April 13: UFC 300 – Zhang Weili (c) vs. Yan Xiaonan for the UFC strawweight title

MORE: MMA Awards 2023: Best Knockout, Submission, Upset

How to watch UFC 297: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis

UFC 297 will air exclusively on pay-per-view. Here are the various ways you can watch the event in your country.

Country Date Channel + Live Stream (main card)
United States Saturday, January 20 ESPN+, ESPN PPV
Canada Saturday, January 20 BELL, Rogers, Shaw, SaskTel,  Videotron, Telus, Eastlink, UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass
United Kingdom Sunday, January 21 TNT Sports, TNT Sports Box Office
Australia Sunday, January 21 Main Event, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV, UFC PPV on UFC Fight Pass

Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis PPV price: How much does UFC 297 cost?

In the U.S., the UFC 297 main card is available via pay-per-view on ESPN+, which also requires a subscription. The PPV price for UFC 297 is $79.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers can pay a bundle price of $134.98 for the UFC 297 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription, which offers savings of more than 30 percent.

In the UK, the main card is on TNT Sports Box Office and will cost £19.99.

WATCH: UFC 297: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis, exclusively on ESPN+

Product Prices
ESPN+ Monthly Subscription $10.99/mo
ESPN+ Annual Subscription $109.99/yr
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu Ad-Supported $14.99/mo
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu No-Ads $24.99/mo
UFC PPV Standalone $79.99 each
UFC PPV Package (UFC PPV & ESPN+ Annual) $134.98, then $109.99/year
UFC PPV & The Disney Bundle

$79.99, then $14.99/mo

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

What time is UFC 297: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis today?

The early prelims start at 6 p.m. ET, with the prelims at 8 p.m. ET. The main card is at 10 p.m. ET. Strickland and du Plessis should make their way to the octagon around 12:15 a.m. ET, depending on how long the undercard fights last.

Region Date Early Prelims Start Time Prelims Start Time Main Card Start Time Main Event Ring Walks (approx.)
USA and Canada (ET) Saturday, January 20 6 p.m. ET 8 p.m. ET 10 p.m. ET 12:15 a.m. ET
USA and Canada (PT) Saturday, January 20 3 p.m. PT 5 p.m. PT 7 p.m. PT 9:15 p.m. PT 
UK and Ireland Sunday, January 21 11 p.m. GMT 1 a.m. GMT 3 a.m. GMT 5:15 a.m. GMT
Australia Sunday, January 21 10 a.m. AEDT 12 p.m. AEDT 2 p.m. AEDT 4:15 p.m. AEDT

UFC 297 fight card

Main card

  • Sean Strickland (c) vs. Dricus du Plessis for the UFC middleweight title
  • Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the UFC bantamweight title
  • Neil Magny vs. Mike Malott; Welterweights
  • Chris Curtis vs. Marc-Andre Barriault; Middleweights
  • Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev; Featherweights

Prelims

  • Brad Katona vs. Garrett Armfield; Bantamweights
  • Charles Jourdain vs. Sean Woodson; Featherweights
  • Serhiy Sidey vs. Ramon Taveras; Bantamweights
  • Gillian Robertson vs. Polyana Viana; Strawweights

Early Prelims

  • Yohan Lainesse vs. Sam Patterson; Welterweights
  • Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Priscila Cachoeira; Flyweights
  • Malcolm Gordon vs. Jimmy Flick; Flyweights

Source

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