After much behind the scenes drama in April, UFC 249 is finally set to go live this May. It’s been a long time in the making, but now we’ve had the weigh-ins for the headline fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje, there’s no turning back. Yes, the big event is finally set to go ahead behind closed doors on May 9 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida – no private islands necessary. Read on as we explain how to watch UFC 249 and live stream the Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje fight online tonight no matter where you are in the world. Plus, details of the big fight card and the key start times for the UK, US, Australia and more.

UFC 249 cheat sheet

UFC 249 is tonight (Saturday, May 9) in the US. Things get underway with the early prelims at around 6pm ET/3pm PT, which is 11pm BST in the UK. Ferguson vs Gaethje is provisionally slated for 10pm ET/7pm PT/3am BST. American readers wanting to cut to the chase need only know that ESPN+ will be the place to watch the fight tonight.

Tony Ferguson heads into this eagerly anticipated UFC 249 clash as the firm favorite, with the 36-year-old American already regarded as one of the best lightweight fighters of all-time. He was hoping to secure his legacy in the original headline match, which had him set to go up against Russia’s Khabib Nurmagomedov – the Eagle being perhaps best known for his clinical neck crank defeat of Conor McGregor back in October 2018.

Since then, Khabib has successfully defended his title against Dustin Poirier. But now he’s stranded in Russia due to the country’s Covid-19 travel restrictions, so UFC fans will once again have to wait to see the long-anticipated Ferguson vs Khabib fight – a seemingly cursed octagon encounter that has now been put off an almost laughable FIVE times.

Enter Justin Gaethje, a 31-year-old American who currently sits at fourth in the UFC lightweight rankings. While not necessarily the blockbuster opponent Khabib represent, he’s well-respected in MMA circles and poses a significant threat to Ferguson in a fight that will be shown exclusively via ESPN+ in the US.

The winner of the new UFC 249 headline fight will be crowned the interim UFC lightweight champion – and no doubt fight Khabib at a later date. Tempted? Our guide explains how to watch UFC 249 and live stream Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje from anywhere in the world – as well as telling you all about tonight’s card and the Ferguson vs Gaethje time.

How to watch UFC 249: live stream Ferguson vs Gaethje online in the US exclusively on ESPN+

Regular UFC viewers in the US will likely know that ESPN+ has the exclusive rights to all of the UFC fights around. That means it’s your one and only place to watch UFC 249 on Saturday, May 9, with the latest promotional materials still indicating a 10pm ET start time (7pm PT) for the main event.

Your options for watching the event depend on whether or not you have already dived in and bought a subscription to ESPN+. If you haven’t, then the obvious way to go is with a UFC Bundle, costing you $84.98. While that might sound like a lot, that is not just getting you the UFC 249 PPV, but you’ll get a year-long subscription to ESPN+ (that would normally cost $50 alone). 

On top of being able to stream this Saturday’s event. A subscription to ESPN+ also opens up access to over 20 exclusive live UFC Fight Nights, alongside original content including Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC Destined, and Ariel & The Bad Guy, plus classic fights, replays, and there’s also the perk of fewer adverts.

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje live stream: watch UFC 249 online in the UK

In the UK (and Ireland), BT Sport has the exclusive broadcast rights to UFC. The good news for subscribers is that UFC main events like UFC 249 are increasingly shown for FREE on the network, which is a real win considering how much they cost on PPV in other countries around the world.

This was the case with UFC 247, UFC 248…and we’re now pleased to say that the latest TV listings we’ve checked show UFC 249 as airing on BT Sport 1 from 1am on Sunday, May 10 for the prelim action. That means it’s free if you already have a BT Sport subscription.

Additionally, BT Sport also offers a spoiler-free replay page which allows you to watch full UFC main cards at your convenience. Which is usually pretty handy, given the less than sociable start times of UFC events in the UK. Based on the scheduled 10pm US start time, that’ll mean a provisional Ferguson vs Gaethje UK time of around 3am.

Whenever it does air, BT Sport coverage of UFC 249 will also be available via the BT Sport app and on its website. And don’t forget that you can now get BT Sport without a massive commitment, thanks to the £25 Monthly Pass.

How to watch Ferguson vs Gaethje: live stream UFC 249 in Australia

For anyone over in Australia, the place to head for your UFC 249 live stream is Foxtel Main Event. Orders are now open and pricing is set at $54.950 – you can grab the PPV here for access to the entire card. Things get underway in Australia on Sunday, May 10 from 12pm AEST.

However, you can watch selected parts of the UFC 249 card for much less via over-the-top streaming service Kayo Sports, which offers a FREE 14-day trial and (when things get back to normal) is also home to every AFL and NRL match Down Under.

UFC 249 live stream: how to watch Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje in New Zealand

Fans based in New Zealand are able to catch May’s major MMA brawl over on Sky Arena, which is now taking bookings. Similar to most other TV platforms, UFC 249 is a pay-per-view and costs $39.95 for access to the main card (prelims aren’t included).

The UFC 249 start time in New Zealand is set for 2pm local time on Sunday, May 10.

UFC 249 full card: latest fight news 

As previously mentioned, the coronavirus pandemic has already seriously impacted the UFC 249 fight card and led to multiple changes. All information was correct at time of publication but is subject to alteration.

Main card

Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje (interim UFC Lightweight Championship)

Henry Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz (UFC Bantamweight Championship)

Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozentruik (heavyweight)

Jeremy Stephens vs Calvin Kattar (featherweight)

Greg Hardy vs Yorgan de Castro (heavyweight)


Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis (welterweight)

Alexey Oleynik vs Fabricio Werdum (heavyweight)

Carla Esparza vs Michelle Waterson (women’s strawweight)

Uriah Hall vs Ronaldo Souza (middleweight)

Early prelims

Vicente Luque vs Niko Price (welterweight)

Bryce Mitchell vs Charles Rosa (featherweight)

Ryan Spann vs Sam Alvey (light heavyweight)

What does a UFC fan get with their ESPN+ subscription?

Quite a lot, as it happens – a subscription to ESPN+ opens up access to over 20 exclusive live UFC Fight Nights, alongside original content including Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC Destined, and Ariel & The Bad Guy, plus classic fights, replays, and there’s also the perk of fewer commercials.