If you’re trying to watch main card UFC bouts live in the UK, you’ll need BT Sport. This can be frustrating, seeing as BT Sport is expensive if all you want to watch is UFC.
Fortunately, there’s a way to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport. It’s reliable and cheaper. All you need is a VPN and an ESPN+ subscription.
This article will explain how to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport using a VPN and ESPN+.
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How to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport: Quick Guide
To watch main card UFC bouts live in the UK, without BT Sport, you need to gain access to ESPN+.
ESPN+ isn’t available in the UK. It’s only available in the US. To watch ESPN+ in the UK, you need to make it look like you’re connecting to the service from within the United States. A VPN allows you to do this.
Follow the simple steps below to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport:
Why do I need a VPN to watch UFC in the UK?
The best way to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport is by gaining access to ESPN+.
ESPN+ is a US-based streaming service that’s only available for US-based customers. If you visit ESPN+ in the UK, you’ll encounter an error that says, “we’re sorry, an unexpected error occurred.”
This error is coming up because ESPN uses geo-blocking technology to prevent anyone outside its broadcast zone from accessing its content. ESPN blocks anyone outside the US from accessing ESPN+ to avoid potential copyright and licensing infringements.
The reason you need a VPN to watch UFC in the UK is because the best VPNs, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month), allow you to get around ESPN’s blocks, so you can watch ESPN+ and therefore live UFC fights, from the UK or anywhere in the world.
Why can’t I watch ESPN+ in the UK?
You can’t watch ESPN+ in the UK because the streaming service hasn’t been “officially” released in the UK.
ESPN+ is only available in the US. The broadcast agreements it has with its content partners state that it can only broadcast its content in the US. If ESPN+ was made available in the UK, it would be breaching these agreements and could face severe financial punishments.
ESPN blocks anyone outside the US from accessing its content to prevent this from happening. These blocks are why you can’t access ESPN+ in the UK.
How does ESPN block my connection?
ESPN blocks your connection by scanning your IP address when you connect to its service.
Whenever you go online, you’re allocated a unique IP address. This is used by your device to communicate with the website or app you’re visiting, in this case, ESPN+.
The problem here is in order for this communication to work, your IP address contains information disclosing where you’re located. If you’re in the UK, ESPN+ will be able to tell you’re in the UK.
When ESPN+ scans your IP address, if it finds you aren’t within its broadcast zone, the US, it blocks the connection.
How can I get around ESPN’s blocks?
To get around these blocks, you need to make it look like you’re connecting to the internet from within the US. Basically, you need to temporarily change your UK IP address to a US IP address.
ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) make this very simple. All you need to do is download the app, connect to a US server, and you’ll have a US IP address allowing you to access ESPN+ in the UK.
Will any VPN work?
Because VPNs are well-known ways of watching ESPN+ in countries where it doesn’t have the rights to broadcast its content, ESPN tries to block VPNs.
It does this using three main techniques:
- The most common technique is to do with the IP addresses that your VPN can provide. VPN providers have more customers than IP addresses; this means that customers are forced to share the same IP addresses. Usually, only a household with a few devices uses the same IP address. When ESPN sees hundreds or even thousands of connections coming through on the same IP address, it knows that it is a VPN, and it blocks it.
- ESPN monitors for IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks that can tip the service off you are using a VPN.
- ESPN teams up with GeoIP databases like Maxmind to identify IP addresses. If the IP address your VPN provides is on one of these databases, ESPN will be able to find out where in the world you are connecting to the internet from and it will block you.
These VPN blocking methods can be difficult for VPNs to get around. Free VPNs and lesser VPNs struggle to “beat” ESPN’s VPN blocks and will often not work with the service.
ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) play a game of cat and mouse with ESPN. If ESPN is able to block an IP address provided by these VPNs, ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month) will close that IP address and open a new one, meaning you’ll be able to watch ESPN+ in the UK reliably.
How to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport
To watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport, all you need is a reliable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN ($6.67/month) or Private Internet Access ($2.03/month). Once you’ve downloaded the VPN app, connect to a US server.
When you’ve connected to a US server, you’ll now have access to ESPN+. ESPN+ broadcasts UFC main bouts live. Create an ESPN+ account and watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport.
The best VPNs to watch UFC in the UK without BT Sport
The fastest and MOST reliable VPN of 2022Number of servers: 3,000+ | Speed: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 160 in 94 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes ExpressVPN is still the best VPN. And importantly, it ALWAYS has servers that are open with major streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video etc. ExpressVPN is usually very good at playing Cat and Mouse with online streaming sites (apart from BBC iPlayer). Meaning, whenever one of its servers is blacklisted it creates a new one – giving its users a constant stream of servers that aren’t blocked. Needless to say, this is a valuable attribute if you’re looking for a VPN to unblock streaming sites. Its app is easy-to-use and free to download on pretty much any device you can think of. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireStick, Android TV, Roku, PS4, Xbox, Linux, even Apple TV (with a workaround). It’s got it all covered. The app is another main reason this VPN is so good at unblocking TV streaming sites (that claim they block VPNs) is that its software takes a pragmatic approach to user management. While other VPNs tempt customers by promising them access to hundreds/thousands of servers in multiple countries, ExpressVPN does things differently. With ExpressVPN you only have a handful of server locations to choose from. Once you select your location the app takes care of the rest. Assigning you to the fastest available server that’s not oversubscribed. This simple technique is so important, as it keeps ExpressVPN’s servers operating at lightning-fast speeds and prevent its IPs from getting blacklisted for “abnormal” usage in the first place.
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A very quick and trustworthy VPNNumber of servers: 5,000+ | Speeds: >80% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 62 countries | Devices supported: 6 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes NordVPN is the most widely-used VPN in the world. And it’s easy to see why. It’s a polished app that delivers fast connections (more on this later) to a massive network of VPN servers. It’s the most reliable at unblocking popular streaming services too – US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. This is because NordVPN hired a full-time technical team (that’s responsible for monitoring its servers’ connections with popular TV streaming services) and has been aggressively investing in its network of IP addresses in key locations. Another interesting thing to note is that NordVPN is an industry leader in its development of Nordlynx technology. Nordlynx is built using the WireGuard, a new VPN tunneling protocol designed to outperform current standards (OpenVPN and IPSec). The benefits, according to NordVPN, are dramatically faster transfer speeds while connected to a VPN. My tests – New Zealand to London – confirm that Nordlynx is currently the fastest VPN on the market. However, the difference isn’t dramatic, a few Mbps is all.
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The great budget VPN optionNumber of servers: 1,000+ | Speed: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 275 in 100 countries | Devices supported: 5 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes If you’re looking for an excellent VPN, with an even better price tag, Ivacy ($1.16/month) is a great option. This VPN has all the features you need to stream BBC iPlayer, in HD, from any country in the world. I’ve been testing the app recently on Mac, PC, Android, iOS and FireStick and the results have been impressive – unlocking BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, etc. with ease. The Ivacy app is a little different in regards to its UX (user experience). Instead of just selecting a UK server, you need to select the specific BBC iPlayer server. Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing – by connecting to a dedicated BBC iPlayer server, it simply means that you’re connecting to an IP address that Ivacy knows works with BBC iPlayer. For an extra $1.99/month (£1.74) you can add-on a dedicated IP. This will buy you sole access to an IP address in a country of your choice, meaning you won’t have to share your IP (and speeds) with any other use. I don’t recommend this though, using the regular Ivacy servers is enough 95 per cent of the time.
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5. CyberGhostNumber of servers: 6,000+ | Speeds: >65% | Bandwidth: Unlimited | IP locations: 200 in 90 countries | Devices supported: 7 | Live chat: Yes | 30-day money-back guarantee: Yes CyberGhost is one of the more established VPNs on the market. It has a well-established, and well-tested global network of servers that perform well. From my tests over the past several months, CyberGhost has no trouble at unblocking major streaming services – US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max etc. This VPN performed well at maintaining download speeds, well above 65 per cent of my regular (non VPN) ISP speed. That said, there’s nothing really unique about the service. Which forces you to look at its price-point. And there’s nothing special here. Its short-term $12.99/month price tag puts is well above the industry average of $10.10/month. Similarly, its long-term $2.75/month for 3 years deal isn’t much of a “deal” either. Oddly, CyberGhost’s most unique feature is its a 1-day, no obligations, free trial. This is an appealing offer to customers who are new to VPNs. However, it’s important to remember that most reputable VPNs will offer customers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so try not to be too seduced by the offer.
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