After a concussion forced Max Holloway off the UFC 226 fight card, the long-delayed matchup between Holloway and Brian Ortega is finally happening. The event will be broadcast worldwide and is primarily a pay-per-view event. Viewers can watch most of UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega live online (even if abroad) without pay-per-view.

Based on the restrictions in place for this fight, you may need to use a VPN to live stream Holloway vs. Ortega. We’ll explore how to best watch UFC 231 with a VPN, where needed, as well as which VPNs offer the best service for those looking for online live streams of the event.

UFC 231 ortega vs holloway
Source: UFC

UFC 231 is set for December 8 at 10 PM EST / 3 AM GMT, with the early preliminary matches starting at 6:15 PM EST / 11:15 PM GMT. If you’re in Toronto, you’re in luck, as you may be able to get tickets to see it live at Scotiabank Arena. The lowest price for tickets is still over $130 CAD, however, so even if you’re in Canada to make it live, streaming online is still the lowest-cost option.

Holloway vs. Ortega and the fight undercards will be available for streaming in major international markets, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany. Although the UFC has broadcast events on DAZN in the past, but this is not the case for UFC 231. The streaming options this time around are far more limited.

Best VPN for Holloway vs. Ortega (UFC 231): ExpressVPN

UFC events are often high profile these days, but Holloway vs. Ortega is proving to be more anticipated than usual. As a result, you may find your streaming options limited by geographic content blocking, especially from some potential streaming options like UFC Fight Pass.

Additionally, since the fight will be broadcast in HD, you may find ISPs throttling the connections and the streaming quality due to the large number of viewers tuning in to watch live online.

A VPN can help get past both of these issues. Not only do VPNs hide your true location while connecting you to countries where streams are unblocked, but they also anonymize the type of data you’re using. That way, neither the streaming service you’re using nor your ISP can block or throttle your connection.

However, that’s only if you’re using a VPN that works. Of the dozens of VPNs we’ve tested, ExpressVPN is one of the few that effectively bypasses geographic content restrictions and helps users avoid ISP throttling and snooping. The service is easy to install on most devices and maintains high standards for user privacy and safety.

ExpressVPN best for streaming sports

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To get your VPN working with UFC 231, do the following:

  1. Create your VPN account online.  ExpressVPN is our recommended option, other options such as NordVPN and Cyberghost may work as well.
  2. Install the VPN software on your device(s) of choice and connect to the country where you want to gain streaming access (such as the UK, US, or Germany).
  3. Open your streaming service and connect to the UFC 231 fight. We recommend testing access to streams from abroad before the fight begins.

That’s all there is to it! You may encounter other roadblocks to streaming that a VPN cannot account for. For example, you may not have any available payment options for a streaming service outside of your location. Additionally, you may find a service uses other means to detect your location, such as GPS on mobile devices. In those cases, your best option may be to use a web browser instead to avoid location-based detection methods common with many mobile streaming apps. If using a web browser, we also recommend that you take a few additional steps, including clearing the cache, cookies, history, and other saved data as these may have location information stored.

Let’s explore some of your options to watch UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega live online. 

United States

UFC 231 holloway vs. ortega

US residents have the most options for UFC 231, at least as far as getting access to the early prelims and prelims. The UFC is streaming the early prelims, prelims, and the main event in three different locations:

  • Early prelims: UFC Fight Pass
  • Prelims: Fox Sports 1
  • Main card: UFC Pay-Per-View

UFC Fight Pass – Early Prelims

You will need to sign up to UFC Fight Pass any time before the event begins to get access to all of the early preliminaries. You can, of course, still sign up after the fight begins to catch the remainder of the event. This service has a 7-day free trial, which you can cancel after the fight ends.

If you choose to keep it, it costs $8.99 per month, and you can use it to watch past UFC events on-demand (which will likely include UFC 231 at some point after the event is over).

Fox Sports 1(FS1) – Prelims

Fox maintains broadcasting rights with UFC up until the end of 2018. Starting in 2019, ESPN will take over the broadcasts that Fox Sports was carrying. Until then, you can use any streaming service that provides the Fox Sports 1 channel as parts of its lineup.

You can get Fox Sports 1 from the following over-the-top streaming services:

You can also get Fox Sports using traditional cable, although the cost of entry is much higher, and you’ll be locked into a long-term contract in most cases.

Pay-Per-View – UFC 231 Main event

As if often the case with UFC events, the main fight card event (Holloway vs. Ortega) will broadcast live online, but you’ll need to use a Pay-Per-View option to get it. The cost across the board is $64.99 for access, but you can get an HD stream of the fight with a 50 percent discount on 6 months of UFC Fight Pass if you use UFC.tv.

Here are your options to get PPV access to UFC 231:

US residents who want to watch the entire event, from prelims to main cards, may want to use the free trials UFC Fight Pass and one of the services carrying Fox Sports, and then only pay for the main event PPV. Using Sling TV is an easy way to streamline this process since Sling TV is the only cable-free, live TV service that provides PPV broadcasts.

US VPN Bypass for UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega

We’ve also found that the UFC will be offering both the early prelims and prelims on UFC Fight Pass in other countries, including Germany. To save some hassle signing up to multiple services, you may want to sign up to UFC Fight Pass via free trial, and then connect to a different country to watch the early events.

We’ve tested and found UFC Fight Pass offers content based on where you’re located, so you should be able to get the early prelims and prelims using a VPN.

United Kingdom

ufc 231 holloway vs ortega

BT Sport is the current rights holder for UFC broadcasts in the UK. Similar to the Fox Sports to ESPN shift in the US, that’s changing in 2019 when Eleven Sports picks up the broadcast rights. Until then, however, you’ll need to use BT Sport to get access to the main event in the UK.

You’ll be able to watch UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega live on BT Sport 2. Unfortunately, you can’t get BT Sport as a standalone streaming option unless you have BT internet service. Otherwise, you’ll need to sign up to BT Sport via Sky TV, BT TV, Talk Talk or other service providers. You can, however, usually add the channel to your current cable subscription, or through your BT internet service, with a free trial period.

Australia

ufc 231 australia holloway vs ortega

Australian fight fans can purchase streaming access to the main event through Main Event, while the early prelims and prelims will be available through UFC Fight Pass. Access to the fight will cost $54.95 AUD through Main Event and requires a Foxtel cable subscription.

Germany

UFC 231 ortega vs holloway germany

German fight fans are getting shortchanged this time around. During UFC 230, German fans could watch the event live on DAZN. That’s not the case for Holloway vs. Ortega, however, which has a much higher profile.

If you’re in Germany, you’ll only be able to get access to the early prelims and prelims through UFC Fight Pass, while you’ll need to purchase the main event on Pay-Per-View through UFC.tv.

Thankfully, the cost in Germany is less than in many other locations. You can watch the fight for just €17.89 Euro, or in HD with a 50% discount on 6 months of UFC Fight Pass for €38.86.

Canada

canada ufc 231 ortega holloway

If you’re looking to watch UFC 231 live online in Canada, you’ll need to use a mixture of services.

To get the early preliminary matches, you’ll need to sign up to UFC Fight Pass. This service comes with a free, 7-day trial similar to other locations. The preliminary matches, however, are only available through either TSN or RDS. You can get access to TSN/RDS through a cable provider or as a standalone service known as TSN/RDS Direct.

Unfortunately, TSN/RDS Direct does not come with a free trial, and you cannot get a refund after signing up to the service. TSN/RDS Direct is $24.99 CAD per month.

Finally, if you want to get the main card of the event, you’ll need to purchase access through UFC.tv’s Pay-Per-View service. You’ll need to shell out $64.99 CAD, or $91.96 CAD if you want the fight in HD alongside a 50 percent discount on 6 months of UFC Fight Pass service.

How to watch UFC 231 abroad

Options to watch UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega may not be available everywhere. If you’re traveling or living abroad in a location where the event is unavailable, you will need to connect to VPN to gain access. However, you will also need a payment method for those locations.

UFC Fight Pass will work internationally as long as you have a VPN connection to the right locations. However, getting Pay-Per-View access may prove difficult, even with a VPN.

You can watch UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega on Amazon Firestick

Many viewers will be connecting via mobile apps. The popular Amazon Firestick will be a top choice, and you can utilize available apps for the Firestick. UFC Fight Pass has an app that can be used, and ExpressVPN has an app for Amazon Fire TV devices should you need to bypass geographic restrictions or need to avoid ISP video throttling.

Additionally, BT Sport has an app for Amazon Fire TV devices in the UK.  

UFC 231: Fight card, event, and match details

UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega is going to draw in a large number of viewers, especially due to the high profile of both fighters at the top of the ticket. But as with all UFC events, there’s a lot going on. In fact, there are 13 fights occurring all three fight cards.

All of the UFC 231 events will be taking place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The early preliminary card starts 6 PM EST / 11 PM GMT, while the main event begins at 10 PM EST / 3 AM GMT. You’ll need to have your snacks ready, as this is going to be one long fight night.

Here’s a breakdown of each UFC 231 fight card:

UFC Fight Pass Early Preliminary Card

  • Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic (Lightweight Heavyweight)
  • Brad Katona vs. Matthew Lopez (Bantamweight)
  • Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima (Welterweight)
  • Diego Ferreira vs. Jesse Ronson (Lightweight)

Preliminary Card

  • Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff (Women’s Strawweight)
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jessica Eye (Women Flyweight)
  • Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders (Middleweight)
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns (Lightweight)

Main Card

  • Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega  (Featherweight Title)
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joana Jedrzejczyk (Women’s Flyweight Title)
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos (Light Heavyweight)
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Gunnar Nelson (Welterweight)
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak (Middleweight)

Most fights are made by verbal agreement and may be subject to change up until the start time of the event.

How to bet on UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega

The anticipation for this fight doesn’t just reside in the action. Sports betting on UFC events are more popular than ever, and many UFC fans have been eagerly waiting for the chance to throw their lots in with either of these two fights.

If you’re hoping to bet on the main event, you may find yourself playing against some very difficult to predict results. At present, different betting site averages have both fighters at similar odds.

The site Oddsshark, for example, has a 60/40 split in favor of the defending champion, Max Holloway. Betting aggregator Oddschecker also shows most bets currently sit in Holloway’s favor, with slightly more than 53 percent of bets currently cast in hopes of a Holloway victory.

ufc 231 holloway vs. ortega
Source: Oddsshark

Looking at the breakdown of the two fighters may not prove beneficial for this particular event. Although Holloway has three losses on his record, he’s still the defending champion. Ortega’s perfect 6-0 record speaks for itself, but he also has definitively worse offensive stats.

While Holloway has a 44 percent strike percentage and an 81 percent takedown percentage, Ortega has 32% strike percentage and a minimal 14 percent takedown percentage.

That said, a recent report from the UFC Performance Institute found that takedowns are rather low on the list (19th place) of metrics connected to victory in the cage. In fact, UFC PI found that the five most important metrics include:

  • Total strikes landed (favors Holloway)
  • Significant strikes success percentage (favors Holloway)

  • Total strikes attempted (favors Holloway)

  • Time in ground control (favors Ortega)

  • Significant strikes landed (favors Holloway)

Most of Ortega’s wins in the past were by successful submissions, while Holloway’s wins primarily favor knockouts and decisions. Neither fighter is likely to change his chosen method, so expect to see Holloway launching a flurry of attacks, while Ortega tries to absorb those hits to move in close for a takedown and submission. That each fighter has been overwhelmingly successful with his chosen method is likely contributing to comparatively even odds.

If you’re hoping to take a chance on one fighter or the other, you can do so quite easily by using various online betting sites. But if you’re traveling abroad to a country where sports betting is banned, you may need to use a VPN to connect to the betting sites of your choice.