Tonight is August 27th and beginning at approximately 5:45 p.m. ET, UFC 134: Rio begins from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The card is headlined by a UFC middleweight title between current champion Anderson Silva and challenger Yushin Okami. It is a rematch of their 200b bout from Rumble on the Rock where Okami won through disqualification. This fight is scheduled for five, five-minute rounds.
So, how and where can you watch this event? The good news is there are a ton of ways to have your needs met no matter the place, preference or platform. Let's take a look at the options.
The UFC offers a number of ways to watch every part of their card online. You can see the break down of the card by viewing options as they change with each portion of the card on to the pay-per-view portion of the event at the bottom of this post.
For the preliminary or under card, you'll have two platforms to use. While at least two of the fights from the preliminary card won't be available online (they are exclusive to Spike TV), the rest of preliminary card will be.
For Facebook users, go to the UFC's Facebook page at approximately 5:45 p.m. ET to begin viewing the card. This is free. All one has to do is "Like" the UFC page and you can watch the preliminary card for free.
Traditionally, the UFC's partnership with UStream has allowed users who purchase their pay-per-view via the UStream platform (at a cost of $44.99) to view the entire fight card top to bottom. Up until then, you can visit the UFC UStream channel to watch a preview of the event streaming for free.
For those who use Yahoo! or have Yahoo! mail, you have options on that platform as well. Simply go to the dedicated UFC 134 page at Yahoo.com and purchase the pay-per-view. Note: unlike UStream, this event will only stream what's shown on the television pay-per-view portion of the card.
This is where your options begin to narrow. I'm sure this will get better as the mobile market emerges, but for now it's not great. For those who are iPhone or iPad users, you can purchase the event to watch by using the UFC app from the iTunes app store. The app itself is $.99 while the pay-per-view is still $44.99. But who wants to pay good money to watch a fight on a phone?
Any cable provider should be able to set you up with the ability to purchase this event or any other UFC event provided you have basic coverage. Whether your cable provider is DirecTV, Comcast, Cox or any other major cable company, you should be covered. If you're not, please list the name of the company in the comments. A comprehensive list of cable providers who carry these events can be found here.
The cost for these events is pretty constant. For standard definition, you'll pay $44.99 while high definition costs $54.99. As a consistent purchaser of high definition UFC events, I can say confidently it's worth the extra $10 for crisp, clear picture.
For those who are users of the Roku set-top box, you can also view UFC events live (although only the pay-per-view portion, not the preliminary card). I can't speak to the quality of this feed.
And as the UFC recently announced, live fights are coming soon to the XBox. Stay tuned for more info on that.
Don't forget: beginning at 8 p.m. ET, Spike TV will carry at least two fights from the preliminary portion of the card. With time remaining, they may show some from the Facebook portion of the card.
At A Bar
Check this out: the UFC provides a comprehensive, searchable database of bars that carry UFC events sorted by geography. Simply go to bars.ufc.com. From there you can enter your zip code to find those bars carrying tonight's fights closest to you. The results will even pull up the bar's number so you can call to ensure they're carrying the event as well as inquire about specials or a cover charge.
Last, but certainly not least, here's the fight card laid out by distribution platform, time and segment:
Main Card (Airing on Pay-Per-View @ 9 p.m. ET):
Preliminary Bouts (Airing on Facebook @ 5:45 p.m. ET):