Why you should stream UFC 246: McGregor vs. 'Cowboy' — even if you're not into mixed martial arts

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UFC 246 (Photo: ESPN)
UFC 246 (Photo: ESPN)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, aka the Wintertime Blues. We’ve all had ‘em, even if only in a non-clinical way that doesn’t rise to the level of its own acronym. Whatever you call this cold, frosty, malaise-y time—the period that finds you just getting over your holiday hangover only to realize you’re months away from the darling buds of May—it can make us all a bit listless, cranky yet craving an adrenaline boost.

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Well, this weekend’s Ultimate Fighting Championships throw-down (UFC 246, that is) in Las Vegas might prove to be just the defibrillator for your flat-lined spirits. Not enthralled by the thought of watching two humans punch, kick, and grapple each other into lifeless lumps while locked inside a chain-link octagon?

Well, two things. One, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, and two, you can build an entire fun, soul-restoring night around UFC 246 in your own home. Let us count the ways:

  1. Did you come up short in your Yuletide gift-giving last month? Well, make UFC 246 the late Xmas present for some loved one in your life. Oh, and bundling it with ESPN+ will save you 25 percent. (You can even say you deliberately held this Christmas goodie back for a very special mid-January treat. Face-saving!)

  2. Drained and enraged by the impeachment kerfuffle? Need a break from the blood sport currently transpiring in the nation’s capital? Find distraction and catharsis, plus maybe even channel some of your partisan rage onto the nonstop action that will be streaming live from Las Vegas’s T-Mobile Arena.

This is sure to be a fight you can't miss. (Photo: Getty)
This is sure to be a fight you can't miss. (Photo: Getty)

Shop it: Save 25 percent on the Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle, $13, plus.espn.com

  1. Make a night of it, why don’t you? With preliminary matches starting at 6:15 and the action continuing until close to midnight, here’s an opportunity to throw a dinner party that’ll be talked about for the rest of 2020. So drag out the cookbooks or call the caterer; it’s your time to shine.

  2. Where there’s high-stakes mano-a-mano physicality, there’s…celebrities! If you’re the type who loves pre-award-show red-carpet ogling, you’ll likely have a lot to gander at both among the early-evening arrivals and, naturally, at ringside. Somewhere in all that star-gazing there’s a great drinking game just waiting to be invented!

  3. Some sporting events and personalities simply transcend sports. Saturday’s main event is one of them. It features the, um, colorful Conor McGregor, aka The Notorious MMA. The 31-year-old Irishman is ultimate fighting’s greatest-ever star, bar none. The epitome of love-him-or-hate-him swag known for his vicious, obnoxious demeanor both inside and outside the ring (and, sometimes, outside the law). This will be his first bout since a humiliating tap-out loss in October 2018, so expect an especially hungry, angry McGregor to show up with his requisite bilious attitude and a lot to prove. He goes up against the winningest brawler in UFC history in Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. And, well, this guy’s been through some stuff: 50 MMA fights overall, about 20 broken noses, five broken hands, even more broken foot bones. He was also once head-butted by a horse and suffered an ATV accident that left him pronounced dead and needing 12 feet of intestines removed(!). He’s got five years on McGregor but a lot more very hard-won experience. Sure to be a bout for the ages, one with all the outsize personalities, drama, and subtext to rival the nastiest reality-TV potboiler.

  4. It won’t just be the boys bringing the pain at UFC 246. The evening’s co-main event features former Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm battling Raquel Pennington. Also on the main card, a Strawweight battle between Claudia Gadelha and Alexa Grasso.

  5. Let’s get ready to...grumble! Finally, there’ll be always-entertaining, sometimes infuriating color commentator Joe Rogan. The standup comedian, podcaster, and provocateur is many things, but boring is not one of them.

So gather your besties, rustle up that grub, let the elixirs flow and you’ve got yourself a chill-but-thrilling get-together that’ll have everyone forgetting their deep-freeze doldrums. 

Start streaming the Disney+/Hulu Plus/ESPN+ bundle for just $13 per month. That’s a 25 percent savings compared to subscribing to all three services separately.

Shop it: Save 25 percent on the Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle, $13, plus.espn.com

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