MLB streaming 2021: Watch baseball’s pennant races live without cable

From DirecTV Stream to Bally Sports to MLB.TV to YouTube, there are plenty of ways to watch the last weeks of the Major League baseball season.

With about 15 games left in the season, MLB has again dropped the price of its MLB.TV season subscription, and there are also a few free ways to watch live baseball in September. You don’t need cable to watch your favorite team’s games, but your options depend on which team you follow and where you live.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has led the Toronto Blue Jays back into playoff contention, where they are fighting with the Yankees and Red Sox for a Wild Card spot.

There are two major ways to stream MLB games day in, day out without a cable or satellite TV subscription:

Depending on where you live, one of the major live TV streaming services could carry the channel that has your favorite team. Those channels, called regional sports networks, deliver almost all of the regular-season games live.

Most such services, however, carry only a handful of the 30 RSNs that show MLB games — and they’re typically the most expensive. DirecTV Stream carries the most RSNs, but you’ll need to spring for its $85-a-month plan; its basic $70-a-month plan doesn’t include RSNs. Sling TV, a service that costs $35 per month, doesn’t have any RSNs for baseball. If you’re a baseball fan who needs your team’s RSN, a cable subscription might actually be cheaper than streaming.

The other option is MLB.TV, a separate service that carries every game played by every team live. It’s great for hard-core fans in general. MLB.TV costs $27 for the remainder of the season.

The big catch with MLB.TV is the local blackout restriction: You can’t watch your local team’s games live. Instead, they become available about 90 minutes after the game ends. If you’re a Yankees fan in the New York area, for example, you can’t start to watch the Yankees game until an hour and a half after the final out. Other teams’ games aren’t blacked out live, which makes MLB.TV ideal for fans who want to follow one or more of the 28 or 29 teams based in other cities, aka out-of-market teams.

Due to MLB.TV’s blackout restriction, a live TV streaming service is the best bet for following your local team. Many services carry the RSN that has exclusive rights to every regular season game, but availability varies by location and service.

In addition to the RSNs listed below, live TV services carry most if not all of the major national networks — ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS — that regularly televise matchups from different teams around the league. Details are at the top of this article.

Here’s how the RSNs stack up on each service.

Some key takeaways:

One other note: Fox Sports RSNs have been rebranded as Bally Sports, because the channels are no longer owned by Fox but Sinclair, which has since partnered with casino group Bally’s to rename them. So, Fox Sports Ohio is now called Bally Sports Ohio and so on.

If you are looking to watch your local team night in and night out, DirecTV Stream is your best bet. It offers by far the most RSNs of the live TV streaming services. Philadelphia and Toronto are the only MLB cities whose RSN is not offered on DirecTV Stream. FuboTV is second with 10 RSNs, giving you only a one-in-three chance of getting your local RSN to watch baseball.

DirecTV Stream is the priciest of the five major live TV streaming services, but it’s also the one with the most RSNs. Its cheapest, $70-a-month Plus package includes ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS. You’ll need to move up to the $85-a-month Choice plan to get MLB Network and any available RSN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area.

Major League Baseball’s official streaming service is great for following your favorite team if you live outside its TV market. Because of the 90-minute blackout described above, however, it’s much less useful for following your local home team.

MLB.TV subscribers also miss games that are broadcast nationally on ESPN, Fox, FS1, MLB Network and TBS. Those games are blacked out on MLB.TV, which can be particularly irksome for fans of the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and other big-market teams that are frequently selected for national broadcasts.

The price of MLB.TV at the start of the season was $130. With only two weeks left, that has dropped to $27. As a subscriber, you can watch out-of-market games live or on demand, and the in-market (home) team with a 90-minute delay from the end of the game.

With MLB.TV, you can also listen to home and away radio broadcasts. The radio broadcasts aren’t subject to the blackout rule, so you can listen to home team games live. MLB.TV also includes a ton of video content, including classic games, baseball documentaries and old This Week in Baseball episodes.

Even if you don’t subscribe, you can still watch baseball with the MLB app. It offers one Free Game of the Day that anyone can stream live for free.

Read our MLB.TV review.

ESPN’s stand-alone streaming service costs $6 a month or $60 a year and shows one game nearly every day of the six-month MLB season. The catch is that your local team’s games are blacked out when they appear on ESPN Plus, similar to MLB.TV. Also, the games shown on ESPN Plus are not exclusive to ESPN Plus and are also available on MLB.TV.

Aside from DirecTV Stream, the odds are long that a live TV streaming service carries the RSN for your local team’s games, which makes the other four services better bets for watching nationally televised games. YouTube also shows a game a week for free.

FuboTV costs $65 per month and offers 10 RSNs for baseball. It also includes ESPN, Fox and FS1 but not TBS. You can add MLB Network for an extra $11 a month with the Sports Plus with NFL RedZone add-on. Check out which local networks and RSNs it offers here.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and offers five RSNs for baseball, along with all five channels for national broadcasts. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available in your area.

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and carries five RSNs for baseball along with ESPN, Fox, FS1 and TBS, but not MLB Network. Click the “View all channels in your area” link at the bottom of its welcome page to see which local networks and RSNs are available where you live.

Sling Blue currently lacks a single RSN to watch baseball. You can, however, use Sling to watch national baseball broadcasts. Sling TV’s Orange plan includes ESPN, and the Blue plan includes Fox and FS1. Both plans offer TBS. The MLB Network is available as part of the Sports Extra add-on, which costs $11 a month for either the Blue or Orange plan or $15 for the combined Orange-and-Blue plan. The individual plans cost $35 a month each, and the Orange-and-Blue plan costs $50 a month. You can see which local channels you get here.

Each live TV streaming service offers a free trial, allows you to cancel anytime and requires a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live TV streaming services guide.

For the third year, YouTube streams some MLB games for free. For the 2021 season, 21 games will be shown as the MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube. Two games remain on the schedule

For Yankees fans in the team’s market, Amazon will stream 21 Yankees games on Prime Video this season. While you don’t need to live in the Bronx to stream these games, the area where they’re available is limited — New York state, Connecticut, northeast Pennsylvania, and north and central New Jersey. You’ll need to be a Prime member, too.

Three Prime Video games remain:

The MLB At Bat app is great on phones and even better on tablets. If you bought an MLB.TV subscription (as outlined above), you can log in to your account and watch games live in the app. There is a cheaper subscription option for use with the mobile app only, but it’s limited in what it lets you watch.

You can buy an At Bat subscription via the MLB At Bat app. It costs $20 a year (or $3 a month) and lets you listen to the home or away radio broadcasts — baseball is the only sport I can listen to on the radio — and watch one game per day during the season. You can’t choose which game you want to watch; you’re stuck with the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.

EA Sports removing Jon Gruden from Madden NFL 22

The disgraced former Raiders coach will be replaced with a generic likeness.

EA Sports is scrubbing Jon Gruden from Madden NFL 22.

Gruden’s resignation came after The New York Times detailed emails in which he had made homophobic and misogynistic remarks, following an earlier report of racist statements about a union leader.

One of the higher-profile coaches in the league, Gruden won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before becoming a top analyst for ESPN. He returned to the NFL in 2018 to lead the Raiders, which he had coached years before.

According to the gaming news website Kotaku, which reported the removal earlier this week, in addition to re-creating NFL players, Madden NFL 22 shows each team’s head coach on the sidelines and cuts to them frequently throughout games. They’re also part of the game setup process.

Amazon’s NFL Thursday Night Football exclusive now starts in 2022

The technology giant and the NFL are bumping up the start date for their new agreement.

As per the earlier announcement, Amazon will carry 15 Thursday Night Football games as one well as one preseason NFL game. The deal runs through the 2032 NFL season.

Although Amazon has been streaming Thursday Night Football games on its Prime Video platform for the past few seasons, it was doing so in conjunction with a traditional broadcaster like Fox. The NFL’s new deal marked the first time a streaming platform would be the sole home for the games without a traditional TV partner, with Amazon saying Monday that additional production details will be shared “in the coming months.”

The Staples Center will be renamed Crypto.com Arena

Crypto continues to elbow its way into major-league sponsorships.

With just 16% of the US population using or investing in cryptocurrency, the name change may come as a shock to many sports fans — and players. When Clippers point guard Reggie Jackson was told of the change, he responded, “What?”

But this name change is only the most recent example of a cryptocurrency exchange launching the type of high-profile promotional effort previously undertaken by traditional financial services and Fortune 500 corporations. The Miami Heat now play in FTX Arena, named for another crypto exchange (that is also the official cryptocurrency exchange of Major League Baseball). And FTX has purchased ad time during the upcoming Super Bowl.

The new logo for the Crypto.com Arena will debut on Christmas Day this year, when the Lakers face off against the Brooklyn Nets. The arena’s signage is scheduled to be completely replaced with the new name by June 2022.

Champions League: How to watch or stream online

Barcelona attempt to get one back against a seemingly unstoppable PSG.

Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland are leading the next generation of world beaters as Ronaldo and Messi inch towards retirement.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Your best bet is signing up with Paramount Plus.

All the details on Paramount Plus’ online coverage of Champions League matches can be found here. Paramount Plus doesn’t just have access to this match in particular, but all Champions League matches. You’ll also be able to watch all matches in the Europa League, the second-tier European competition.

Univision has the rights to the US Spanish broadcast of the Champions League, however. You can find out more here.

If you want to watch Champions League football in the UK, our recommendation is sign up with BT Sport.

BT Sport is streaming all the Champions League matches, but it also gives you access to a bunch of other good stuff, like UFC, so it’s worth getting.

Much like the English Premier League, Optus Sport is showing all the Champions League matches in Australia.

If you care about watching soccer at all, the Optus Sport deal is a good one. Especially if you follow the EPL which, being the most high profile league on the planet, most soccer fans do.

Disclaimer: I subscribe to the service and love it. Easy access to all matches on my smart TV and works nicely with a mobile app.

Simone Biles wins bronze in the Olympics balance beam final

After withdrawing from other event finals, Simone Biles competed in Tokyo on Tuesday and made the podium.

Simone Biles is one of the best gymnasts the world has ever witnessed.

Read more: Tokyo Olympics: Watch and stream the final week’s games in 4K HDR

Teammate Sunisa Lee stepped in to take the gold medal in the all-around competition, while another member of the US team, Jade Carey, won the gold medal in the floor exercise.

In the wake of her first withdrawal last week, Biles said she wasn’t in the right mental state to compete. “I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a backseat, work on my mindfulness and I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I didn’t want to risk the team a medal,” Biles said at a press conference.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many,” read a statement from USA Gymnastics following her withdrawal from the individual all-around finals.

In spite of her withdrawal from the all-around and other event finals, USA Gymnastics announced on Monday that Biles would be competing on Tuesday in the balance beam final alongside Lee.

Biles has noted on social media that she’s been suffering from the “twisties” — a phenomenon in which gymnasts lose the ability to tell where their body is while performing twists, making it difficult to negotiate a safe landing. Unlike Biles’ other events, her beam routine doesn’t rely as heavily on twists, aside from her dismount, which she replaced on Tuesday with a double pike.

Biles entered the Olympics with serious momentum. She currently holds more medals than any other gymnastics competitor, with 25 — 19 of which are golds. Biles is one of six women the US sent to the Olympics to compete in gymnastics, alongside Lee, Carey, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner.

Read more: How to rewatch the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Olympic gymnastics comprises four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Now that the beam final is complete, there will be no further women’s artistic gymnastics events at this games.

Following her qualification round, Biles was set to compete in all four of the events. In total, Biles was expected to win up to six gold medals. In Rio’s 2016 Olympics, she won four golds — in vault, floor, individual all-around and team all-around — and performed with such distinction that she was chosen as the US flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.

Biles’ situation and decisions have earned her mass support — and some criticism.

In the US, you can watch the Olympics and all of the above events through NBC. NBC airs edited versions of the Games during prime-time hours, but you can watch the events live on Peacock or on NBCOlympics.com. Viewers in the UK will watch through EuroSport, while Australians can see the games through Channel 7 and the 7plus streaming service.

Biles has become a significant force in recent years: She’s often called the greatest gymnast of all time and, after just her first Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, is considered a top-tier Olympian.

Her accolades go beyond medals. She was named ESPN’s Most Dominant Athlete of the Year (2018), ESPN’s Woman of the Year (2016) and AP’s Female Athlete of the Year (2019).

CNET’s Sean Keane and Katie Collins contributed to this report.

Grab two pairs of NFL or MLB gloves for just $15 shipped

These logo-emblazoned utility gloves make an excellent (and useful) stocking stuffer.

Before you get too excited, be warned that not every NFL team is represented in the glove sale but 18 are, including the most storied franchises, such as the Packers, Steelers, Patriots, Giants, Cowboys and ‘Niners. You have fewer options for MLB teams: just the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Twins and Indians (who are soon to change their name).

You also can’t pair NFL gloves with MLB gloves, so you’ll have to pick two from the same sport. We haven’t gotten our hands in these gloves yet and so can’t speak to their quality, but they score high marks on Amazon, where the same gloves sell for $13 a pop.

Baseball NFTs are coming from Topps

These trading cards don’t come with any bubble gum.

Baseball cards are going digital.

Each token will use the WAX blockchain to keep a record of the ownership of each card, which can also be sold or traded on a global marketplace. Those who want to start collecting will need to open a free WAX Cloud Wallet.

For those unfamiliar, NFTs are unique digital tokens tied with certain digital assets such as a highlight video, a tweet or a picture. What takes a bit of open-mindedness is understanding that the token acts as a certificate of authenticity for the digital asset, but it doesn’t mean that picture or video is yours as you won’t own the intellectual rights. However, NFTs can be worth big bucks, such as the first-ever tweet going for $2.9 million, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski trading cards going for $1.8 million and even one guy making $85 selling his farts.

Social networks struggle to shut down racist abuse after England’s Euro Cup final loss

Social media users have been frustrated at having to perform moderation duties to keep racist abuse in check.

Bukayo Saka of England is consoled by head coach Gareth Southgate.

The vitriol presented a direct challenge to the social networks — an event-specific spike in hate speech that required them to refocus their moderation efforts to contain the damage. It marks just the latest incident for the social networks, which need to be on guard during highly charged political or cultural events. While these companies have a regular process that includes deploying machine-automated tools and human moderators to remove the content, this latest incident is just another source of frustration for those who believe the social networks aren’t quick enough to respond.

To plug the gap, companies rely on users to report content that violates guidelines. Following Sunday’s match, many users were sharing tips and guides about how to best report content, both to platforms and to the police. It was disheartening for those same users to be told that a company’s moderation technology hadn’t found anything wrong with the racist abuse they’d highlighted.

It also left many users wondering why, when Facebook, for example, is a billion-dollar company, it was unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with the easily anticipated influx of racist content — instead leaving it to unpaid good Samaritan users to report.

For social media companies, moderation can fall into a gray area between protecting free speech and protecting users from hate speech. In these cases, they must judge whether user content violates their own platform policies. But this wasn’t one of those gray areas.

Racist abuse is classified as a hate crime in the UK, and London’s Met Police said in a statement that it will be investigating incidents that occurred online following the match. In a follow-up email, a spokesman for the Met said that the instances of abuse were being triaged by the Home Office and then disseminated to local police forces to deal with.

Twitter “swiftly” removed over 1,000 tweets through a combination of machine-based automation and human review, a spokesman said in a statement. In addition, it permanently suspended “a number” of accounts, “the vast majority” of which it proactively detected itself. “The abhorrent racist abuse directed at England players last night has absolutely no place on Twitter,” said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, there was frustration among Instagram users who were identifying and reporting, among other abusive content, strings of monkey emojis (a common racist trope) being posted on the accounts of Black players.

According to Instagram’s policies, using emojis to attack people based on protected characteristics, including race, is against the company’s hate speech policies. Human moderators working for the company take context into account when reviewing use of emojis.

But in many of the cases reported by Instagram users in which the platform failed to remove monkey emojis, it appears that the reviews weren’t conducted by human reviewers. Instead, their reports were dealt with by the company’s automated software, which told them “our technology has found that this comment probably doesn’t go against our community guidelines.”

A spokeswoman for Instagram said in a statement that “no one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram.”

“We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules,” she added. “In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs. No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.”

The social media companies shouldn’t have been surprised by the reaction.

Football professionals have been feeling the strain of the racist abuse they suffer online — and not just following this one England game. In April, England’s Football Association organized a social media boycott “in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.”

English football’s racism problem is not new. In 1993, the problem forced the Football Association, Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association to launch Kick It Out, a program to fight racism, which became a fully fledged organization in 1997. Under Southgate’s leadership, the current iteration of the England squad has embraced anti-racism more vocally than ever, taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before matches. Still, racism in the sport prevails — online and off.

On Monday, the Football Association strongly condemned the online abuse following Sunday’s match, saying it’s “appalled” at the racism aimed at players. “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team,” it said. “We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”

Social media users, politicians and rights organizations are demanding internet-specific tools to tackle online abuse — as well as for perpetrators of racist abuse to be prosecuted as they would be offline. As part of its “No Yellow Cards” campaign, the Center for Countering Digital Hate is calling for platforms to ban users who spout racist abuse for life.

In the UK, the government has been trying to introduce regulation that would force tech companies to take firmer action against harmful content, including racist abuse, in the form of the Online Safety Bill. But it has also been criticized for moving too slowly to get the legislation in place.

Tony Burnett, the CEO of the Kick It Out campaign (which Facebook and Twitter both publicly support), said in a statement Monday that both the social media companies and the government need to step up to shut down racist abuse online. His words were echoed by Julian Knight, member of Parliament and chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

“The government needs to get on with legislating the tech giants,” Knight said in a statement. “Enough of the foot dragging, all those who suffer at the hands of racists, not just England players, deserve better protections now.”

As pressure mounted for them to take action, social networks have also been stepping up their own moderation efforts and building new tools — with varying degrees of success. The companies track and measure their own progress. Facebook employs its independent oversight board to assess its performance.

But critics of the social networks also point out that the way their business models are set up gives them very little incentive to discourage racism. Any and all engagement will increase ad revenue, they argue, even if that engagement is people liking and commenting on racist posts.

“Facebook made content moderation tough by making and ignoring their murky rules, and by amplifying harassment and hate to fuel its stock price,” former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao said on Twitter on Monday. “Negative PR is forcing them to address racism that has been on its platform from the start. I hope they really fix it.”

Conor McGregor speaks after freak leg injury in loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 264

“Feeling tremendous,” said McGregor, after emerging from a three hour surgery.

This will be the third contest between McGregor and Poirier.

“This is not over,” said McGregor, in a post fight interview with Joe Rogan. ‘If I have to take this outside with him, it’s on outside. I don’t give a bollocks.”

Dana White stated that McGregor would be going into surgery tomorrow on Sunday to deal with the leg injury. He said that a title fight with current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was most likely next for Poirier, but believes that a fourth fight between McGregor and Poirier will happen at some point in the future, when McGregor has recovered from the surgery.

Audie Attar, McGregor’s long time manager recently said McGregor underwent a successful three hour surgery, repairing fractures of the tibia and fibula.

“Both doctors are confident that with time he will make a full recovery,” he said in a statement. “We anticipate his return to the Octagon.”

McGregor himself posted a video message on social media soon afterwards.

“Feeling tremendous,” said McGregor. “Six weeks on crutches and we build back!”

Find our blow by blow account of each fight below.

The stakes are high for Conor McGregor in this trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier.

It’s here. The big one. The stakes for this fight seem incredibly high for McGregor, but they always do. Every single fight.

As I mentioned above, it’s almost impossible to call this fight. I’m picking McGregor because he appeared to be winning the last fight until he wasn’t. But honestly, it could go the exact same way as the last fight.

Got the butterflies for this one. Let’s go.

Round 1

Man this is intense. McGregor looks amped, the opposite of relaxed, which is when he does his best work. Let’s see how this plays out.

McGregor coming out leg kick heavy. The fight is being fought at a furious pace. Poirier somehow clips McGregor and takes it to the ground after McGregor attempts a guillotine choke. After a barrage of ground and pound the fight goes back to the feet and after an exchange McGregor rolls his ankle

And it looks as though he’s broken his ankle? The doctor calls it. The fight is over.

Wow. What a strange ending.

McGregor is furious. He’s screaming “Doctor’s stoppage”.

Regardless of the result, McGregor was losing this fight comprehensively. It was called a doctor’s stoppage in the end. Afterwards, Joe Rogan conducted an interview with McGregor as he was getting his leg attended to. He claimed this was “not over”. But realistically, it’s hard to tell when McGregor will be back — if he’ll be back. Poirier made reference to karma playing a part here, given how low McGregor stooped in the lead up.

There was a real poisonous atmosphere to this whole scene. Reminded me a lot of the Khabib vs. McGregor fight. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

Dustin Poirier wins via doctor’s stoppage

I’m really looking forward to this one. Stephen Thompson is maybe the best technical striker the UFC has even seen, Gilbert Burns is a jiu-jitsu specialist with hammers for hands. The winner of this fight will almost certainly get a title shot at some point in the future.

I’m picking Thompson here. He’s one of the most difficult, unique fighters on the roster and he’s outclassed almost everyone he’s faced in the Octagon.

Can’t wait.

Round 1

Can’t blog anymore did a drinking game where I take a shot every time Joe Rogan says “karate style” and I’m dead.

Burns appears to be trying to take this to the ground, which is smart, but Thompson has great takedown defence. A lot of the early part of this round is taking place on the fence. Not really great for either fighter.

And of course the crowd is booing.

But wow — surprise — Burns got it to the ground. This could steal him the round and make Thompson a little more hesitant to through his world class kicks.

Wonderboy eventually gets back to his feet, but a strong round for Burns here.

CNET scores it 10-9 for Burns

Round 2

A frantic 2nd round fought on a hair trigger. Really tough one to score. Thompson appeared to control the fight on the feet, but Burns snagged a takedown in the last thirty seconds, which could have stolen him the round. Hard to say. I think Thompson, but who knows.

CNET scores it 10-9 for Thompson

Round 3

Good start for Thompson, with a stinging straight over the top.

Whoa… Thompson clips him with a SWEET wheel kick that almost knocks Burns off his feet. Unreal. Thought we might get a finish, but Burns appears to recover. Now he’s got Thompson to the mat. Can Thompson get back to his feet? He’s running out of time here and Burns has got side control now. This looks bad for Thompson.

CNET scores it 10-9 for Burns and 29-28 for Burns overall.

Official decision: Gilbert Burns defeats Stephen Thompson by decision (29-28 on all three scorecards)

Oh man, nothing like a heavyweight slobberknocker. Tai Tuivasa, is famous for his victory shoeys (a shoey is when you drink beer out of a stranger’s shoe, after the stranger has spat in it — yes, I know, gross). Greg Hardy is notorious as an ex-NFL player with a tarnished history. Many are divided on whether he should be fighting in the UFC at all.

This fight should be absolute chaos. Tuivasa is explosive and loose and fun to watch, I’m picking him to get it done tonight.

Round 1

Holy shit, Tai Tuivasa comes out to the Spice Girls. This is the best entrance I’ve ever seen in my life. Please win Tai. I’m begging you.

Wow. What a wild minute of fighting. Tuivasa comes out chopping the legs. Hardy hits back with a thunderous shot and PROPERLY wobbles Tuivasa, but as Hardy comes in to finish he gets utterly melted by a counter left hook. Unbelievable scenes. Tuivasa climbs up to the cage and goes straight for the shoey babyyyyyyy! Amazing. What a fight as long as it lasted.

Tai Tuivasa wins va KO in the first round

Aldana came out victorious.

This is a big fight for the women’s bantamweight division, between two of its top contenders. Interestingly, Aldana is coming off a bad weight miss, hitting the scale at 139.5 pounds, when she needed to hit 136. Will that affect this fight? Historically fighters who miss weight have an advantage, but sometimes that weight cut struggle can have a massive impact on stamina. Let’s see what happens. I’m picking Kunitskaya.

Round 1

Kunitskaya is throwing heat from the outset, landing big leg kicks. She’s moving aggressively and really looks up for this. But once Aldana settled in she began landing big punches, including one to the body that appeared to really affect Kunitskaya.

And then all of a sudden Aldana absolutely cracks Kunitskaya coming in with a heavy counter check hook that lays Kunitskaya out. She tries to defend with upkicks, but eventually Aldana gets on top and lands bomb after bomb on Kunitskaya, who struggles to defend. This one is over.

Irene Aldana wins via TKO in the first round

Sean O’Malley won in a landslide victory.

If you’re new to “Suga” Sean O’Malley, brace yourself. He is one of the rising stars in the UFC and one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster. There’s a reason he’s opening this card.

Unfortunately, his original opponent, Louis Smolka, was removed from this fight thanks to a staph infection. The replacement fighter, Kris Moutinho, represents something of a mismatch. He’s a last minute replacement and not a strong one either. It would be a wild upset if O’Malley lost this fight, but stranger things have happened in the UFC.

Round 1

Moutinho absolutely marching forward trying to catch O’Malley with legs kicks. But O’Malley seems to be landing at will, probing front kicks, precision jabs, straights. Just incredible land percentage. At one point O’Malley had him hurt and was… pretending to play basketball? Incredible.

But Moutinho’s ability to absorb damage and walk forward does appear to be causing O’Malley some issues. That said, O’Malley absolutely sparked him in the last second of the round. One more minute and he’d have been out.

Incredibly, O’Malley broke the bantamweight record for most strikes landed in a round

CNET scores it 10-8 for O’Malley

Round 2

O’Malley can’t miss and Moutinho has one of the craziest chins I’ve seen in a fight. He is still walking forward is crazy. O’Malley’s shots seem to have lost their sting. This guy is fighting like it’s his last day on earth. It’s wild that’s he’s still here to take these shots.

O’Malley is landing at a 84% accuracy rate. Anderson Silva levels here. But Moutinho is STILL HERE.

CNET scores it 10-9 for O’Malley

Round 3

Another crazy round where Moutinho just marched through shots and O’Malley just landing at will with precise, clean hard shots. Again, I’ve never seen anything like this.

Eventually, Herb Dean waves it off. O’Malley had a few exchanges where he was really teeing off with every strike you can imagine — knees, punches, kicks. 

To be honest, I would have liked to see that continue. Regardless, a wild fight. O’Malley landed huge shots at an incredible rate and Moutinho just took it all.

Sean O’Malley wins via TKO in the third round