Featherweights Yair Rodríguez and Jeremy Stephens will meet in the main event at UFC Fight Night 159 in Mexico City on Saturday.
Neither the prelims (5 p.m. ET) or the main card (8 p.m. ET) will be on TV in the US, but you can watch the entirety of both cards live on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of UFC and other live sporting events, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and other original content for $4.99 per month.
You can either sign up for a month of ESPN+ right here, or if you plan on ordering the upcoming UFC 243: Whittaker vs Adesanya, you can purchase a year of ESPN+ and the UFC 243 PPV for a special bundle price of $79.98 (normally $109.98).
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can then watch a live stream of Rodriguez vs Stephens and all the UFC Mexico City fights on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
UFC Mexico City 2019 Preview
His last time out, Rodríguez (11-2 in MMA, 7-1 in the UFC) ended one of the promotion’s greatest fights with an arguably greater knockout.
With one second remaining in his back-and-forth bout with Chan Sung Jung, aka “The Korean Zombie,” the 26-year-old knocked his foe out with an elbow to the melon.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Rodríguez said, according to ESPN. “I was like, ‘Holy s—.’ I knew it was inside the five-minute round, but at the same time I was like, ‘Did I really hit him at the last second? Wow. I got him.’ I looked to my corner and they were super happy. The referee put his hands up and said the fight was over.
“I haven’t seen anything like that before, so I think [it’s the best knockout ever].”
The 33-year-old Stephens (28-16, 15-15) is coming off consecutive defeats. José Aldo punched him out in the first round in July 2018, then Zabit Magomedsharipov bested him via unanimous decision in March.
Stephens spent the month before the bout training in Zacatecas, Mexico, which sits about 8,000 feet above sea level. But before head there, he trained with former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, whose workouts have become something of an MMA legend.
“We’re chilling out, watching ‘Rocky IV,’ and he’s like, ‘Let’s hit this run,’” Stephens told MMA Junkie. “I thought he was f—ing joking. I’m like, ‘OK, we’re not going to run. He’s tired.’ Sure enough, midnight hits, and we go off on this run.
“It’s like 1 in the morning, and I’m running up this hill, and he’s like, ‘Bro, I need you to sprint up this f—ing hill, bro. Everything you’ve got.’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ I’m tired. I actually ran in the morning and then went and trained with him.”
He added: “So I’m running up this hill, and ‘El Cucuy,’ the boogeyman, is like, ‘I’m going to get you! I’m going to get you!’ I’m f—ing running my ass off, bro. He’s actually coming! He’s coming up the hill. He’s trying to chase me. He’s like, ‘Don’t let me catch you! I’m going to get you!’
“The boogeyman is screaming at me. Like, what the f—?”
The Iowa native called training with Ferguson a “tremendous experience.”
“I had a smile on my face the whole time I sprinted up that hill. He gave me the best compliment I think anybody could give me. He says, ‘Man, you’re in f—ing phenomenal shape.’
“For ‘El Cucuy’ to tell you that six weeks out from a fight? We’re ready, bro.”