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UFC 296 card: Leon Edwards, Ian Machado Garry and Paddy Pimblett all in action

Two title fights will top a stacked card at UFC 296 this weekend, as the welterweight and men’s flyweight belts are defended in Las Vegas.

In the main event, Leon Edwards puts his welterweight gold on the line against former interim champion Covington, having won the belt from Kamaru Usman in 2022 before retaining it against the “Nigerian Nightmare” this March.

That fight will play out moments after Alexandre Pantoja defends his flyweight belt for the first time, in a rematch with Brandon Royval. Pantoja, who won the title with a decision over Brandon Moreno in July, previously submitted Royval in 2021.

Elsewhere on the card, rising welterweight contenders Ian Machado Garry and Shavkat Rakhmonov will face Vicente Luque and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson respectively, while Liverpudlian star Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett faces lightweight legend Tony Ferguson.

Here’s all you need to know.

When is UFC 296?

UFC 296 takes place on Saturday 16 December at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The early prelims are set to begin at 11pm GMT (4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET), with the regular prelims following at 1am GMT on Sunday 17 December (6pm PT, 8pm CT, 9pm ET on Saturday).

The main card is then due at 3am GMT on Sunday (8pm PT, 10pm CT, 11pm ET on Saturday).

How can I watch it?

In the UK, the prelims will air live on TNT Sports 1 for subscribers, who can also watch those early fights on discovery+. The main card will then air live on TNT Sports Box Office, costing £19.99 and available to subscribers and non-subscribers. In the US, ESPN+ will stream the action live, as will the UFC’s Fight Pass.

If you’re travelling abroad and want to watch the event, you might need a VPN to unblock your streaming app. Our VPN round-up is here to help and includes deals on VPNs in the market. Viewers using a VPN need to make sure that they comply with any local regulations where they are and also with the terms of their service provider.

Odds

Colby Covington, left, last fought in March 2022, dominating friend-turned-rival Jorge Masvidal (Getty Images)
Colby Covington, left, last fought in March 2022, dominating friend-turned-rival Jorge Masvidal (Getty Images)

Edwards – 4/6

Covington – 6/5

Via Betway.

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Full card (subject to change)

Main card

Leon Edwards (C) vs Colby Covington (welterweight title)

Alexandre Pantoja (C) vs Brandon Royval 2 (flyweight title)

Shavkat Rahkmonov vs Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (welterweight)

Tony Ferguson vs Paddy Pimblett (lightweight)

Vicente Luque vs Ian Machado Garry (welterweight)

Prelims

Josh Emmett vs Bryce Mitchell (featherweight)

Irene Aldana vs Karol Rosa (women’s bantamweight)

Cody Garbrandt vs Brian Kelleher (bantamweight)

Casey O’Neill vs Ariane Lipski (women’s flyweight)

Early prelims

Alonzo Menifield vs Dustin Jacoby (light-heavyweight)

Martin Buday vs Shamil Gaziev (heavyweight)

Tagir Ulanbekov vs Cody Durden (flyweight)

Andre Fili vs Lucas Almeida (featherweight)

Martin Buday vs Shamil Gaziev (heavyweight)

Randy Brown vs Muslim Salikhov (welterweight)