UFC Fight Pass, ZUFFA’s web subscription service which features exclusive content as well as an expansive fight library, has been around a few months now.
Free trials have offered MMA fans the opportunity to give it a look without risk.
So, have you had a look? What do you think? Worth your loot or no?
Maybe you’ve already made up your mind. But if not, here’s one writer’s totally unsolicited opinion.
I’ve had a chance to enjoy a substantial selection of UFC Fight Pass programming in recent weeks. In that span, the UFC Fight Night from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates was broadcast exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. The third season of TUF Brasil, another exclusive, began heating up — with coaches Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen making headlines by actually coming to blows.
Of course, the promotion is also hyping up its UFC Fight Pass library, featuring content like the “dark age” UFC’s: events from back in the days when the UFC was on life support, its programming unavailable on cable TV. Some of those shows were never even released on DVD. This gave me the opportunity to see stuff I never had seen, like my old favorite Murilo Bustamante’s UFC debut in Japan in 2000.
The exclusive Fight Nights? They can be fun. Do they really set themselves apart from the UFC programming on FOX or Fox Sports 1? Are they worth it, with other MMA programming like WSOF or Bellator all over the place? Nah.
The fight library? It’s expansive, but not as navigable as it could be. You need to be patient if you want to, say, enjoy a certain fighter’s career, and browse through entire shows. That “dark age” UFC which included Murilo Bustamante’s debut was fun to finally see. The UFC’s then-matchmaker John Peretti was interviewed prior to that night’s main event of Tito Ortiz vs. Wanderlei Silva. Peretti actually mentioned, on-camera, his fear that the fight would disappoint fans. It was a fascinating contrast to today’s UFC product. But, is it worth a subscription? Nah.
I caught a little of TUF Brasil, and it’s more depressing than anything. The UFC is trying desperately to keep the format fresh with an Octagon girl contest and Brazilian celebrities as guest coaches. But mostly, the story of the season is Wanderlei Silva, a hero to anyone who loves MMA, and how he is struggling to control himself. The fights aren’t bad, but again, worth a subscription? Nope.
I’d like to recommend Fight Pass. If it was combined with broadcast of UFC programming, maybe a discount on PPV, it would make more sense. Maybe if a lot of this material (TUF:Brasil, PPV preliminary bouts) weren’t available free before Fight Pass, maybe I’d be more receptive to it.
I’ve heard from fans without cable TV or living internationally where UFC programming isn’t available. Right now, Fight Pass makes sense for them. Maybe it makes sense for you.
But, it just doesn’t make sense for most fans. Including this one.