We love sport in this country. Whether it’s the skill and excitement of the Premier League or the death-defying speed of Formula 1, or even the genteel richness of Test Cricket, passionate sports fans in the UK devour them all.
With the summer Lions tour, Wimbledon and the climax of the Premier League, Brits have gorged themselves on sport this summer. So it’s no surprise that the world’s fastest growing sport is taking root here too. We’ve even seen Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr draw 10,000 sports fans to Wembley for a press conference!
If you’re new to MMA we’ve put together a little guide on how you can get into the sport and, of course, where you can watch it.
What is the UFC?
The UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship is an American fighting promotion company that is the world's’ biggest mixed martial arts organisation. The UFC runs and administers events all over the globe with recent cards taking place in Germany, Macau and Rotterdam. But the big fights come live from the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas.
The UFC has taken the world by storm; since Chairman Dana White and the Fertitta brothers purchased the organisation, it has gone from strength to strength. Every month more and more fans experience the action of what is, surely, the world’s toughest sport.
With the organisation recently selling for over $4 billion dollars to WME-IMG, the UFC and the whole sport of mixed martial arts (or MMA) looks set to go to another level.
The rules of the UFC are relatively simple. Two opponents meet in an eight sided cage called the “Octagon”. Most fights last for three five minute rounds, but Championship or main event bouts can instead last for five rounds. The UFC currently has 9 different weight classes and uses the same 10 point MUST judging system as Boxing with some scoring variations around things like takedowns.
A fight can end in a number of ways. Submission, where a fighter either verbally or physically submits to an opponent, knockout, technical knockout which is where the referee decides a fighter cannot continue or judges’ decision.
Fighters fight using a blend of different martial arts (hence the term mixed martial arts) such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kick boxing and wrestling. While a boxing match is fairly easy to understand, the nuances of Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling can be a bit trickier to grasp. But after a good UFC event, we can almost guarantee you’ll come back for more.
How To Watch The UFC In The UK
Luckily for us Brits it’s pretty easy to watch UFC events in the UK. All live UFC events from across the globe are televised in the UK and Republic of Ireland by BT Sport. BT Sport also offers customers the opportunity to stream UFC events on their website and via the BT Sport app.
UK fight fans can also opt to pick up UFC Fight Pass. Fight Pass features an absolutely vast library of MMA fights and costs £4.99 per month with a 12 month commitment, £5.49 per month with a 6 month commitment and £5.99 per month with no commitment. However Fight Pass will not give you live access to numbered US pay-per-view cards as these are exclusive to BT Sport.
If you watch other sports such as Premier League Football, Rugby, NBA and MotoGP then picking up a BT Sport subscription is a good idea. It costs different amounts to get BT Sport and it all depends on which TV or mobile platform you want to view content on.
How much is BT Sport for Sky customers?
BT Sport in standard definition for Sky TV customer without BT broadband costs £27.99 per month. To get access to High Definition BT Sports channels you will need to pay £34.49 per month. All of these costs are added onto your existing Sky subscription cost. For example the Sky Q bundle costs £25 per month but combine that with the cost for BT Sport and the HD charge, your Sky bill will add up £69.49 per month.
If you have BT broadband the prices for taking BT Sport with your Sky and BT broadband are a bit different. BT Sport for BT Broadband customers who have Sky starts at £10 per month for the first three months and is £15 per month after that (at the time of writing).
But if you combine for example a basic Sky Q bundle with BT broadband and BT Sport in HD things can get quite expensive at £65.99 per month.
How much is BT Sport for Virgin Media customers?
Virgin Media customers on the Virgin TV XL package are very lucky, they’ll get to watch the UFC on BT Sport for no extra cost. However, for other customers it can get a bit pricey. Virgin do not currently give their customers the option of picking up just the standard definition versions of the BT Sports channels, so the cost of adding BT Sport to your package is £18 per month.
Can I watch BT Sport and the UFC online?
Aside from paying for Fight Pass, there is another way to watch the UFC if you’re a BT broadband customer but don’t fancy paying for BT TV.
If you have BT broadband you can pay for online access to BT Sport content and if you’ve got a Google Chromecast you can stream that content to your TV. So you can still watch the UFC on the big screen on fight night!
Can I watch the UFC on BT TV?
If you have BT TV you’ll be pleased to know that you get BT Sport in standard definition for free. If you want to see the fights in shiny HD, you’ll have to pay an extra £5 per month on top of your current subscription.