Since giving up cable TV, I no longer order the UFC pay-per-views. I'm also the only one of my friends that really likes MMA, so none of them order it at their house. Sucks.
My only viable option for watching the fight is going out to a local bar, which is cool with me. I like bars and the services they provide. The bar in my neighborhood is Red Star Bar and that's where I usually end up on UFC fight night. The place is decent. It's big, with two levels, and has 10-20 HDTVs throughout. The bartenders are really friendly and the food is decent too. Best wings in Brooklyn, if you ask me. They ALWAYS show the fight and the cover is $10. It gets crowded as it gets later, but if you get there an hour or so before the fight, it's fairly easy to get a table. And if you do get there early, you'll be treated to the prelims, which they also show. Plus I always meet cool MMA fans and that's a nice bonus.
But one thing galls me about the place and it that's they don't show the fight in HD. They have all those HDTVs but are to cheap order the HD broadcast and yet have the nerve to charge me a $10 cover for the privilege of waching the fight there. Every other sport they show is in HD, but not the UFC. Bastards.
A few months ago, I was traveling in San Francisco during the weekend of the fight. My hotel, like most hotels I assume, didn't allow me to order the pay-per-view in my room. So I needed to find a spot near by that was showing it. As always, I had my laptop with me so I began to search.
The official UFC website seems like a good jumping-off point. Frequenters of the UFC.com website are probably no stranger to the "How to Watch" page. On this page, you are informed can either order the fight and watch it online, get the PPV through your cable/satellite provider, or you can watch it at "A Bar Near You". That's clearly what I want.
According to the UFC, I only have 2 viable options, the two top results, because taking the BART train out to Walnut Creek or Concord is out of the question. Two options are better than none, I suppose. But I know there are more bars in the entire city of San Francisco that are showing the fight, but they aren't coming up here. What's more annoying is that the options they do provide don't tell me anything about these bars or even where they are located, only a phone number. By looking at the screen shot, you would think that the red bar names are hyperlinks to more information, but sadly they aren't. No link to the bar's website either. Grrr. And what's the point of the Facebook and Twitter buttons? How do those help me? They don't.
Whatever. I am not a retard and I know how to search the web to get the locations of these places and maybe some other basic information. So I do that and decide to check out Kezar Pub . It is located in the Upper Haight neighborhood and that's an area I'm familiar with, plus it's easier to get to than the Inner Sunset, where Blackthorn is located.
I get to Kezar around the start of the fight and the place is packed. If I were able to get a good seat, this would have been an awesome place to catch the fight. Alas, this was not the case. Standing room only and service was slow. By this point, I'm out and my laptop is at the hotel and I forgot what the other place in the Inner Sunset was that was showing the fight. Blacksomething? I decide to check the UFC website from my phone.
Hmm... No mention of where to watch the fight on the first page. So I scroll down.
So what's a hardcore UFC fan like me to do in these situations? When I'm at home, the place I usually go to watch UFC fights is under-serving me. When I'm traveling, there isn't an easy way to find a place nearby. This sucks. I need an app to find UFC bars that makes this easy for me. I suspect I am not alone.
Well as it happens, in addition to being an MMA addict, I am also a software developer and I like building things. So I built the app I wanted so I never had to worry about not seeing the fight again. Here are some screen shots:
The screenshots are for iPhone, but it should work on Android too. There is also a web version located at http://fightnig.ht and it has pictures for a lot of the bars, so check that out too. The app is still in beta and a work in progress and feedback is always welcome. Last thing to note is that the data is pretty good, but it isn't perfect. There may be a bar or two here and there that doesn't show UFC fights. To be on the safe side, you might want to call and verify before showing up . Conversely, we don't have every possible bar that is, either. Lastly for the Canadians and other international folks, this is only for the U.S. for now. If you want to see bars for your country included in the results, please let me know.
And may you never worry about seeing the fight again, wherever you are.
Preliminary support for bars in Canada is now live for all provinces.