UFC Fight Pass Review
By Christopher Jester
Deemed the “Netflix for the fight fan”, Fight Pass is the new digital service from the UFC. It is a streaming service similar to Netflix and Hulu but chocked full of fights from the current era and from past organizations (swallowed up by Zuffa) such as PRIDE, WEC, and Strikeforce. Even though the service is still in its early stages, it is hard to determine whether this service will be for everyone; including the most enthused fight fan.
One of the first things to note is that the entire fight library is not available. Although it was promised by the UFC, it is simply not there, just yet according to officials. The idea behind it is great however. The collection of fights that are available are limited to some of the most current fights; particularly fights that took place the last couple of years. There are some vintage bouts available, but most center on some of the UFC’s bigger stars. So, anyone looking forward to revisiting battles from the UFC’s “dark ages” will be disappointed. While there are some fights from that era available, they are skim and searching for them can be a daunting task.
This leads into one of the bigger issues with the service. It is simply not very user-friendly. Organization on the site is sloppy. Finding specific fights is a chore. An advanced search engine would have worked wonders here. Instead, it leaves viewers hunting for a fight that may or may not be available right now. Worse yet is that when a search is completed, you may find results that were not intended. The content is disjointed and not in any pattern, other than the ones the site put together themselves; i.e. a Chuck Liddell collection of videos.
Now where UFC Fight Pass succeeds is in its live fights. Fight Pass’s ability to keep subscribers will rest on the fan’s willingness to review historical fights and also on the deliverance of good fight cards. Having more fights available is always a good thing for fans of mixed martial arts. This review is solely based on what was offered during the free trial and UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim delivered what was promised.
This international fight aired at 6 a.m. EST, and that might have been the only drawback. But it does help that Fight Pass allows the whole card to be viewable on demand if the live version is missed. The quality of the stream was beautiful. There were very little hiccups, and it appeared just as crisp as it would on television. Overall, this international fight card offered a good look at fighters who rarely take the center stage. The focus was on these prospects and growing their brand. It goes without saying that these fighters definitely raised their stock win or lose.
The last topic to note is security. BloodyElbow.com wrote a really informative article about UFC Fight Pass’s security that anyone who has the service or is interested in the service should read (HERE). Having to worry about your password, personal and credit card information is not a good thing for a fledgling product such as UFC Fight Pass. This will deter many from keeping the service or will influence subscribers of the free trial to consider cancelling the service altogether.
Fight Pass is a good idea from the UFC, but it has not reached its full potential just yet. At only $9.99 a month it won’t break your bank, but fans should still expect to get more for their buck. That is just not the case yet with Fight Pass. Instead, it’s a rushed product that feels incomplete and underwhelming. What will help the service in the future are its live events. Putting together stacked cards will influence people to keep the subscription. Failing to do so will ultimately spell doom for a service that could be a necessity for any fan of the UFC.
**We have an un-scientific poll over to your left if you would like to weigh-in on what you think of the UFC Fight Pass.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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