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There is no denying the fact that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has quickly grown to become the most popular league of combat sports in the world. Prior to the UFC, there has never been such a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) media outlet. Of course, UFC was not the first entity to broadcast and feature MMA matches – in fact, there are many Japanese and Chinese leagues that far predate UFC – but one thing is certain: it is the first one to really put MMA on the map and package it in an effective way for mass mainstream audiences.
The UFC, though, does seem to get far too much attention, at least in my opinion. Sure, it is responsible for some of the greatest MMA matches I have ever seen in my lifetime, but it can also be a little hit or miss. Maybe you have heard people mock the UFC for how long their matches can go without any real action – professional boxing has faced similar criticism in the past – and there is some truth to it; sometimes they let their fighters rest for too long.
That being said, when a UFC fight really gets cooking, there’s nothing else quite like it in the world. They bring in some of the best MMA athletes alive today and do a very good job at pairing people up to fight. Plus, the UFC wisely took a different page out of professional boxing’s playbook as well. The way that Ultimate Fighting builds the tension and drama leading up to a fight is spectacular. Say what you will about the UFC, they really know how to get fans hyped for an upcoming fight (I mean, hey, how else are they going to get people to shell out for every pay per view even, am I right?).
But for all of the attention that the UFC gets, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the other awesome MMA and combat sports leagues out there. The UFC may have taken the place of professional wrestling in the zeitgeist (meaning that it has surpassed the WWE in terms of popularity), but it is far from the only league putting out incredible fights. In fact, there are plenty of different combat sports leagues out there – some dealing specifically in MMA, others specializing in variations on boxing, wrestling, etc. – and if you have not already gotten to know them, then now is the time.
I’m talking about leagues like Top Rank, Golden Boy, Premier Boxing Champions, Rizin Fighting Foundation, All Elite Wrestling, Major League Wrestling, Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Alliance (just to name a few). Sure, it can be easy to find out where to stream or how to watch the next UFC or WWE event, but when it comes to these lesser known (and, frankly, a little more obscure) combat sports leagues, doing so can be a bit trickier.
Luckily, though, there is a streaming service that specializes in broadcasting all of these aforementioned leagues (and more). I like to think of it as an underdog combat sports streaming site. This one is for real, hardcore fighting and wrestling fans. If you simply cannot get enough MMA, boxing, and pro wrestling, the streaming service that you need to take into consideration is Fite TV.
Fite TV launched on May 20th of 2012 and has amassed an impressive number of subscribers since then. Today, Fite TV boasts a whopping 1.6 million subscribers from around the world. Not too shabby for a streaming service that many people thought wouldn’t make it when they launched in 2012, once the UFC was really starting to gain momentum. People thought it was crazy to go up against the giant of MMA at the time that Fite TV decided to. But, hey, that’s the spirit of capitalism, right, competition?
More importantly, that’s the spirit of combat sports in general. Fite TV was not going to stand down when it came time to grapple with UFC TV. And they were wise for not backing off. Fite TV has quickly become one of the most successful combat sports streaming services worldwide.
With an impressive team of executives and investors backing the streaming platform, it definitely doesn’t look as if Fite TV is going anywhere anytime soon either. Tim Draper, for instance – famed investor who has worked with Hotmail, Space X, Skype, Tesla, Baidu, and many other iconic brands – has invested in Fite TV; and (save for maybe Hotmail) nothing that Draper has put his money behind has failed. Therefore, there may have never been a better time to become a Fite TV subscriber than right now.
The overall design of Fite TV is basic. And I mean that in the best way possible. It is very stripped down and easy to use. Sometimes, even though “basic” may have some negative connotations, the simpler a service is designed, the better. I love the classic black and red theme … it really screams combat. And the layout is where the real convenience and user-friendliness of Fite TV asserts itself.
Simply browse the Fite TV event schedule. Each match comes with a stylized image (sort of like an event flyer), and clicking on the event (prior to airing) will give you additional information on the fight, stats from the competitors, and even additional video content to get you ready for the main event. From there, simply choose what screen you want to view it on (smart TV, phone, desktop, etc.), and sit back and enjoy. It doesn’t get any easier than this when it comes to streaming the best in combat sports and pay per view events.
As I just mentioned, Fite TV will give you access to pay per view events from pretty much all of the noteworthy combat sports leagues (aside from UFC and WWE). But Fite TV offers much more than that as well. In addition to being able to conveniently view live PPV events, Fite TV also offers a robust library of archived matches and events. The Fite TV Impact Plus subscription, for instance, boasts 3,000+ hours of archived footage available for on demand streaming in the Impact Wrestling Library.
But the fights themselves are not all that you will have access to as a Fite TV user. Fite TV also has plenty of, to use their own words, “groundbreaking original content.” What this basically amounts to are, similar to other sports streaming services, programs that feature commentary, fight forecasts, stats, and insider, behind the scenes footage and interviews with athletes. Fite TV, however, goes one step further than most platforms when it comes to their original content. They also offer original documentaries and reality TV series that let you become acquainted with your favorite fighters like never before.
As far as getting the biggest bang for your buck is concerned, there may not be any sports streaming platform out there that offers more (even for their most basic subscription level) than Fite TV.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
As I sort of hinted at before, due to the fact that Fite TV simply lets you select what screen you are viewing content from, the experience is just as good no matter what device you are on. In addition to using the excellent in-browser site, Fite TV works excellently on a smart TV, Roku, and mobile device. In fact, the Fite TV app is one of the highest rated sports streaming apps on the market. With a 4.6 (out of 5) star rating on the Apple App Store, people really seem to love the interface and usability of Fite TV no matter what device they are using it on. And that is precisely what you want from a paid subscription service.
Pricing and Plans
Fite TV offers 2 basic plans: Impact Plus and Honor Club. Here are the basics on each…
-Impact Plus offers live network broadcasts, access to archived footage, original series/shows/docs, and additional historical archived content. You can pay for Impact Plus monthly ($7.99) or yearly ($71.99).
-Honor Club, on the other hand, gets you discounts to PPV events, access to exclusive tour footage, unlimited on-demand viewing, commercial free live programming, as well as everything that Impact Plus has to offer. This will run you $9.99/month, or $99.99 a year.
Regardless of which option you choose, Fite TV offers a free 30-day trial so you can see whether it is right for you.
Suggestions that I have for Fite TV
Honestly, the only suggestion I have for Fite TV would be for them to air their own main events. It would be great if Fite TV could bypass the whole PPV model somehow. I know this would probably be a legal and contractual nightmare, but it would be awesome if I didn’t have to pay for PPV events in addition to a monthly or annual fee to access Fite TV.