If you’re a UFC fan planning to go to a live event, but you’re under eighteen, or maybe you’re a parent thinking of taking your child with you. You may be asking are UFC events age restricted for over eighteens only (18+)?
The UFC do not have age restrictions on their live events. Most venues however, do require children under a certain age to be accompanied by an adult. This age can vary slightly from each venue and from country to country, but is usually between 16-18. To be sure, it is advised that you check with the venue directly about their age policy.
Okay, let’s say you’ve checked with the venue and they have given you or your child the go ahead to attend a live UFC event. Is there anything else to consider?
- Are UFC events safe?
- Are UFC events suitable for children?
Plus discover the best place to sit at a UFC event in our article: UFC Event: Where to Sit for the Best View?
Are UFC Events Age Restricted for Over Eighteens?
Whether you’re under eighteen yourself and planning on going to a live UFC event, or you’re checking on whether or not you should allow your child to go, it is understandable to have some questions.
Are UFC Events Safe?
To me, this really is a question of the crowd atmosphere and whether or not it is safe to be apart of that crowd. Here’s what I experienced from the events I have been to.
Unlike most other sporting events, the vast majority of the crowd at a UFC event are made up of martial artists. Why is this relevant?
Well, as we all know martial arts teach respect and I can honestly say that from the two live UFC events that I have been to, you do get a sense of respect there. Whether it’s while queuing for the bar or passing each other on the arena stairs.
There is a shared mutual respect for both the fighters in the cage too. Sure, people have their preferred fighter who they want to see win, but it is not like in European Football matches where the crowd has to be separated with riot control officers to stop the crowds from attacking each other.
Live UFC events have a mixed crowd with a sense of mutual respect between both the fighters and other spectators, which gives a welcoming atmosphere to the whole event, unlike any other sporting event I’ve been to.
Professional Environment & Security
The UFC and Mixed Martial Arts as a whole, have come a long way since their rocky beginnings. MMA is now a professional sport, sanctioned by various athletic commissions, and the UFC are by far the leaders in their field.
This means that they now hold their events in some of the worlds most iconic arenas. These arenas have their procedures in place, their own rules and they have an army of professional security teams trained in de-escalation and crowd control. The UFC have their doctors on stand by for the fighters, and the arenas have paramedics on stand by for the crowd. These are not lawless, barbaric events held in someone’s garage.
The vast majority of UFC events go down without any problems. But it wouldn’t be fair for me not to mention in this article, that there have been times where the fighting continued after the final bell and even spilt out of the cage and into the crowd.
Unfortunately for the world of MMA, this happened very famously in front of millions of viewers at UFC 229: Khabib vs McGregor.
What made this so unfortunate, is that it really isn’t a true reflection of the sport of MMA, but it played out in front of millions of viewers, many of which were watching for the first time due to the popularity of McGregor.
This outbreak was a shock to everyone watching, including MMA fans. You can clearly hear the commentator’s disapproval of the events that unfolded, and even the fighters who were involved came out and apologised afterwards.
There is a deep back story as to why this brawl happened. But the important thing to know is that this is a very rare occasion and is not the norm at live UFC events and it was quickly and professionally defused by the security and management teams of both the UFC and of the T-Mobile Arena.
Are UFC Events Suitable for Children?
Honestly, a live UFC event isn’t much different from a live Football or Ice Hockey game. Are they suitable? There will be alcohol, there will be passionate fans shouting for their favourite athletes to win and there will be ring girls, much like cheerleaders in other sports.
“Should your child watch UFC or MMA? Check out my article: What Age is UFC & MMA Suitable For? (A Parents Guide)“
Now of course, some might argue that UFC events are unique because of the sport itself. After all, Mixed Martial Arts is not a fake entertainment sport like the WWE, it is full-contact martial arts, as the UFC itself says with it’s slogan, “As real as it gets”.
However, I would argue that the level of violence at a live UFC event is no different to what we see when watching a UFC event on the TV. And is no different than what we sometimes see in Football or Ice Hockey. In fact, I would further argue that the fights that break out in other sports are morally worse because they are attacks on other players, fuelled by anger.
Professional MMA fighters on the other hand, are highly trained martial artists who have mutually agreed to step into the cage together, to compete at the highest level, under a strict rule set, all under the supervision of a professional and highly skilled referee.
Is the violence worse than in video games, than in Boxing or than in movies? That’s not for me to say, the question of violence goes far beyond this article and is something for you as a parent to make a decision on.
Did You Know
The UFC video game age ratings are as follows:
United States: T (teen) suitable for ages 13 and over
United Kingdom: 16+
Australia: MA15 suitable for ages 15 and over