As any UFC fight fan knows, the UFC’s main cards are stacked from top to bottom with the best fighters and are well worth watching. But are the UFC prelims also worth watching?
UFC prelims can be just as good as the main card fights and are well worth watching. The UFC prelims showcase and feature up and coming fighters who are hungry to impress MMA fans. Meaning, UFC prelim fights can often be just as good, action packed, very entertaining fights, well worth watching.
So let’s take a look at the UFC Prelims a little more and see what to look forward to as a UFC fight fan, including what UFC prelims are, how to watch them, and more.
About UFC Prelims: Are They Worth Watching?
As mentioned above, the UFC prelims ARE worth watching whether you’re a casual UFC fan, or a die-hard MMA supporter.
That’s because they can be just as entertaining as the main card fights as the up-and-coming fighters are keen to impress the fans and make a name for themselves and move up the ranks.
This usually means the prelim fighters will go all out to finish the fight. We’ve all seen fights where a fighter may be comfortable riding out the fight to the final bell to secure the win. And fair enough, they have to do what they can to get the win.
And that’s no different in the prelims. But young up-and-coming fighters know if they can make a good impression early in their UFC career, and get that highlight-reel finish, they’re much more likely to get that big-name fight next, or even a fight of the night bonus.
Most big-named UFC fighters started out their UFC career in the early prelims. It’s much less common for a fighter to come into the UFC and go straight onto the main card, and much less common to headline straight away.
However, if a fighter signs to the UFC with a lot of hype behind them from another promotion, then they sometimes are put straight under the spotlight on the main card.
For example, when the UFC bought out the MMA promotion Strike Force, they also brought in the fighter’s contracts to the UFC. Which saw two of the biggest named fighters move over to the UFC, Nick Diaz and Ronda Rousey.
Diaz had already fought under the UFC banner before leaving and fighting for a number of other MMA promotions around the world, before returning to the UFC with the Strike Force merger. Following this, Diaz went straight into UFC 137, where he headlined the main event against BJ Penn.
Also following the merger, Rousey headlined UFC 157 and made UFC history when she ended the fight in the first round by armbar and became the first-ever UFC women’s champion. Something UFC presented Dana White said he never thought we’d see in the UFC.
However, when the UFC bought out MMA promotion WEC, they again merged the fighter contracts. One of which was Donald Cerrone. But Cerrone’s first outing in the UFC wasn’t on the main card, but instead headlining the preliminary card against British fighter Paul Kelly, with the main card featuring Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin, and Jon Jones among others.
And, one of the biggest names to ever step foot in the UFC octagon, Conor McGregor, started his UFC career on a UFC preliminary card against Marcus Brimage, who he stopped in the first round with an onslaught of ground and pound.
So, it just goes to show, that the UFC prelims are well worth watching because you just never know who you’re going to witness making UFC history or which future champion you’ll watch break into the UFC scene.
“UFC Prelims are worth watching to witness up-and-coming, potential future champions make UFC history”
What Are UFC Prelims & What Are Prelims For?
At first, it may seem strange that UFC events are split into prelims and main card, so what are UFC prelims and what are they for?
UFC prelims are the early fights that make up the opening section of a UFC event. Prelims are on before the UFC main card starts and usually showcase UFC fighters from the lower rankings of the division and/or local up-and-coming fighters who are working their way up to the main card.
Local & Up-And-Coming Fighters on Prelims
Another common thing to see in UFC prelims is the debut of local fighters and up-and-coming new names.
For example, a UFC event being held in a city with emerging new fighters is likely to put those fighters on the early prelims to open the show and get the crowd in early and warmed up for the main card.
If you’re keeping your eye out for a new name fighter and you’ve heard they are an exciting watch, or maybe a teammate at your gym, then check the fight card schedule ahead of time because they may be set to fight on the earlier prelims.
However, a lot of UFC fight fans don’t start to fill the arena or start the pay-per-view until after the prelims when the main card starts. If you’re one of those guys, don’t worry about missing out on the prelim action. The UFC does a great job of showing all the best bits and showcasing their rising stars from the prelims on their YouTube channel with free fights and highlights.
How To Watch UFC Prelims?
To watch the UFC you’ll need to check your local channel listings because the channel is different in each country. However, you can watch UFC prelims on UFC Fight Pass (along with lots of other shows) if you have a subscription to the service.
UFC Fight Pass is the UFC’s subscription-based streaming service which hosts thousands of hours of content, including shows from the UFC, BJJ tournaments, Muay Thai fights, boxing, and other MMA promotions, and has been described as ‘Netflix for fight fans’.
You can check out more about the UFC in my other articles including, where to start watching the UFC from if you’re a new UFC fan and want to catch up on some UFC historical fights. Plus, 3 ways to watch old UFC fights.