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As the years continue to fly by, we can’t help but think about what the stars of the UFC will bring to the Octagon in the upcoming months. It is an exciting time to maximize the effect that popular UFC stars can have on your bar.

Conor McGregor, unique to all others in combat sports, is known for grabbing the attention of the world during his fights, and although his future is not yet decided, we could see various big fights this year that bring on similar attention.

This is what we call the ‘McGregor Effect’, when a star fighter such as McGregor, Nurmagomedov, or Rousey can generate an influx of traffic to your venue during fight night. For those in our network, a big fight becomes one of their most profitable nights of the year. Having your venue ready for a star UFC fight night is crucial and we are here to help.

Whether you are a commercial location, casino high-room, or a university looking to build special events, we are eager to spike your post-dinner crowd by offering fight night.

If you still feel hesitant about this idea, let us explain that this is a good investment for your business in which we do not upcharge for famous fights, like McGregor. The price is by fire code occupancy and is the same for all UFC events!


There is no doubt that the bars and restaurants who show popular fighters could see double or triple the traffic of a normal UFC night.

We usually see searches spike on the UFC Bar Finder more than a week ahead of these fights. More customer traffic means more return on your investment! But making sure your venue is prepared to correctly handle the rush that you’ll see during these customer driving fight nights is very important.

Customers who have a bad experience will likely not return, not just for another fight night, but ever. One of the major benefits to showing a UFC event is that 93% of fans who come in to watch an event return on a non-fight night! Therefore, we emphasize the smooth delivery during these events to retain more of a customer base at your bar post fight night.

Allow us to list our best suggestions to ensure you are maximizing the biggest fight nights at your venue, as well as all future UFC events:


The first rule of thumb is to increase your staffing by a third for each level or tier increase you believe the fight will draw over a normal event. If you usually have six servers, and you project a fight will be two tiers higher, you should have 10. The more staff, the better service that your bar can provide for the influx of customers.


Instead of emphasizing the full meal items that your bar may usually serve, pare down the menu to more quick-serve items to help save time. This will help keep the kitchen moving steadily and will appeal to the larger groups of people. The emphasis should be on large, shareable appetizers that work well for a group size that averages four or more.


You’ve already scheduled extra bartenders, right? Great! To reach for bigger and better, open an auxiliary bar or two with a basic selection of light beer and wine. Have a couple of servers work the room with shot trays. Not only will these additions boost sales, they’ll also keep wait times to a minimum.


Watching the UFC is a communal experience. Push tables together to create room for bigger groups, which has the bonus effect of creating standing-room-only areas. You don’t want to turn away fans because all the seats are filled! Creating this interactive environment will bring fans together and can create positive moments to remember at your venue.


As always, it’s completely at your discretion whether to charge a cover or not. But it’s not the only way to generate revenue. You can hold a few prime tables or bar seats and sell them as VIP seating for an extra cost. Fans can reserve these seats with the best views of the television and an upgraded level of service. The VIP section will not only boost revenue, but can also boost your bar’s value by creating a memorable feeling for VIP guests and spark interest for others who want to have that experience during the next fight night.


Once everyone is in your venue for the event, it’s a great time to take down the current posters and use the space to promote another upcoming event. UFC fans are also likely to be major fans of boxing, NASCAR, and X-Games, among other major sports such as the NFL. Any event you have that appeals to men between the ages of 21-44, this is the chance to make them aware.


UFC events are likely to draw many first-time or rare visitors to your venue. This is a great chance to turn them into regulars! There are many ways to capture them. Hand out a coupon good for a free drink or appetizer on a non-UFC night. Raffle off a free happy hour that can only be reserved on a weekday. Waive a cover charge or provide a free appetizer to anyone who presents their UFC check on another fight night. Whatever you decide, be sure to use this as a chance to collect their emails!

Reserve the next big UFC fight night now to ensure that you’re maximizing the biggest fight nights of the year and setting your bar up for success. When working with Joe Hand Promotions you can acquire the best suggestions for your bar and take your business to the next level.

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