For the first time in several months I went out to a local bar to watch a UFC pay per view.
I decided to head over to the Tailgater, located at 1221 N. Howard St., to watch Cain Velasquez defend his heavyweight championship against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in the main event of UFC 160.
After paying the $6 cover change, I ordered food and drinks while waiting for the preliminary card to start. Unlike most bars, the Tailgater has a separate room for fans to watch the pay per view, which is nice for other bar patrons who would rather watch other sports on TV rather than the hard hitting action of a UFC fight.
Although I was mainly there to watch the fights, I couldn’t help notice the interaction between the other UFC fans in the room.
As the preliminary card began winding down, the small room began filling with fight fans of different ages and races. The older man with the gray backpack was just as interested in the bout between Rick Story and Mike Pyle as the table of three college students on the opposite side of the room. Whenever someone would get rocked by a powerful punch, the fans would let out an “oh” before going back to their conversations or beer.
Even the employees of the Tailgater took would watch the fights in between drink orders. One of the waitresses, wearing a black strapless cocktail dress, decided to spend part of her shift in the room because she “wanted to see the fights.”
This did not stop after the preliminary card was finished. During the co main event between Mark Hunt and Junior dos Santos, a group of men standing next to me debated on the outcome of several dream fights, including a potential super fight between UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva and UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Alex, a fight fans whose has come to appreciate the scenery in Spokane, asked me about my opinion of the Hunt vs. dos Santos match. I told him I was torn between my loyalties between the two fighters I also explained to him about being a fan of the old Pride Fighting Championship promotion.
“If you’re a Pride guy, you’ve got to with Mark Hunt,” Alex said.
Even though MMA is considered a barbaric sport, it can bring people from different backgrounds together. Sure, there are those who watch a fight on the screen and then try to fight the person closest to him. But in the end, it is all about being a fan of the sport and sharing the experience with friends and strangers.