We all know that being a sports fan is not location dependent. British Premier League football is watched throughout the world. NFL is popular in regions far from the US. And many sports are fully international.
However, that does not mean being a fan in other parts of the world is easy. With some sports, and UFC in particular, being a fan across the world comes with a whole lot of challenges.
Throughout Asia, MMA is very popular. Popular enough for Singapore to have created ONE Championship, an Asia-based MMA tournament. Nonetheless, UFC is still the most popular iteration, and people throughout the world clamour to watch US fights.
There are a range of reasons it is difficult to follow UFC in Asia, but it is still an exhilarating feat.
Streaming Is Blocked
There are channels throughout Asia that show UFC matches, live. These channels make it easy for some to watch the big fights. But cable or network television is losing popularity as streaming services are cheaper and more practical.
Streaming services that work in the US, however, do not work elsewhere. They are geo-restricted, and this means that many Asian fans are prevented from following the fights.
The good news is that you can unblock UFC streaming by using a virtual private network (VPN). This piece of security software roots your connection through an external server, making it seem like you’re in a different location. Root it through a US server and you can get access to geo-restricted streaming.
Time Difference Is Messy
It should come as no surprise that there are huge time differences between US states and Asian cities. They’re on opposite sides of the world, after all. A city in Asia might be 12 hours or more ahead of a US state, which makes it very difficult to watch fights at appropriate times.
This may be because fights happen at crazy hours of the night, or because they are happening during daytime, work hours.
UFC fans in Asia often have to watch fights after they’ve already happened. It can be difficult to avoid spoilers, but many fans do so successfully. Alternatively, they make a plan to schedule their day or night around a fight. It’s tough, but not impossible.
Going to a fight is one of the joys of being a UFC fan. If you’re all the way in Asia, however, you’re unlikely to fly across the world just to see a fight. It is a pity when fans aren’t able to enjoy a sport to the full, but this is the reality for fans of any sports that take place outside of their countries.
However, when you do join fellow fans in your country in watching a fight broadcast live, it can be a particularly uplifting experience. You’re part of something bigger, and it is very evident when you’re there.
Being a fan of the UFC in Asia comes with many challenges, and for some, it is easier to stick with more regional options. But those who stick with it, experience all the highs that come along with it.