The UFC has partnered with YouTube to create a paid subscription channel, UFC Select. The channel debuted on May 9. There's a 14 day free-trial period but after that it will cost $5.99 a month. UFC Select is in addition to the existing UFC free YouTube channel which will continue to feature Dana White's vlogs, the UFC Countdown shows, weigh-ins, press conferences.
UFC PPVs will still be available to order on the original UFC YouTube channel as well.
So what do you get for your $5.99 a month?
UFC Select will have weekly updated programming with eight new fights per week, one episode of UFC Unleashed, one episode of Best of Pride and one full live event (starting with UFC 1 in 1993 last week, UFC 2 this week continuing in order).
This is a great way for newer fans to learn their UFC history.
It's too late to catch UFC 1 on the channel and that's too bad because it's a pretty classic event featuring the legendary first meeting of future Hall of Famers Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock in one of the most exciting pure grappling matches in MMA history.
This week we've got UFC 2: No Way Out, which was the first event released on VHS back in the day and was the introduction of many old school fans to the UFC.
If you've never seen one of these early 90's UFC's you are in for a very different viewing experience. There really were no rules other than no eye gouging and no biting. The referee (Big John McCarthy making his UFC debut) couldn't stop fights -- only a KO, a submission or a fighter's corner throwing in the towel could stop the action.
Production-wise they very clearly had only the vaguest idea of what they're doing. The broadcasting is borderline amateurish. Cageside commentators Brian Kilmeade and Jim Brown are pretty much clueless but stuntman and BJJ student Ben Perry completely dominates the narrative with a non-stop stream of dumbass remarks ("He probably broke his arm. Definitely snapped the capsule there" after watching a routine arm bar submission).
The fights are brutal and sometimes unintentionally funny. I've seen this event dozens, possibly hundreds of times but it's been years and frankly it's kind of a shock to see how brutal and uncontrolled these bouts were. Royce Gracie is virtually the only fighter in the tournament who takes a measured, sporting approach to the fights. Most of the other fighters charge in with spastic fury like they're engaging in a street fight .
In addition to tournament winner Gracie, the tournament featured UFC 1 veteran Pat Smith, future Pancrase mainstay Jason DeLucia, Dutch judoka Remco Pardoel, and the infamous ninja Scott Morris and even more infamous Fred Ettish.
Gracie's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a complete revelation in this event. None of the other fighters had any idea how to contend with BJJ, even the grapplers like Pardoel are clueless when faced with the Gracie system. Royce has a fairly long bout with Jason DeLucia but otherwise is hardly tested in this event.
All in all I think the channel is well worth the $5.99 a month and I recommend it highly, especially for new fans who are looking to learn their UFC history.