Thanks to your brilliant nominations, we’ve selected the 15 best spots in North America to watch MMA events with a drink in your hand. All of these places have been sent official CagePotato banners to hang during fight nights, so if you swing by and see one, pat yourself on the back, because you made that happen. So which watering holes made the cut? And are any of them *not* famous for their wings? Read on, Potato Nation.
700 Six Flags Dr.; Arlington, Texas
Located about a half-mile from Rangers Ballpark and the soon-to-be-opened new Cowboys stadium, Humperdinks is revered by Dallas-area sports fanatics, and as long as the home teams aren’t playing, Dink’s is all about their cage-fighting. Besides the fact that every UFC event is shown and there’s never a cover, the restaurant’s main selling point is the 16 varieties of beer that are brewed on the premises, which you can actually buy kegs of to take home with you. We suggest pairing their Total Disorder Porter with a big hearty fight like Lesnar vs. Mir II, and the seasonal Raspberry Blonde with something lighter and more technical like Penn vs. Florian.
Our readers say: “The girls are always hot (it’s Texas, did you expect anything different?) and the bouncers are big enough to make you think twice about throwing that haymaker you saw on the show.” — kadumel
EL GUAPO CANTINA
7250 Melrose Ave.; Los Angeles, California
Laid back sports bars are something of a rarity in Hollywood, but lo and behold, there’s El Guapo Cantina right on Melrose, showing UFC fights for a modest five-dollar cover. The place gets packed on fight nights, so getting there early is a good idea, and while you’re there you might as well eat a steak quesadilla. They’ve also staffed their team of waitresses with aspiring actresses (it is Hollywood), which means that even if they can’t remember what you ordered they’re still easy on the eyes and can probably cry on cue.
Good to know: El Guapo features semi-regular beer pong tournaments. Judging from the standings published on their website, they’re pretty serious about it too. Consider yourself warned.
PUNCHERS SPORTS BAR
421 Third St.; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Pretty much everything you need to know about Punchers you can learn from their signature drink – The Donkey Punch. Beyond that, they’re friends of the local MMA scene and have largely designed this downtown bar for hosting fight-viewing parties. There’s even a punching bag in the bar. Things can get a little rowdy, but you better keep it level during the fights. They don’t play around once that gladiator intro starts up.
Good to know: Every week they offer the Tuesday Triathlon, which is comprised of shuffleboard, pool, and the punching bag. Winner gets a $100 bar tab. Losers get sad.
5460 W. Hillsboro Blvd.; Coconut Creek, Florida
All six locations of Bob Brudzinsky’s South Florida sports-bar chain are perfect for taking in a game and downing a few draft beers. But if you’re an MMA fan, your best bet is the Bru’s in Coconut Creek — spitting distance from American Top Team headquarters — where it’s not uncommon to see ATT fighters like Thiago Alves and Ben Saunders rubbing elbows with the patrons. Three separate bar areas (including one on a pimp-ass outdoor deck) ensure that you’ll never wait long for a drink, while the rows of plasma flat-screens and two projection screens provide views of the action from wherever you’re sitting/standing. Plus, there’s no cover and free valet parking. Finally, a bar where you can yell “AY-CHEE-CHEE!” without looking like a complete D-bag!
Our readers say: “The women…whoaaaa Lordy, the women. Hot bartenders, chicks in my age range (I’m 26), and dude if you’re into Cougars, you’re set. (If you’re a gold-digger this place is prime for you too, ladies.)” — My Fight Wiffa Cheeto
1403 2nd Ave.; New York, New York
As any New Yorker will tell you, finding a decent bar to watch an MMA event at in the city is about as difficult as meeting a single, attractive, twenty-something girl who isn’t trying to make her life into one long “Sex & The City” episode. It’s damn near impossible, in other words. One of the few worthwhile options is Bounce on 2nd and 73rd. They pride themselves on “reinventing the sports bar in New York City,” and though there is a cover charge on UFC event nights (par for the course in NYC), the food and drinks are reasonably priced (again, by NYC standards). Plus your date can get a martini there and pretend she’s Samantha, or whichever one of those chicks was the slutty one.
Good to know: You can get $5 a person knocked off the cover charge if you call before the day of the fights to make a reservation.
CHAMPS BAR & RESTAURANT
3956 Boulevard Saint-Laurent; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Even in a city that’s world-famous for its strip clubs and smoked meat, it’s still rare that you find a bar with as much riddum as Champs — and when Georges St. Pierre is fighting, you might as well be watching the action at the Bell Centre. A trip to this sports-obsessed establishment is a must when you’re in GSP’s hometown. Up to 20 different sporting events are broadcast simultaneously in the two-level space, and energetic, knowledgeable fans come out in full force on fight nights.
Good to know: If you feel like burning through some loonies between fights, have a seat at one of the government-run slot machines. Your gambling losses go to paving Canadian roads!
5195 Fernandina Rd.; Columbia, South Carolina
For obvious reasons, the “Delightfully Tacky Yet Unrefined” restaurant chain has long been a hotspot for bro-outings. (As well as solo visits from hose-fetishists.) And if you’ve ever stopped by during UFC events, you know that they’re also very MMA-friendly. Our readers shouted out Hooters locations from California to Michigan, but from personal experience, we have to give the nod to Columbia. Not only are the waitresses gorgeous — thanks, University of South Carolina! — but it happens to be one of the locations that now features a full liquor bar. Hear that, horny alcoholics?
Good to know: There’s no cover for UFC 97 on Saturday, but get there early to make sure you find a seat. And come back on Tuesdays for “Are You Smarter Than a Hooter’s Girl” trivia night. (Remember — the Earth is round, and shoes go on your feet.)
5601 S. 56th St.; Lincoln, Nebraska
So you’re in America’s heartland and you’re trying to find a good place to watch the UFC? Hit up Lincoln, Nebraska’s favorite sports bar, The Element, and you may be pleasantly surprised. The food gets consistently high marks, there’s never a cover, and with shuffleboard and darts at your disposal you’ll even have something to do when Joe Rogan runs off to interview the star of a new action movie for several painful minutes.
Our readers say: “Shows all UFCs done in North America (cable company screwed them on one of the UK ones so they don’t show them anymore). Good crowd, no fights like the last bar I watched fights at, decent chicks-to-D-bag ratio.” – Geriatric Peon
8378 W. Thunderbird Rd. Suite B 101; Peoria, Arizona
We may not know how to pronounce the name of this joint, but that doesn’t mean we can’t love it. Just how MMA-obsessed is FuNuGyz? Well, if there are competing MMA and boxing pay-per-views on the same night, they’ll show the MMA event. Plus, an eyewitness reports that he actually saw an HDNet broadcast of a DREAM event on the big screens at one point. (Crazy!) And yes, the audio is kept on. With no drama, no cover, and lots of serious MMA fans, hanging out at FuNuGyz feels like you’re watching the fights at home, surrounded by a lot more friends than you actually have.
Our readers say: “It’s so great that I made a new forum account just to tell you guys how great it is. If you live in Phoenix, come check it out! Actually, scratch that, it sucks!! Don’t come at all! I have to show up two hours early to get good seats as it is!” — Tango87
114 McFadden Pl.; Newport Beach, California
Just a couple of blocks from the Newport Pier, Sharkeez is a popular beach hangout for the college crowd and the people who just want to drink like the college crowd. Not only can you catch every major MMA event (even Affliction) here, you can also reserve a table so you don’t have to cram in next to drunk frat boys who are too busy popping their collars and talking about how much they love “The Iceman” to pay attention to the fights. Sharkeez also serves a decent fish taco (though it’s southern California, so who doesn’t?) and draws more than its share of scantily-clad blonde college girls on any given night, if you’re into that.
Good to know: While some people complain about the bouncers, my friend Elias once beat up an obnoxious patron here and was told by a very patient Sharkeez bouncer, “You should probably go now.”
BUFFALO WINGS & RINGS
8661 Columbus Pike; Lewis Center, Ohio
If you’re out in Hammer House country and it’s fight night, a trip to the local BW&R is always a good decision. Among the many things Buffalo Wings and Rings has going for it are an arsenal of HD TV’s (even in the bathrooms), an upbeat clientele that’s low on tools, 100-ounce beer towers so you can pour your own drafts at your table, and a bartender who looks like a young Phil Mickelson. (Thanks for that detail, tduffney.) All major MMA events are shown, and there’s never a cover charge. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried their garlic-parmesan wing-sauce.
Our readers say: “It’s kinda like Cheers, but without the basement smell and ‘wicked hawwd’ accents.” — tduffney, again
HALF MOON SPORTS GRILL
288 E. Greenway Pkwy.; Phoenix, Arizona
Unlike most sports bars that claim to have ‘the best wings in town,’ Half Moon Sports actually did win “Best Wings in Phoenix,” so they have something to back up the jive they talk. They also show every major MMA event, even the WEC, and there’s no cover charge. Add in their reasonably priced drinks and a “reverse happy hour” from 10 pm-2 am seven days a week, and you have yourself a winning recipe for a bar we’d like to get hammered at while yelling “rubber guard!” over and over again at the TV.
Our readers say: “Drinks are cheap, $4 huge long islands or magaritas as well as $2.50 huge pints of beer (select beer) and $3 drafts (that’s good for PHX).” – sxjohnson
3516 West Victory Blvd.; Burbank, California
If you love a great beer selection and a casual, laid-back atmosphere during the fights, The Office on Victory Blvd. in Burbank might be your best bet. It prides itself on being classier than the average sports bar, and offers something a little more substantial than wings and pretzels on the menu. You can make reservations for UFC events and, if you have enough people in your party, even get a sweet little lounge all to yourselves.
Our readers say: “Classy digs, great food, babes everyday and all events, FREE, and many TVs to view.” – reasn
2391 Peachtree Rd.; Atlanta, Georgia
With 41 TVs lining the walls, 52 different beers available, and hundreds of howling fight fans packing the joint during MMA events, this Atlanta standout has a “go big or go home” approach to entertaining its guests. Located in ATL’s ballerific Buckhead district, the Cheyenne Grill is the most happenin’ local spot for watching UFC cards. Swing by when the weather’s nice and you can watch the action on screens they set up outside — and don’t even think about leaving without a gut full of super-authentic Anchor Bar Jumbo Buffalo Wings.
Our readers say: “At most a $5 cover to get in, but usually it gets so crowded they forget to charge people. Last time I was there, they had models walking around the place in lingerie.” — Bill C.
426 West Bay Rd.; Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Chances are you don’t get out to the Cayman Islands much. But if you ever find yourself down there — for a vacation, or to stash money in secret accounts far away from the prying eyes of the U.S. government — you need to pay a visit to Aqua Beach, an MMA oasis perfectly situated on one of the most gorgeous sand-strips in the Caribbean. Only a monumental asshole would be able to complain about any part of this place. The food is great, the drinks are great, and when it comes to MMA-watching, there’s not a bad seat in the house. UFC, WEC, and Strikeforce events are featured on three 12-foot projection screens, three 42-inch plasmas, and one 37-inch flatscreen. A taste of the easy-breezy island life — with the occasional armbar.
Our readers say: “Three out of the four bartenders practice BJJ every day and are really knowledgeable about the fight game; a couple even have some amateur fights under their belts. On fight night, all of the staff gear up in MMA shirts and there is plenty of betting action to be had.” — blackjackmack
Going out to watch UFC 97 on Saturday? Let us know where you’ll be in the comments section. And give this list a Digg if you can!