The very first Ultimate Fighting Championship competition was held almost 20 years ago in Denver, Colorado as a way to determine which form of martial arts would emerge as the best in real world defense and fighting situations. What manifested from that 1993 fight has now become the most popular mixed martial arts competition in the word, and Connecticut has its fare share of UFC fans. Luckily for UFC and MMA lovers, there are several area establishments that bring these exciting fights to their customers on a regular basis.

Photo Credit: Steven Alexander

Peeps All In
511 North Colony Road
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 265-0369

Price: No cover charge
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Peeps All In is a local tavern in Wallingford that specializes in drawing sports fans, including UFC fighters themselves, a fact that Manager Steve Nylund is particularly proud of. Peeps is a friendly place with a definite neighborhood flavor and rock blaring from the sound system when the fights aren’t on. Customers will find that Nylund is a friendly sort of fellow, eager to satisfy his clientele and a guy who definitely takes pride in the cleanliness and folksy atmosphere he strives for. Because the bar is frequented by UFC professionals, Peeps has a keen interest in televising the UFC events; perhaps more than any other bar in the area. The friendly staff combined with the opportunity commiserate with some of the pros themselves make Peeps the best place for UFC fans to travel to catch a fight.

Photo Credit:

Gipper’s Restaurant & Ale House
304 Old Gate Lane
Milford, CT 06460-3682
(866) 550-4134

Price: No cover charge
Hours: Sun to Thurs 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Gipper’s in Milford is located across from the former Jai Alai location on Old Gate Lane and has been under the same ownership for 16 years. Patrons will find a very friendly and fairly upscale clientele, and Gipper’s is always an enjoyable way to spend an evening, whether there is a UFC card or not. The late former heavyweight boxing champ, Joe Frazier, even dropped in once, leaving his autograph and commendation of the bar’s friendly service.

Related: Four Bars To Host A Private Party Or Event

Photo Credit:

Winners SportsHaven’s Shark Bar
600 Long Wharf Drive
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 946-3201

Price: No cover charge
Hours: Mon to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sun – 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Winners Sports Haven is an OTB facility in New Haven and the largest in terms of capacity and square footage, capable of holding up to 1,000 guests. If you have a sizable group of UFC-loving friends and you’re looking for a place to watch the fights, the Shark Bar (the sports bar section of Winners,) is the spot you’ve been searching for.  MMA fans can stop in to watch non-PPV UFC events, and the bar also specializes in broadcasting almost any sporting event under the sun. Recently, Winners spent $3 million improving its facilities, including adding a huge numbers of new flat screen TVs and touch-screen monitors at seat side, which enable customers to bet on races, all from their seats.

Photo Credit: Eli’s On Whitney via Facebook

Eli’s On Whitney
2392 Whitney Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518
(203) 287-1101

Price: No cover charge
Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fri to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Eli’s On Whitney is an upscale bar catering to the Yale crowd, but friendly and non-academics will also feel comfortable here. There is a definite sports flavor to the crowd, particularly when a big draw event is in the offing. Eli’s, offers UFC fights, but do not routinely televise the Pay Per View events, so be sure to call ahead. There is no cover and drink prices are reasonable, making this a safe and pleasant place to spend an evening out.

Photo Credit:

300 Middle St.
Bristol, CT 06010
(860) 582-0002

Price: No cover charge
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fri – 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat – 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 12:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Bleachers Sports Bar & Restaurant in Bristol, near Hartford, prides itself on it’s close proximity (less than two miles) from ESPN’s headquarters. The bar boasts 15 HDTVs in which sports fan can catch televised UFC events. Bleachers is in a good location providing a safe and an enjoyable sports bar experience. The bar draws a diverse crowd, from local college students to blue collar avid sports fans.

Related: Tavern Brings New Life To Lacking Monroe Bar Scene

Steve Alexander holds undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Psychology; did graduate work and taught as a Teaching Fellow as a specialist in Arms Control and Disarmament for Boston Universitys Political Science Department; and spent a 30 year career as a human service professional–a counselor, administrator and advocate for people afflicted with mental disabilities. His work can be found at