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On TikTok, Empty Liquor Bottles Battle It Out in the ‘UFG’ Octagon

Most alcohol content that the TikTok algorithm feeds my FYP features taters slobbering over allocated bourbon or home bartenders making easy canonical cocktails in their studio basements. Sometime late last fall, however, something appeared that was truly captivating: a full bottle of Jameson and a full bottle of Jose Cuervo, each hanging from the ceiling on a separate piece of twine, swinging violently at each other until one broke.

Jameson would win this battle of “Ultimate Fighting Glass” (UFG) and today the TikTok has racked up nearly 11 million views.

“THIS is elite content,” wrote an X user, and I had to agree.

UFG is the brainchild of Jack Harris and Josh LaGuardia, two musicians from Cleveland with a Beavis and Butthead-like penchant for destroying stuff in their spare time in a rented workspace attached to their recording set-up.

Their first ever TikTok, from July 2023, shows them rolling a metal ball into various beer and soda bottles. They were soon challenging each other to games of P-I-G; trying not to break glass while doing tricks. They built a Plinko-like board for another glass-shattering game. All these videos did pretty well on TikTok, but by October they had discovered their elite content.

@jackandj0sh Wayyy too satisfying #asmrsounds #asmr #satisfying ♬ original sound – JackAndJosh

The first TikTok for UFG introduced their handmade, wooden octagon, where they swung various glass and ceramic mugs acquired from Goodwill and Cracker Barrel at each other.

“We set up the arena in about an hour one day with pallet wood we picked up off the side of the road,” the duo explained to me over email.

They gave the drinkware comical monikers like “Short and Thicc” for a Cognac snifter and “Mommy Mug” for an Etsy-esque coffee cup, and announced the battles in over-the-top, UFC-style color commentary. The first battle was won in an upset by a tiny A&W Root Beer mug.

For me, though, I became most interested when actual spirits bottles threw their necks (and punting) into the ring. Who hasn’t accidentally dropped a grenade of Blanton’s and been amazed it didn’t shatter? Or who hasn’t held a bottle of Crown Royal, thick, flat, and wide, and thought, “This thing could really f*ck someone up?”

@jackandj0sh A historic fight night #game #fight #glass #funny #ufc ♬ original sound – JackAndJosh

Bottles were donated by friends, as well as Harris and LaGuardia’s favorite local bar, Terry’s Pour House, which would stock them with empties. These days, due to the duo’s growing popularity, admirers also send in bottles for them to use. Harris and LaGuardia have been surprised at which ones perform best.

“With the alcohol bottles, it is usually pretty equal among the average liquor bottles,” they say. “Even the bigger bottles have their weak points, but some bottles have a super-thick base that can do serious damage.”

They cite Champagne bottles as being incredibly difficult to break, surely thanks to their thickness and weight, which allows them to contain highly pressurized alcohol. But they know there must be other great fighters out there and their minds have become consumed with thoughts of glass. When they go to the bars or hit the liquor store, they can’t help but survey potential battlers.

“The problem with buying them new, aside from the price, is having to either finish the bottle or pour the liquor into a different container and that seems like a questionable move.”

“That is all we think about now when we see any liquor bottle,” the duo admits. Bottles they say they’re still eager to try include the stubby Hennesey; the squat, artisan glass Patrón; and the wax-dipped Maker’s Mark. When I suggest that some of the best fighting bottles are surely in the luxury realm — I’m thinking the ceramic Clase Azul and any number of silly Macallan crystal decanters — Harris and LaGuardia admit that’s a big problem.

“We would love to try everything, and if we happen to find an empty one of those more expensive ones we’ll grab it,” they note. “The problem with buying them new, aside from the price, is having to either finish the bottle or pour the liquor into a different container and that seems like a questionable move.”

(Harris and LaGuardia tell me they really only drink Jack Daniel’s.)

Though they seem to be some of TikTok’s leading practitioners of creating videos that get a “Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt” warning, they claim there have been no injuries so far, as they always wear eye protection and stay far back from the ring during fights.

Viewership is increasing and now, just like real martial arts, they have some legit sponsors like gambling outfit Bet Us. Harris and LaGuardia plan on bringing in a few surprise celebrity announcers soon and, eventually, holding a live UFG event — “in order to allow our viewers a more exciting experience,” they say.

Elite content indeed.

The article On TikTok, Empty Liquor Bottles Battle It Out in the ‘UFG’ Octagon appeared first on VinePair.

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