November 12, 2019

#TrueTalkTuesdays 60

Is it a knock out? A submission? A bloody brawl? A big brawny fighter? Sexy ring card girls? All of the above?


All of those things are in or part of every fight card. There are a bunch of MMA promotions besides the UFC like OneFC, Bellator, PFL, Invicta, and many more with fights that have these events happen.

But none of them have the draw that UFC has. Why is that? Is it because the UFC has the “best” fighters?


There is something else the UFC has that the other shows haven’t been able to cultivate. It goes beyond the fight game, and physical abilities. It is something deeper that transcends the fight game and penetrates every market.

It’s the story.

Behind every big fight that sold millions was a big story that everyone could sink their teeth into. The story involves characters that are larger than life with personalities to match, with some type of drama. The bigger the characters and the conflict, the more interest the fight garners.

It becomes a fascination to all that see it and the conflict requires resolution. People must know what happens when these warriors step inside the cage to resolve their differences.

Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov was the biggest PPV in MMA history, and it had the most over the top drama that literally had criminal actions in it. Coincidence? No. Conor went above and beyond to manufacture so much drama to make sure every headline was about the fight.

Some people see Conor’s success with creating drama and try to replicate it, but are missing some key ingredients. Drama by itself is not enough. You can have two middle school kids talk tons of smack to each other and no one would care outside the school.


Because these kids are not characters that most people would connect to, nor are they larger than life. The drama of small trivial characters is not that intriguing, even when the drama is huge.

Unfortunately, other shows have not been able to create the characters or the drama needed to capture the hearts and minds of MMA fans worldwide. The characters in particular have been missing.

It’s not that they don’t have interesting stories, but they are either failing to communicate them, or not be given the medium in order to do so. At the end of the day, without proper marketing, even the best products can’t be sold if people don’t know they exist.

In an ideal world, people would be rewarded for their merits alone. But we are far from the ideal, so we need some better story telling done by promotions to get fans interested in fighters outside the UFC.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Comment with your take on this. And if you like this article, please do me a solid and share it with your friends. Thanks!

  • I agree. You have to offer a story and the fighters have to be interesting. I have been saying that about the UFC for a long time. Even they do not offer that enough. I believe they have had many compelling figures who have come through and graced the UFC and not the other way around.

    • I agree. The UFC will embrace a character, but they don’t make them. I know the UFC PI does do clinics on teaching fighters about social media and marketing, but having the proper medium is one part of the equation. Telling a compelling story is arguably the bigger and more difficult factor to master.

  • Shawn L Pearson says:

    That’s definitely a key ingredient. It’s the model used by the WWE, and is why the UFC is so much like it in many ways. As a lifetime martial artist, it’s also what irritates me and causes me to strongly dislike people I would otherwise have a lot of respect for. Emotions sell tickets and drive people to vote, whether at the polls or with their wallets.

    • It definitely can be annoying when you are a fan of the martial arts lifestyle and then are being force fed empty theatrics instead of a meaningful message.

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