Should the UFC Be Going the Way of the WWE?

Now that the UFC is coming up on installment #120, you would think that we’ve seen it all by now, right? Choke holds, reversals, escapes, KO punches, broken legs, and tap outs, almost every possible manifestation of knock out, TKO, or submission has been displayed. So how does the UFC stay relevant to an demographic with an ever-shrinking attention span that demands instant reward?

Does it have to go over the top and introduce tables, ladders, and chairs? Or worse, barbed wire, thumb tacks, and setting things on fire such as the WWE did in it’s battle with WCW? Does the solution lie in the characters and giving the fighters personas that fans could cheer or boo based on if they were heels or faces? Lucky for the WWE, it has older characters that they are trying to resurrect and story lines that they are trying to recycle for a new generation. In the UFC, if you’ve lost it, you’ve lost it. There’s no faking a choke-hold as opposed to a choke-slam.

So what could the solution be? How can the UFC compete for that ever-coveted Entertainment dollar amidst all the other major sports it’s going up against today? Do they have to introduce a Ladies UFC? They have attempted to bring in some former wrestlers and boxers to spice up the mix, but generally have failed. If they fail to evolve/change, would that eventually spell the demise of the UFC?

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15 Responses to “Should the UFC Be Going the Way of the WWE?”

  1. Terry Martell
    October 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    The UFC is going to be fine.Kids are getting into the sport at a much earlier age as before.Therefor,I think the talent can only get better and will be more exciting to watch.Fighters are only going to get stronger and faster.Don’t forget,hockey and other major sports have been around for decades.

    • Heyhomee
      October 5, 2010 at 12:50 am #

      I would tend to agree that there is younger talent coming up and supplanting some of the current roster, but will an older generation of viewers be attached to the younger fighters? Would an older generation of viewers continue to support the Pay Per Views and attend the live events watching younger kids possibly half their age?

  2. Chris Bethune
    October 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    “They have attempted to bring in some former wrestlers and boxers to spice up the mix, but generally have failed. If they fail to evolve/change, would that eventually spell the demise of the UFC? ” Most maybe but I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Brock Lesner?? Dana white is doing a great job introducing new fighters into the mix and with the ultimate fighter series they are constantly improving fighters trying to enter the UFC And with the sport becoming more popular kids are getting into it earlier so we are bound to see young and better talent.

    • Heyhomee
      October 5, 2010 at 1:00 am #

      Lesnar was an NCAA Champion, he was built to grapple and handle the UFC moreso than hip tosses and Stone Cold Stunners. Still, the ratio of “other” types of fighters coming into the UFC and finding success is not great. The youth movement seems to be the best way to bring the talent pool higher, but bringing a guy like James Toney into the mix proved that Boxing will not be providing the next “Ultimate Fighter”.

  3. Jason Kennedy
    October 5, 2010 at 4:00 am #

    I think that trying to compare the UFC to the WWE is ridiculous. The UFC is a sport and the WWE is the males version of a soap opera. WWE athletes are impressive at what they do, but let’s be honest the matches are scripted and most wrestlers are juiced because the WWE is entertainment – Not sport. So by thinking the UFC needs to incorporate WWE tactics in order to stay competitive against major sports is absurd.

    The 4 major sports of Football, Baseball, Basketball and hockey will continue to to be tops in terms of viewership and this will not change. The UFC’s main competitor has been boxing and over the past 5-10 years the UFC has grown leaps and bounds and surpassed boxing as the martial arts of choice by the viewers. The success of the UFC has even brought MMA to mainstream television on CBS. If anything boxing needs to re-evaluate it’s talent pool because I would bet any money that young boxers nowadays might be transitioning towards MMA more so than boxing because of the success the UFC has had.

    Going forward the UFC needs to continue to make fighters become superstars. The need fighters to step into the role of a Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz – fighters who always have drawn big PPV numbers. GSP, Anderson Silva and Brock Lesner have done well stepping into the role of a PPV headliner, and so long as the UFC continues to create fighters who become mainstream popular the sport will continue to grow and succeed.

    As for “Would an older generation of viewers continue to support the Pay Per Views and attend the live events watching younger kids possibly half their age?” – I am pretty sure an older generation of hockey fans continue to follow hockey, likewise for any sport. Especially with the fighters becoming more and more talented and exciting to watch.

    • Heyhomee
      October 6, 2010 at 1:26 am #

      You’re right, they are two totally different sports, but the UFC will only continue to be compared to Vince McMahon and the WWF because that’s the closest sport that you could compare it to. I’m not endorsing that the UFC incorporate WWF tactics, but if the UFC continues to take WWF athletes, that only brings the two sports closer together.
      It will be interesting to see as the headliners age and get worn down, who will end up rising to the occasion to sell PPV big tickets.

      • Jason Kennedy
        October 6, 2010 at 2:52 am #

        The only thing I can agree with is that it will be interesting to see who becomes the next set of superstars that headline the UFC’s PPV’s.

        Everything else is rubbish, you keep calling the WWE a sport, and say that the WWE is what the UFC is most closely compared to.

        WRONG, Have you ever heard of boxing? There have been countless debates on which sport is better – Boxing vs MMA. Boxing was huge in the 90′s, and the UFC was just starting to grow when it was founded in 1993. Since then the UFC and MMA have surpassed boxing, the primary reason for this is a lack of talent – specifically American talent. When Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Tyson, Lewis etc. were fighting boxing was at an all time viewership high. The only thing saving boxing now is the highly anticipated super-fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather (a fight that has yet to materialize).
        Dana White has to be aware of this, which is why the need to find fighters who can transition to a headliner role is imperative in order for the sport to continue to succeed. I also think that the UFC needs to be careful with how many PPV’s they put on. If the amount of PPV’s increase then the fight cards will become somewhat watered down.

        As for the WWE being called a sport – the WWE stands for World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT. Some of the wrestlers transition to film, The Rock and John Cena to name two. these guys are actors who are extremely talented at what they do. Yes it is physical but it is also choreographed, and a lot of the wrestlers are on roids.

        If you go onto any major sports website the day or night after a UFC PPV has finished 9 times out 10 the front page headliner is the result of the headliner match. ESPN.com always reports on the UFC and often devotes time for the MMA on Sportscenter when Lesner, GSP or Silva are fighting. The last time I saw the WWE make Sportscenter was… never. Sure the UFC has taken fighters that have been a part of the WWE, but they have also taken fighters from the NFL (Marcus Jones and Hershel Walker as examples).

        The fact is fighters who transition from other disciplines whether it is the NFL, WWE, street-fighting – have a very small chance at success. The main reason for this is MMA fighters are so much more diverse than when the UFC started back in ’93. Think about it, Gracie was a Brazilian jujitsu master, Tank Abbot brought massive hurt bombs – guys back then were one dimensional from various different MMA backgrounds. Nowadays if you don’t have a couple of different MMA disciplines you have a very small chance of success in the MMA.

        That’s the bottom line, cause I said so.

        • Heyhomee
          October 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

          Pardon my choice of words, I agree that the WWE/WWF is not a “sport”, I’m not as naive to deem it a true sport by the definition. In terms of PPV ratings, merchandise sales, and overall profit, the UFC is quite closely related to and will always be held a candle to the WWE. True, the actual heart of the action itself is completely different, but I haven’t chosen one over the other in terms of favoring the WWE or the UFC. I merely posed the question “if the UFC should incorporate WWE tactics?”
          If a guy had to choose between buying NFL Sunday ticket for a season or buy 4 night’s worth of UFC PPV’s, what would be the deciding factor? Or even closer, how would you choose the Mayweather-Pacquiao PPV over the next UFC PPV?

  4. Eric Kennedy
    October 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Heyhomme I gotta say straight up that was the dumbest thing I have ever read.

  5. Eric Kennedy
    October 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Do you even watch UFC? I’m pretty sure you have no idea what your talking about. Do everyone a favor and take your key board and smash it over your head.

    • Heyhomee
      October 6, 2010 at 1:32 am #

      Because that would solve everything?

  6. Eric Kennedy
    October 6, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    It would keep you from writing horrible articles on a topic you know nothing about. If you read all the comments you will notice everyone thinks your an idiot. They just said it a little nicer.

    • Chris Bethune
      October 6, 2010 at 4:33 am #

      I have to agree with Eric on this one. Although I would like to see a more definitive ranking system in the UFC. It would allow fighters to better their skills on the way to becoming a champion, cause lets face it Lesnar is the exception rather than the rule.

      • Heyhomee
        October 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

        A ranking system would be a great way to better define where each fighter stands against each other, but I think the UFC is already doing a good job at just pitting each fighter against each other already to solve any debates about who’s better than whom. A ranking system might also pigeon hole a fighter into a good or bad ranking depending on what exactly the criteria is for the rankings.

    • Heyhomee
      October 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

      I haven’t been endorsing either side of the UFC or the WWE. I have only been asking the question of how the UFC competes for market share in a sports market and entertainment market. With the economy still in recovery mode, and major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) utilizing their power to hold their ground in market share, ratings, attendance, etc, How does the UFC continue to compete?

Care to Argue?