Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Female Fans
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is perhaps the fastest-growing sports franchise in the country. The UFC knocked both boxing and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from atop the pay-per-view perches in 2006 and the sport is still rapidly growing. (Pursell 2007) Despite its popularity, with over 31 million fans in American alone, the bulk of the fan base falls within the 12-17 and 18-34 male demographic. With the recent women’s division added to the UFC for the first time, and stars like Ronda Rousey, this is a very exciting time for women and MMA. However, there is little research on the female fan in this rising sport. With most current MMA marketing targeted toward the male demographic, how important is inclusion of women in MMA marketing? The specific aim of this research was to determine how the UFC and MMA communities are attracting women to the fights. Observations at UFC 183 in Las Vegas and local Front Street fights served as the research sites, and focused on female fan enthusiasm and how the sport is attracting female spectators. The data collected showed that there was very little female-specific marketing and no reach to attract female fans. Implications are drawn for the future of UFC/MMA female fandom.
Horn, Tyler and Renaud, Blake, "Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Female Fans" (2015). College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs Presentations. 10.
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