MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: economy

UFC Doesn’t Sweat the Economic Crisis


(Props: MMA Scraps)

It’s kind of creepy to hear Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say almost exactly the same thing when asked by Fox News how the economic meltdown will affect their business. It’s as if they’re reading off the same cue cards. Clearly, this is a conversation they’ve had before, and most likely pretty recently as they’ve tried to figure out whether a piss-poor economy means they should cash in their chips and start hording gasoline and ammunition in the Nevada desert somewhere.

When it comes to pay-per-view buys, their logic holds up. You get six or seven guys together to split the cost of a UFC pay-per-view and it’s cheaper than going to a movie. Live ticket sales might be another matter, but big shows like UFC 91 in Las Vegas will still sell out, especially when they can count on the casinos to snatch up the ridiculously-priced tickets at Octagon-side.

MMA Payout recently broke down Lorenzo Fertitta’s claim the UFC has seen a “double-digit increase” in pay-per-views buys this year. Turns out it’s true, but just barely. 10.8% growth is technically double-digits, even if most of it is a result of holding two pay-per-view events in the UK in 2008, as opposed to just one in 2007. Domestic pay-per-view growth was at a meager 3.3%, but that’s still not cause for panic.

As we’ve discussed before, for some reason pro fighting is one of the sports that typically does well during hard economic times. Ballet, on the other hand, straight up tanks when the going gets tough. That’s right. Fuck you, ballet.

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Does a Weak Economy Make For a Strong Fight Game?

As you may or may not know, Americans are freaking out about the state of the economy right now. Something about gas prices and houses and the value of the dollar, I don’t really pay attention. I leave most of my financial planning to this really nice homeless guy I met a while back. We just diversified my portfolio to include both kinds of vodka: flavored and unflavored. Things are looking up.

Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via MMA Payout) has an interesting article linking the rough economic times with a booming combat sports environment. Just as boxing thrived during the Great Depression, he says, MMA is experiencing a similar boost these days:

In periods when Americans are up against it, they crave distractions. Boxing and MMA are among them, as Armando Garcia is aware. At Pechanga, Garcia, executive officer of the California Athletic Commission, said he was rummaging around his Sacramento office and he came across a report for the fiscal year 1925 that showed the commission’s revenues for that year (from licensing fees and the commission’s share of gates) had come to just more than $100,000.

In 2004-2005, the commission’s revenues, according to Garcia, totaled $441,000. For 2005-2006, Garcia’s first in office, they reached $1.1 million. They hit $1.6 by the next reporting date. For the fiscal year just concluding, they are at $2.136 million, with boxing and MMA each having generated more than a half-million at the gates.

It’s an interesting theory. Quoting statistics on live event gates doesn’t necessarily prove it, especially since MMA has only recently come into its own as a mainstream sport with widespread appeal and acceptance, but it’s still worth thinking about. Magee’s thesis about hard times leading to a strong desire for distractions makes you wonder, what does he think Americans are doing when times are good? Staying home and staring at their bank statements?

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