Bob Harig of ESPN is reporting that Tiger Woods will make his return to golf, and what is likely to be the biggest sports story of the year, on April 8th just two days before UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
Tiger Woods will make his highly anticipated return to competitive golf at the Masters, ending a four-month hiatus brought on by a sex scandal.
The world’s No. 1-ranked player, who has never missed the year’s first major as a professional, announced in a statement Tuesday that Augusta National Golf Club will be the site of his comeback.
The UFC has faced tremendous challenges in selling its foreign events within North America; whether they’re held in the UK, Ireland, Germany, or Australia the domestic PPV response has been poor relative to domestic events. UFC 112 is looking to change that, but will now face a little more adversity.
Just about every media outlet in the world is going to be focused on the Master’s from April 8th to 11th, which means that the UFC’s first event in Abu Dhabi and first ever outdoor event will be fighting for casual sports press table scraps. Tiger is also likely to dominate the news in the days leading up to his event, which happens to be the crucial promotional period of fight week for the UFC.
How harmful might this competition be? There are two things to consider:
1.) The core demographics of golf and MMA don’t exactly overlap a great deal, but it’s when the UFC is looking to traverse that 700k mark that it starts to enter the casual fan territory, and that’s likely where its message is going to have some difficulty getting through come April 10th.
2.) This is the new reality for the UFC: it’s reached the point in its popularity where it’s drawing from the casual sports pool, and thus it’s going to be competing with one event or another virtually every weekend (e.g., March Madness, Tiger Woods, World Series, NHL Playoffs, etc.). The ability of the UFC to withstand this type of competition is one of its key success factors moving forward.
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