Meltzer: The risks in a Rousey-headlined PPV

by Dave Meltzer | source: mmafighting.com
 

Having been in arenas seeing women's fights for years, the reaction is no longer gender-based. It was a little when first introduced, and came off like a novelty act in the early days

Today, if a woman is a star or the fight is exciting, people are with it every bit as much as the men. If the fight is boring, and the personalities don't click, the crowds are usually not as quick to turn on it, but lose interest just the same.

When it comes to watching on television, if a woman is a star, she will move ratings equal to her male counterparts.

When Carano fought on CBS, every time, her fights added more than 1 million new viewers to the broadcast from start-to-finish. If you understand television, that is an amazing statistic. No other non-main event in history, for any promotion on any station has ever done that. And only a few male main eventers ever have.

But there has also in the history of women's MMA been only one Carano. Judging women in MMA based on what she did could be taking the mentality that bringing in backyard fighters will draw record ratings because Kimbo Slice did, or bringing in pro wrestlers can draw record pay-per-view numbers because Brock Lesnar did.

Carano's lone main event against Cris "Cyborg" Santos is the only example we have of a women's fight being a huge ticket seller.

Strikeforce and Showtime have done four women's main events starting with the 2009 Carano vs. Cyborg fight. The promotion of that fight was a huge success. They drew 13,976 fans. No show in the history of the Strikeforce promotion headlined by anyone but Frank Shamrock sold more tickets. The reaction to the fight in the arena was near the level of the biggest men's fights of all-time. The show did a 2.17 rating and main event did a 2.91, both setting records for MMA on the station and numbers only broken once since.

But nothing like that has happened since, largely because that perfect dynamic hasn't been there.

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Recent Comments »

Chris27 site profile image  

11/26/12 8:01 PM by Chris27

this. I'll bet if she headlines UFC 157 it will do better than Edgar/Bendo UFC 150 did. Bet it will do atleast on par with UFC 136 which had two titel fights and Sonnen and did under 250k.

Soup and Beer site profile image  

11/26/12 7:58 PM by Soup and Beer

Have you seen the new flyweight division?  Have you ever seen Jon Fitch fight?  Or better yet, just watch any fight from about half the guys that's been taught by Greg Jackson. There's plenty that's worse than womens mma.

56sav site profile image  

11/26/12 6:57 PM by 56sav

God I hate women's MMA...it's the worst thing to happen to the sport in a long time IMO.

FinestScotch site profile image  

11/26/12 3:16 AM by FinestScotch

Stupid article IMO. UFC has done shittier PPVs than Rousey would ever do, IMO.

Koga site profile image  

11/26/12 3:10 AM by Koga

Rousey vs. Kaufman on August 18, 2012, did a 1.43 rating, Strikeforce's best number of the year. That number was more impressive than it sounds because they had no undercard support...Rousey is a significantly bigger star since the Kaufman win. Having the UFC machine behind her is a game changer.I thought the article did a better job of showing why Rousey could successfully headline a UFC event. There are so many UFC events now, I'm sure no one thinks that a Rousey v Tate rematch is less marketable as a headline fight than Struve vs. Miocic, Sotiropoulos vs. Pearson or the upcoming Johnson vs. Dodson title fight.

Soup and Beer site profile image  

11/26/12 2:16 AM by Soup and Beer

If all those shitty wall and stall fights we've had to put up with in the mens' division isn't killing the sport, nothing will.  Rousey has never had a boring fight, ever.  Yet guys like Fitch have never had an exciting fight (with one exception).  But they keep bringing him back and guys like him.  If fans can't put up with one exciting fight that happens to be by two women instead of men, then they can just use it to take a pee break or something.

stonepony site profile image  

11/26/12 12:11 AM by stonepony

Cyborg wouldn't even be a known fighter without cheating. Just like Overoids.

whiteghost site profile image  

11/25/12 8:29 PM by whiteghost

smart move is to first make Rousey vs. Marloes, two good looking women who have legit skills and can sell a fight. Coenen wins the beauty contest, but I think Ronda gets the win (by armbar) in the cage.

Cung knocked my ace out site profile image  

11/25/12 8:09 PM by Cung knocked my ace out

I seriously think that she is going to have huge drawing power

Billytk site profile image  

11/25/12 8:02 PM by Billytk

Not really Gina was more dominant until running into Cyborg and Cyborg would destroy rousey even worse (which is why rousey ran and hid at 135) not to mention Gina was actually HOT not just "pretty good looking for a fighter" like rousey