MMA Fans Focusing on Larger Weight Classes

gonzaga_v_carwinAs evidenced by the action level during most WEC fights, competitors in the smaller weight classes can put on an incredible show. Despite this, the majority of MMA fans remain focused on heavier weight classes. The latest set of numbers show that 54% of all MMA fan interest is for fighters in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. The implication is clear: having intriguing, high profile bouts in the upper weight classes is the key to generating interest from casual observers of the sport.

Fan interest wanes the smaller the fighters get. Middleweight pulls 16% of fan interest, and welterweight and lightweight each grab just over 10%. As for the WEC and its focus on smaller featherweights and bantamweights, awareness of these weight classes is very low. Despite the promotional efforts of the WEC and its cable TV partner Versus, these two divisions only added up to 5% of total MMA interest in August. The Miguel Torres vs Brian Bowles main event at WEC 42 helped the bantamweights, but didn’t do enough to change the overall picture.

August 2009
Share of Fan Interest
Weight Class Change
from July
1.4% Super Heavyweight – Over 265 lbs down 0.4%
27.3% Heavyweight – 265 lbs down 9.8%
26.4% Light Heavyweight – 205 lbs up 4.7%
16.4% Middleweight – 185 lbs up 0.1%
11.4% Welterweight – 170 lbs up 0.2%
12.1% Lightweight – 155 lbs up 2.8%
2.4% Featherweight – 145 lbs up 0.7%
2.4% Bantamweight – 135 lbs up 1.7%
Tapology’s rankings are a measure of fan interest and activity. Tapology uses data from Compete, Inc. to directly capture the level of internet users reading about and looking at over 800 of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. Activity is aggregated across multiple websites and represents an actual measurement of millions of consumers. The rankings represent United States fans only; the activity of non-U.S. consumers is not included.

Gregory Saks

Author Bio: Just another MMA fan.

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