The marketing landscape continues to evolve. The companies that continue to grow and take down the competition are the ones that are marking territory in brand journalism and content marketing.  The UFC has long been a proponent of creating its own news through its print magazine and its online news from  This week while promoting its end of year blowout card it also launched its new content platform “Fight Pass.”

Following the steps of the WWE who launched a digital catalog of old matches and content from its acquisitions, so too has the UFC. Now fans can enjoy the greatest matches from UFC, Pride, Affliction and Strikeforce.

I have long touted the success of the UFC is due to its incredible relationship with its fan base.  The UFC, its executive team and its fighters go out of their way to make the fan experience like no other.  UFC Fight Pass is no different. The UFC has opened up the first two months of the service as a free trial to fans to check out its capabilities.  Details on the channel and the cutoff date can be found below in the official press release:


The Ultimate Fighting Championship® organization announces the launch of UFC Fight Pass™, the new digital subscription service which is a must-have for mixed martial arts fans.

Unveiled today with a two-month free trial, UFC Fight Pass delivers a minimum of 10 exclusive live events per year, exclusive live prelims, newly created and exclusive content in addition to unprecedented on-demand access to parent company Zuffa’s vast mixed martial arts video library.

UFC president Dana White said: “We’re very excited to announce this unique subscription service for our great fans. As the demand for live UFC events around the world continues to increase, we’ve responded by planning more big shows in international markets in local primetime. In 2014, there are going to be more international events than ever before – but we wanted to make sure that fans around the world could see these fights too.

“The UFC has always been ahead of the game when it comes to new media and new technology. We are putting together some sick cards in international markets and with UFC Fight Pass fans never have to miss a single UFC event, no matter where in the world the fights are taking place.”

Three international UFC Fight Night events have already been confirmed for UFC Fight Pass: UFC Fight Night: SAFFIEDINE vs. LIM on January 4, UFC London 2014: GUSTAFSSON vs. MANUWA on March 8 and a third international fight card in March. All cards feature top-10 ranked fighters competing in highly significant bouts.

UFC Fight Pass will also be the exclusive place to watch live Fight Pass Prelims™, the opening contests on major UFC Pay-Per-Views and televised cards.

In addition to more than nine exclusively live fights per month, UFC Fight Pass will also offer unparalleled on-demand access to the biggest MMA fight library in the world.

White said: “Zuffa has the biggest fight library on the planet, and with a UFC Fight Pass subscription, fans will get access to thousands of fights from the entire history of the sport. This is what fans have always wanted – we are giving them the keys to the candy store. Subscribers will be able to watch, on demand, the greatest fights and greatest fighters in the entire history of this sport. And I mean everything, fromRoyce GracieMatt HughesChuck Liddell and Anderson Silva, to Frank ShamrockWanderlei Silva,Kazushi Sakuraba and Fedor Emelianenko.”

Subscribers will be able to access hundreds of hours of content from the archive which includes two decades of UFC fights and the video libraries of other MMA organizations including PRIDE FC, PRIDE Bushido, Strikeforce, EliteXC, the World Fighting Alliance, Affliction Entertainment and World Extreme Cagefighting. See attached FAQ sheet for further details.

Additionally, there will be newly-created content for the service including regular behind-the-scenes reports, fighter diaries, UFC Upfront, UFC By the Numbers, UFC Fight Camp Insider and training tips. Plus, there will be exclusive content including the hotly-anticipated upcoming The Ultimate Fighter: Brasil season featuring bitter rivals Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen and future international editions of The Ultimate Fighter will be available exclusively on the UFC Fight Pass service.

“If you are a fight fan, UFC Fight Pass is for you,” White added.

UFC Fight Pass will initially launch in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, with a $9.99 price point per month in all four markets. Content will vary according to local television blackout rules.

A free two month trial starts now through February 28, 2014 providing access to live fights including the UFC’s first ever event in Singapore, UFC Fight Night: SAFFIEDINE vs. LIM, and UFC Fight Pass Prelims.

Visit UFC.TV/FightPass to start your subscription today. Read the UFC Fight Pass FAQ here.

UFC 168 brought MMA fans a rematch that fans have eagerly awaited since the summer.  Months ago Chris Weidman “shocked” the MMA world by knocking out the KO king, Anderson “the Spider” Silva. In that fight Silva showed little respect, keeping his hands down and feigning injury – he paid for that “clowning” with his middleweight crown.  This is the first time a new middleweight champion had been crowned in nearly seven years.  Think about that. Since dethroning Rich Franklin in October 2006, Silva has been untouchable – amassing a 16-0 UFC record.

Return-of-Spider-ManAfter the loss, Silva claimed to be refocused, dedicated and ready for another dominant run.  However, no one could see the ending of this main event coming. Many thought Silva would win by KO, others thought a similar fate would come at the hand of champion Weidman.  However, fans would be horrified as “the Spider” would throw a leg kick that would result in his own leg snapping in half.  Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg quickly made the comparison to career ending injury of Joe Theisman.

Although I wish him a speedy recovery, I can’t help but think we have seen the end of an illustrious career.  If indeed Anderson Silva needs to hang up his gloves he will go down as one of – if not the – greatest MMA fighters of all time.

Let’s take a look at the milestones of “The Spider”:

  • 33 Wins, 6 Losses.  Of those wins 20 by KO/TKO, 6 submissions, 7 decisions.
  • Former Shooto Middleweight Championship
  • Former Cage Rage Middleweight Championship
  • Former UFC Middleweight Championship
    • Unified UFC Middleweight and Pride FC Welterweight Championship (defeated Dan Henderson post UFC-Pride merger)
    • Longest UFC title reign (2457 days)
  • Fight of the Night (Three times)
  • Submission of the Night (Two times)
  • Most Knockout of the Night Awards in the UFC (Seven times)
  • Tied (Joe Lauzon) for all-time leader in Post-fight Bonus Awards (12)
  • Most consecutive title defenses (10)
  • Most successful title defenses (10)
  • Tied (Georges St-Pierre) for most wins in UFC title fights (11)
  • Most finishes in UFC title fights (9)
  • Most finishes in the UFC (14)
  • Most consecutive wins in the UFC (16)
  • Longest win streak in UFC history (16)
  • Highest significant strike accuracy in UFC (67.8%)
  • Most knockdowns landed in UFC History (17)
  • Tied (Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture) for third most wins in the UFC (16)

If this is it, thank you for a highlight reel career Anderson Silva.

I’ve been a big negligent of the ol’ blog.  Some personal and professional matters have kept me preoccupied and my writing has suffered a bit. Well, I’m back on the horse and ready to jump back into the wonderful world of MMA.

After months of buildup on The Ultimate Fighter fans finally got to see the rematch of UFC champion “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey and challenger Miesha “Cupcake” Tate.  The “Cupcake” had benefited from the injury of Cat Zigano and was slid into a coaching position on TUF and an instant title shot.  Although many may say it was undeserved, marketers could quickly see the appeal that Dana White and the UFC saw: a rivalry that would create instant ratings. Like Shamrock-Ortiz or Rampage-Evans, these coaches had a hatred that could not be faked.

What I never saw coming however, was the backlash that fans unleashed on Rousey during her time on TUF.  Miesha Tate took a page from the Rousey playbook using mind games and smack talk to get under the skin of Rousey.  However, fans seemed to gravitate toward Tate and lose interest in Rousey when she would react (explode) to the goading.

During their first encounter, Rousey defeated Tate for the Strikeforce championship via vicious, limb-snapping armbar. The second fight went a few more rounds, but the result was the same. Rousey won via armbar. The fight was one sided with Rousey taking the better of the striking and judo tossing tate around the octagon at will.  When the fight was over, Tate extended her arm and Rousey walked away.

The fans of the arena exploded with boos and I for one was disgusted – with them. MMA fans that cheer on the Diaz brothers flipping off defeated opponents, love watching Tito Ortiz dig his opponents graves in the cage and still praise Brock Lesnar for his double guns, “Coors light” UFC 100 rant, held Rousey to a different standard. They felt she should have shown more sportsmanship and shook her opponent’s hand.

Ronda Rousey didn’t owe Miesha Tate a handshake. She fulfilled her obligation as a champion by putting the title on the line and going toe-to-toe for the gold.  In her post fight interview with Joe Rogan and her backstage interview (embedded above), Rousey explained her actions, her respect for Tate and why she would not extend her hand.  Fans need to realize if they want to cheer “the bad boys” they need to hold that same respect for the bad ass women of MMA.

I’ll admit I’m in the opposite camp of the booing Vegas crowd. I was cheering on Rousey and admit I loved seeing her walk away from Tate. I found Tate to be obnoxious on TUF and thought that Rousey gave her a well-deserved loss.  The irony of me admitting this is that when fans cheer on the Diaz brothers for similar behavior, I am usually disgusted and screaming for them to show more respect.

This post could easily be 10 pages, so I’ll wrap it up here. As a huge comic book geek and Rousey fan I found Fox’s take on the fight to be perfect.  If you have a moment give this a read. “Ronda Rousey doesn’t need to apologize to anyone for being Ronda Rousey.”

So….what were your thoughts on the fight?


Posted: September 6, 2013 in Marketing, PR, Social Media, UFC


The marketing juggernaut George “Rush” St. Pierre continues to take on large consumer brands, this time – NOS energy drink.  They showed a shorter clip of this commercial about 300x during the Ultimate Fighter so I had to look it up since it was burned into my brain. I have to admit, the full clip still makes me chuckle. Enjoy.


One episode in and I already like this season of the Ultimate Fighter more than the last 3 seasons combined.

  • Wonderful production.  Fox and the UFC continue to step it up with the quality of filming. No longer does it feel like a bad soap opera set (ahem, SPIKE) but a beautifully shot documentary that happens to be a reality event.
  • The woman are here to dominate.  I did not see one boring prelim fight. Sure, there were some sloppy ones – but those fighters were looking to finish.  The men need to step up, I saw a few too many decisions to get into the house.  When you are in a gym that has “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” over the door – why on earth wouldn’t you put on the fight of your life.
  • A Family Affair.  It was interesting that this year they allowed family members on set to watch the entrance fights.  Although I thought I wouldn’t like that, it made the fights more authentic. Previous seasons the fighters battle in silence and it just appears awkward.  With family cheering on fighters around the cage it felt more like an event.
  • Tito & Ken reborn.  Leading up to this season the comparison kept being made that the hatred of these two was that of Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock.  But for me, the comparison goes much, much deeper.  Meisha is definitely Ortiz – loud, brash and wants all the attention. It was clear from the moment she appears on screen this will be about her.  For her sake, I hope I’m wrong and she proves to be as good a coach as Tito was in season 3.  “Rowdy” Rhonda is definitely the Ken role – angry, quite, distant.  Her near meltdown at the beginning showed me signs that she could be a bit too focused on her hate of Ms Tate that it could affect her overall coaching strategy. Again, I hope I’m wrong.

What did you think of TUF so far?

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Fox Sports 1 continues to prove a stronger engine than FX or Fuel ever were.  Fox clearly learned its lessons and continues to produce a quality event for the world’s elite MMA brand.  Sure, it still has the dumb football music, the robots I hate and the two worst announcers in the game (Anik & Florian), but at least the pre-post show coverage and overall film quality are fantastic.

The down and dirty quick thought:

  • 185 lbs you are on notice. “Jacare” Souza is the real deal. If anyone doubted his abilities to dominate this division of the UFC look at how he manhandled and ultimately KO’d Yushin Okami. Say what you will about Okami’s style, but he is one tough guy to finish. When Anderson Silva did it in 2 rounds, I was impressed.  When Souza TKO’d him in 1 – I was caught with awe and fear.  If Weidman somehow gets by Anderson Silva in the rematch, he will not carry the belt much longer than that.  “Jacare” is coming and the gator jaws will clamp down on that gold.
  • Glover is good, but still not great. Don’t get me wrong – Glover Teixeira is one bad man. I would not get into a cage with him.  But, he is still far from where the media and fans have placed him in the “killer” list.  Even though he dispatched Ryan Bader in 1 round, it was not in the same crippling fashion that Souza put away Okami.  Bader gave Texeira more than a scare. He came at him with submission attempts, take downs strikes – and had him wobbled at the end with a good combo.  That said, Glover dusted himself off and got the TKO victory himself. What did this teach us? He isn’t unstoppable.  He noted at the end of his interview he went in a bit too cocky.  He is mentored by longtime champ Chuck Liddell, if anyone should have taught Glover the lesson of keeping your head straight it should have been Chuck. If not, Glover could get Rampage’d before he gets the chance to wear gold.

What did you think of the event?

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UFC 164: The Aftermath

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Marketing, PR, UFC

They say in MMA, that anyone can beat anyone.  Sometimes however, there is a fighter that just has the number of another…Although you can watch the highlights from in the above video, the real story of the evening was that once again Anthony “Showtime” Pettis dethroned Ben “Smooth” Henderson.  Much like Tito over Ken or Rampage over Chuck, I hate to say it – Anthony has Ben’s number.  Although Pettis would call out Jose Aldo for a super fight, an inevitable trilogy with Henderson will be on the horizon.  No, I’m not saying this should be immediate – the fight was decisive.  However, “Smooth” has shown his skills at 155 and I see few that can standup to him.  He’ll be in title contention again in early 2014.

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