GIRL FIGHT!!! TUF 18 TV Ratings significantly favor Women’s Fights

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, The Ultimate Fighter

tuf-18-group-shotRemember when Dana White said he’d never promote a women’s division in the UFC? He reasoned that that there just wasn’t enough interest in fans watching women’s fights and that the division wasn’t deep enough. This season of The Ultimate Fighter is proving both of those theories wrong.

Did you know that week after week this season, the women’s fights are outdrawing the men’s fights? After three men’s fights, the ratings were pretty consistent—639k, 640k and 672k. Episodes featuring the women however have been substantially higher than those numbers—870k, 778k and 725k.

So something has definitely peaked interest in the women’s fights. It could be the fact that they’re new to the TUF series and they bring a curiosity factor to the table.  Or it could be that even though the hardcore WMMA fanbase—although much smaller than the overall MMA fanbase—could be watching at a much higher percentage than the norm. In other words, say there are two rooms of fans. Room A has 100 “regular” MMA fans where 20% watch TUF; and Room B has 25 devoted hardcore WMMA fans where ALL of them watch.

Another scenario is that fans want to see the most relevant fighters more so than Facebook carders. While the case can be made for the top guys in the house doing well after the show, the reality is that we’ve been getting accustomed to the TUF winners not making much of an immediate impact in the men’s divisions.

On the other hand, seeing how few women are currently in the UFC, it doesn’t take a genius to see that a few of the girls in the house will be making a big splash in the UFC in a short period of time. It’s even possible we’re watching a handful of legitimate contenders right now.

Whatever the reason, the girls are comfortably out-drawing the guys. An interesting trend I didn’t expect.


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