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Thursday, Aug 02, 2012

Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Will Gimmicks Fuel Ratings for UFC on FOX? With Strikeforce’s Ronda Rousey, Less is More

By Joshua Molina

We are two days away from UFC on FOX, an event with a lot on the line for four fighters and the UFC.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua battles Brandon Vera and Lyoto Machida takes on Ryan Bader.

The man who “wins most impressively” will get the title shot vs. the winner of the Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson match on Sept. 1.

But there’s even more on the line for the UFC. The company is looking to stop the sliding ratings trend on the network.

UFC popped a big rating with its debut in November of 2011, featuring a pay-per-view quality main event of Cain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos. The show had 5.7 million viewers. It’s most recent show, however, was headlined by Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller and attracted 2.4 million viewers.

The world of network TV can be cruel and ruthless – and the standards are much higher on Fox than, say, Spike TV, Fuel or FX.

White and the UFC are well aware and have gone a little gimmicky in the buildup to Saturday’s show.

Fox and the UFC will debut its “Ref-Cam” on the show. The camera is designed to give viewers a feel for what it is like to be inside the cage and see what the referee sees. The tactic is a bit gimmicky, and not exactly new. Pride, Strikeforce and boxing have already used a form of the Ref-Cam.

Still, the buzz over the gimmick will likely draw some viewers to check out the show.

Dana White also has created some artificial chatter surrounding the show by flip-flopping about who of the four main event fighters are in line for a title shot. White first said it would be the winner of the Shogun vs. Vera match, but then changed his mind the next day to say that it could also be the winner of the Machida vs. Bader battle.

White decided to let the public make his booking decisions his after UFC fans didn’t like his first decision and called him out on it in social media. The fighters themselves are tired of hearing about who is going to get the shot; they just want to fight and get by their current opponents before looking too far ahead.
The press conference for the UFC on FOX show is today at 11 a.m. PST.

Has Ronda Rousey completely lost it? In recent days she’s blasted Olympic great Michael Phelps, saying that all he has to do is swim, and not get punched in the face; said that she would make Aikido expert and actor Steven Seagal “crap his pants,” and recommended that people in the Olympics wear condoms because, in her experience, as the events went on, they “got more debaucherous.”

Ronda Rousey

Perhaps Rousey has nothing better to do. Her next opponent, former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman, won’t sink to her level in the pre-fight buildup to their show on Aug. 18 in San Diego. Kaufman is a talented fighter and Rousey should be focused more on fighting than self-promotion.

Remember a young fighter named Mike Tyson who stormed out of nowhere and knocked out everybody he fought, won the championship, and then started talking about sex, and saying ridiculous things in the media? The first person who was actually unafraid to fight him knocked him out and Tyson was done before he ever cemented his legacy. Will Sarah Kaufman be Rousey’s James “Buster” Douglas?

Contact reporter Joshua Molina at jmolina@fcfighter.com. Or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JoshuaMolinaMMA

posted by FCF Staff @ 1:00 pm
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