Hispanic Market Loves MMA, Except Not Really

LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 20: UFC Heavyweight title challenger Cain Velasquez at the UFC 121 pre-fight press conference at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on October 20 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sports Business Journal has a report on the sports-viewing habits of the Hispanic market in the United States, using data from a 2009 ESPN survey. The results of viewers (found in this image) that do not exclusively speak English caused MMA Payout to declare that "[t]he numbers reveal that MMA is one of the most watched sports by the demographic."

Except that the study has two giant flaws.

First, MMA is grouped together with pro wrestling (or "lucha libre" south of the border). This would be like grouping cricket with baseball (they both have sticks and balls!), and then declaring that cricket has penetrated the U.S. market. Pro wrestling, like here in the States or over in Japan, has deep cultural roots in Mexico. It's no surprise that first- or second-generation immigrants would maintain ties to it.

Speaking of sports with cultural ties, the study seemingly left boxing out of the study. Saul Alvarez drew 36 million viewers in Mexico last month for his fight with little-known Ryan Rhodes. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. brought in the highest Boxing After Dark ratings in 4 years (about 1.5 million viewers) opposite Sebastian Zbik. Oscar de la Hoya holds the pay-per-view record with Floyd Mayweather Jr. with 2.4 million buys in 2007. Boxing is big business in the Hispanic market. Its exclusion is a glaring oversight.

I'm not sure where MMA would stand without the tie to lucha libre and with boxing's inclusion. I feel it would fall behind a top 5 of soccer, boxing, lucha libre, the NFL, and MLB. MMA, specifically the grappling component, does not hold any cultural significance in Mexico, and the sport contains no legitimate Mexican stars despite the success of multi-cultural fighters like Cain Velasquez, Tito Ortiz, and Dominick Cruz.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker