Michael Bisping just came off a historic rematch with longtime foe, Dan Henderson, that saw him defend his middleweight title for the first time, two weeks ago. The event headlined UFC 204 in Manchester England to a packed arena full of cheering fans.
When speaking of fans, there are some distinctions that should be noted. There are basically three types of fans: casual, hardcore and rabid.
- The casual fan watches MMA—primarily UFC---and typically catches events at bars or a friend’s house that happens to have bought the pay-per-view.
- The hardcore fan has been watching MMA for at least a decade, is knowledgeable of the great fighters and historical bouts, and typically buys a few UFC PPVs a year (and streams the rest via “outside” sources).
- The rabid fan has watched MMA from UFC 1 (or they claim to), purchases every PPV event—UFC or otherwise—and will argue their superior knowledge to anyone that will listen. They have memorabilia collections that rival museums and are often spotted wearing their MMA gear proudly, wherever they go.
That last group is a loyal one, also. Their devotion to a chosen favorite fighter knows no bounds, and they go to extreme measures to prove it. Case in point, this amazingly detailed tattoo of Michael Bisping that one of his fans recently got. The ink perfectly captures “The Count” in all his Rocky-esque glory from the aftermath of his historic battle with “Hendo.”
These are the fans that keep the sport alive and profitable. This level of devotion is hard to come by, and in my opinion, should be commended for keeping those MMA fires burning.