Getting a big marketing push from the UFC is a benefit most athletes on the No. 1 mixed martial arts promotion’s roster don’t get to experience. Explanations for this range from “Being in the UFC is its own marketing push” to “Your fighting style should be marketing enough” and everything in between.
We’ve seen Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Sage Northcutt and Paige VanZant get the star-studded PR boost (not that they shouldn’t have), but when will they start branching out in an effort to create more stars to carry their pay-per-view efforts? We’re just coming off a story this week where Gegard Mousasi expressed frustration after allegedly being told he wasn’t a big enough star to get a fight with perennial fan favorite, Anderson Silva.
Welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley has also expressed concerns over what he sees as disrespect and discrimination. One need look no further than the official UFC 209 poster for confirmation that there may indeed be a glitch in the marketing matrix.
In a few hours, Donald Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal will take center stage in the night’s co-main event, but how many casual fans know the Cuban that started his career fighting in Kimbo Slice’s back yard? In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow’s Three Amigos Podcast, “Gamebred” cut right to the chase in giving his thoughts on what it would take for the UFC to get the PR he deserves, as well as his take on Woodley’s comments.
“I do feel that some dudes get done wrong. Of course I’m leaning towards Woodley because he’s my friend and a teammate, so I’m going to stick with everything he’s said. There’s a lot of us that get thrown under the bus for one reason or another, you know? You’ve got guys that are like…actors, and they’re coming into fighting and making more than dudes that have been putting their life on the line—competing and making the sacrifices and years of training that it takes to get into the UFC—and you see these guys getting pushed.
I don’t want to mention their names and give them any more of that, but everybody knows who I’m talking about. There’s a lot of these guys that don’t even belong in the UFC, and you can see it right away, but they get these huge promotional pushes. Then you’ve got a champion and he’s not getting pushed how he should be…it’s weird.”
When Masvidal was asked what would need to happen to get the UFC to notice him and get the promotional ball rolling, he had a quick and easy solution that follows in the footsteps of socialites Kim Kardashian-West and Paris Hilton.
“I might have to get the highlights with the contacts and the puka shell necklace. All of a sudden I’ve got endorsement deals [laughs]. It’s a lot to do with popularity. You want me to be honest with you? A sex tape with a celebrity is what it will take. That’ll do it right there.”
One can only hope that the new owners will put their marketing might behind more than just a handful of fighters. After all, those coffers aren’t going to fill themselves while McGregor, Rousey, Jones, Bisping, etc. are on the shelf.
You can listen to our amazing interview with Jorge right here at the 1:01:40 mark of the audio or via the embedded player below. Remember, if you're looking for us on SoundCloud or iTunes, we're under the MMA Nation name. Follow our Twitter accounts: Stephie Haynes, Three Amigos Podcast, George Lockhart, Iain Kiddand Mookie Alexander or our Facebook fan page, Three Amigos Pod.