UFC Does Not Make Same Mistakes As Boxing
One of the pillars if not the primary combat sport was boxing as over time some of the more charismatic athletes were a pugilist. There was the lightning in the bottle of Mike Tyson as he was rising through the ranks. Muhammad Ali used his brash interview style and talent in the ring to become one of the greatest if not the greatest fighters of all time. Yet since the mid to late 1990s boxing has fallen out of favor with the viewing public. There was some revitalization with Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather in 2015 as it was seen as a mega fight but there has not been another boxing match that was a true event since then. While boxing is slowly making a comeback and gaining popularity there are certain strategies that will help keep UFC/MMA as relevant in the world of sports.
One of the major challenges with boxing was that there were too many titles as currently there are 17 different weight classes in professional boxing. By having too many divisions it dilutes the competition for all the weight classes and minimizes the importance of holding a championship. Conversely, the UFC has only eight weight classes for their men’s divisions and by having only weight classes it helps to have more talent in a specific weight class which increases the caliber of fights and the importance of championships.
Have only one major brand
The reason why UFC is the leader of the MMA world is that there is no competing or they have bought out its major competition over the years. What has hurt boxing is the alphabet soup of promotions and different titles. One of the driving forces of combat sports is having an authentic champion and with the multiple boxing promotions leads to difficulty in comprehending who is the best as a weight class.
Avoid Controversial Decisions
Throughout the history of boxing, it has been plagued with fights that have had decisions that can be deemed controversial. In these fights, the athlete who has the best performance does not win. When this occurs it gives the appearance, whether true or not, that the fight was rigged or fixed which has two negative effects. First, it hurts the legitimacy of the sport as those that wanted to see a fair fight were duped into watching a predetermined contest. Second, fans will disengage if they feel that the product is misrepresenting itself.
Keep a presence on free television
The driving economic force of UFC and boxing has been pay-per-view since the advent of cable television. While having that one great payday does make economic sense the fans need to develop a relationship with the product and fighters. Up until recently, there was very few if any boxing events on free television which prevents that connection to the product and fighters. What has helped the UFC is by having events on free television people can develop a familiarity with fighters and the product which will increase the chance of people buying the actual pay-per-view.