Strikeforce on Showtime: Ronda Rousey Gets It, Sarah Kaufman Does Not
MMA veteran Sarah Kaufman held a contest for the fan who could make a video of the best Ronda Rousey impression. The winner gets two tickets to the Strikeforce Championship fight coming up on August 18, 2012.
Unfortunately, Rousey herself provided the best video. It's doubtful that she'll win the tickets though.
The backlash against Rousey's sarcastic video was swift. When I first watched the video and laughed (until her roommate tried to steal the show), the video may have had 1,600 views and two or three pages worth of comments. I returned a couple of days later, and there were nearly 100,000 views and 67 pages of comments (and counting).
I also watched yet another boring Kaufman video in which she parrots the same crap about pretty girls getting all of the attention. That video has 604 views.
Kaufman just doesn't get it.
Muhammad Ali got it. Mike Tyson got it. Brock Lesnar got it. Nick Diaz gets it. Ronda Rousey gets it. Rappers get it. Reality TV stars get it. Talking heads like Nancy Grace get it.
In order to sell in the United States, you MUST get the people emotionally invested in you. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad.
Drama sells, and the angry comments on Rousey's video tell the whole story. They're flowing non-stop. People want to see Kaufman knock Rousey's head clean off her shoulders!
Is it all about looks, or would reality TV style drama help the women sell? Remember, Gina Carano was a reality TV star first.
"That's why men hit these retarted woman" -loucusss
"Ronda thinks everyone loves her.... the sad fact is the only person that loves ronda is ronda....." -mma10101
"I am now rooting against Rousey. Her personality is horrid." -Taurosnake
Even her poor roommate wasn't immune to the anger of keyboard warriors.
"i don't have nothing against you (Ronda) in this video, but that guy is so much annoying and when i see him i wont to puke." -begoking1
Taurosnake's comment is exactly what I'm talking about.
Fans want to see fighters get knocked out, as much as they would like to see them knock someone else out. Taurosnake is now emotionally invested in this fight and will either throw the remote or spontaneously do a backflip with glee, depending on the outcome.
This fight is on a Saturday night, not prime time. Casual fans have other things to do, unless they either love or hate Rousey.
Kaufman hasn't done a thing to draw attention to this fight other than start that contest.
There are a lot of fans who like Rousey for her looks, but they wouldn't throw Felice Herrig out of bed either.
There are a lot of pretty ladies in MMA. The difference is Rousey makes people choose a side. No one is sitting on the fence for a Ronda Rousey fight. She's a polarizing figure.
Go back to Kaufman's fight against Alexis Davis. That fight was better than any of Rousey's fights, yet the Rousey-Tate fight was far more entertaining.
Fans said to themselves, "Somebody's gonna get their ass kicked tonight and I don't want it to be my fighter!"
Every momentum change in that fight, no matter how big or small, was magnified because of the emotions of both the fans and fighters. The fans felt what the fighters felt. They cheered, cried and jeered with their fighter.
How many fans of Rousey panicked when Tate broke free of Rousey's first arm bar attempted and then jumped on top of her? How many Tate fans cringed when Rousey judo tossed Tate through the mat?
Had the Kaufman-Davis fight had that type of drama leading up to it, it would have been an instant classic. Instead, I deleted the fight off of my DVR without re-watching it, while re-living the Rousey fight over and over again.
The bottom line is most women either don't have what it takes or do what it takes to sell fights.
It's a love and respect fest that really doesn't interest most fans. No woman has the reach and moves of Jon Jones. Most can't deliver a slam like Matt Hughes. No one—not even Cris Cyborg—has the sheer power of Alistair Overeem (or Urijah Faber for that matter).
Most female mixed martial artists don't bring any wow factor to the table. Most men look at a "girl" and feel like they can do anything she does better. If that's true, then they also fall for drama better (WWE fans, where ya at?).
Fighters like Kaufman need to stop complaining and do like Chael Sonnen did. Learn how to sell a fight.
Female mixed martial artists put on a better show than the men, every time. They just need to do what it takes to make sure someone actually cares.
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