This months issue of Sports Illustrated features the UFC. The article “The New Main Event”, goes into the recent popularity of the UFC and MMA in general. A picture of Roger Huerta issuing a leg kick graces the cover.
The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), of which Ultimate Fighting Championship is the most popular enterprise, has penetrated the defense of the mainstream and applied a choke hold to that golden 18-to-34 male demographic. The UFC’s weekly reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, on Spike TV, often eclipses the television ratings of the NBA and baseball playoffs in that target audience. The names of UFC fighters are some of the most popular entries in Internet search engines come fight time. UFC events do bigger pay-per-view numbers than any pro wrestling event or boxing card this side of Mayweather-De La Hoya. (UFC’s 2006 PPV revenues were almost $223 million, compared with $177 million for boxing on HBO and $200 million for WWE.)