Lyoto Machida: Marketing Black Hole?

June 30, 2008

Michael Rome over at Bloody Elbow has a good piece on the Lyoto Machida problem:

It’s not going to be easy to book Machida’s fights going forward. The top guys have very little to gain by fighting him. If they lose a boring fight, it’s terrible for their reputation and drawing power, and if they beat him, the win doesn’t really do much besides boost their credibility among hardcore MMA fans. Even Quinton Jackson has given some signals of late that he is not interested in this fight. The other day he made it clear that he only wants to fight guys that come in and fight, not guys who run away.

Rome does an excellent job of summarizing the conundrum that the UFC faces in trying to book Machida in the future. A Machida win, even over the big names in the division, aren’t going to make his “elusive” style any more appealing to a fanbase that has been conditioned to embrace an “all action, all the time” fight experience. Most of the current UFC fanbase cut their MMA teeth on a Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar fight where neither guy was in any way being “elusive”. One of the comments in Mike’s thread very aptly described the situation (and Machida by extension) as a marketing black hole.

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