MMA shut out in two sports lists

January 28, 2011

Although growing in popularity, mixed martial arts is behind in the minds of mainstream sports. No MMA fighters were included in Businessweek’s Power List of 100 most powerful athletes. Also, a recent Harris poll asking sports fans of their favorite sports failed to register MMA in its list.

Businessweek’s 2011 Power List of 100 which lists the most powerful professional athletes in sports did not include anyone from MMA. Last year, the list included Fedor Emelianenko (No. 82) and Brock Lesnar (No. 96). NFL’s Peyton Manning was No. 1 followed by snowboarder Shawn White. Manny Pacquiao was the only combat sports athlete at No. 24. (h/t MMA Fighting)

The criteria via Businessweek:

It’s the combination of athletic achievement plus the ability to connect with an audience on a deeper, more personal level that separates mere jocks from the stars. Indeed, the everyman image often earns the highest ranking and the biggest earnings. That explains why the No. 1 spot on the 2011 Power 100 ranking went to Peyton Manning, the well-liked, hard-working Colts quarterback who appeared in two of the last four Super Bowls and led his team to victory in Super Bowl XLI.

The Harris Interactive poll asked American sports fans their ONE favorite sport.  The MMA snub may raise some eyebrows considering bowling is ahead of boxing in the poll.

Via MMA Junkie:

Harris Interactive, a research company with widely distributed and influential surveys, recently asked American fans about their favorite sports. MMA isn’t even listed. According to the 2010 survey, pro football is king of the sporting world and is followed by baseball and college football. Boxing, a sibling of MMA in the combat-sports world, is ranked 13th. It’s outpaced by NASCAR (fourth), hockey (sixth), and bowling (11th).

The question posed to people was: “If you had to choose, which ONE of these sports would you say is your favorite?” The poll surveyed 2,331 adults in December 2010. Several sportswriters have approached Harris Interactive about the inclusion of MMA which it will take under consideration.

Payout Perspective:

Businessweek Power List

With Fedor and Brock losing in 2010, it was inevitable that they would drop out of the rankings. I find it surprising that Georges St. Pierre did not make the 100. His crossover appeal along with his mainstream sponsors should have him on this list. Interesting that Houston Texans running back Arian Foster made the list at No. 22 ahead of Kevin Durant. In fact, Foster was the first NFL running back on the list ahead of Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

Harris Interactive

The Harris poll seems antiquated as the MMA Junkie indicates it has not changed its categories of sports since 1985. It also shows that MMA is still is a fringe sport in the eyes of some.

Despite the poll, I think the better question is whether MMA is the one sport you would say is your favorite. Although MMA is growing in mainstream popularity, it would be hard for people to say they would take the sport over the NFL.

11 Responses to “MMA shut out in two sports lists”

  1. joke on January 28th, 2011 12:14 AM

    Im telling you now.people in the mma world are so much into the propagation of the sport that they are not in touch with the mainstream crowd…they are fanatical but look at the surveys majority of people dont care….i find it funny that before they called it that boxing is dead and mma is the future..now you are labeling boxing as mma sibling? boxing is mainstream because of the OLYMPICS…its global…stop listening to Dana White for a while and really research on mma…come on in asia they put up Martial COmbat last year…they had 2 events a month about 24 events last year–BACKED BY resorts world and espn asia—THIS year theyre down to 3 Events a YEar….it means it bombed out….so did pride so did K1 so did affliction so did elite xc….how many more should close down for people to realize that its only ufc that is making money the sport is not growing wake up people

  2. joke on January 28th, 2011 12:17 AM

    by the way boxing is 13th lol thats way more than what Dana says that its dead….young white males should live in the REAL WORLD instead of the MMA WORLD…the bubble is about to burst and soon nobody would care…like the Extreme games in the 90’s

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  4. jv on January 28th, 2011 7:52 AM

    What we have learned isn’t that MMA is dyeing. That’s ridiculous. What we have learned is that you can’t run a successful company on a bad business plan.

  5. Machiel Van on January 28th, 2011 8:01 AM

    I would take MMA over the NFL. There, that wasn’t hard at all lol.

  6. Machiel Van on January 28th, 2011 8:04 AM

    So “joke”, as a young white male should I rely on young African American, Asian, and other non-white people to teach me about sports? What’s with the race card? In the “REAL WORLD” that kind of talk is inappropriate.

  7. Matt C. on January 28th, 2011 9:01 AM

    I’m agreeing with jv on this one.

    In almost every case of MMA organizational failure that I’m aware of it’s mostly due to bad business plans.

    Also I would probably pick MMA as my favorite sport over football but it’s close. Something I notice about myself is how I consume information about my two favorite sports that are virtually tied as my favorites. With football I almost never bother to look up any information online about football even though I’m guessing there is more than enough football dedicated websites. I don’t have a folder in my bookmarks for football related websites.

    However with MMA I consume huge amounts of MMA information online. I have an MMA folder in my bookmarks with over 100 MMA related websites saved. Now I know part of this is because there is more than enough football shows on TV that I rarely need to search online to find football news and the exact opposite is true about MMA.

    Football just doesn’t drive me to seek out extra information online like MMA does. MMA seems to invoke that extra motivation in me to want to learn more and seek out more information on the sport.

  8. Machiel Van on January 28th, 2011 10:24 AM

    Matt C. –

    Perhaps because football is a team sport with a focus on the unit over the individual? In terms of seeking out information online, MMA news tends to revolve around individuals rather than the team or the league, and in my opinion makes it more compelling. Good point about the differences in TV coverage, etc., it does make for a tough comparison in terms of which sport an individual “likes better” vs content availability and what way the individual prefers to receive sports content. I don’t like sitting through an hour of Sportscenter hoping some interesting news will pop-up relating to my favorite sport/athlete; online I can find this news almost instantly. However I know individuals who would rather zone out on video news, and would prefer not to actively engage in the search for news, which is what the internet forces us to do.

  9. Jason Cruz on January 28th, 2011 11:23 AM

    Matt C,

    We at MMA Payout hope you have us bookmarked in your MMA folder. j/k

  10. Matt C. on January 28th, 2011 1:01 PM

    Jason Cruz,

    Yes sir it’s bookmarked. lol.

  11. RICK on January 30th, 2011 5:37 AM

    “Joke” is an idiot….IDIOT! My goodness! No actually hes freaking stupid!!

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