11 for 11: No. 7 Twitter bonuses for UFC fighters

December 24, 2011

Where would the world of sports, and sports reporting without twitter? The UFC has been on the cutting edge of social media at made twitter a requirement for its fighters.

Starting in June, the UFC announced quarterly bonuses for fighters using twitter. As part of its Fighter Summit held in May, the UFC held a workshop for fighters on utilizing twitter. The first quarterly bonuses came out in November with fighters receiving $5,000 each. The UFC intends to expend $240,000 in annual twitter bonuses.

While the UFC promotes its fighters to use twitter to promote the UFC, there are pitfalls to twitter usage. Forrest Griffin, a winner of one of the twitter bonuses, was criticized for a tweet he sent about rape. Griffin quickly apologized and donated money to a rape crisis center. Dana White defended Griffin in explaining away the tweet.

In contrast to Griffin, Miguel Torres was fired for a tweet in which he referenced a line from FX’s “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

And, as always ,Dana White is very active and outspoken on twitter. The phenomenon of twitter continues to help and hurt UFC stars (as well as other sports stars) as there is no filter and the user must self-edit their thoughts lest they get caught in PR problems like Griffin and Torres. We will see if fighters change their twitter usage in 2012 or will they continue to push the envelope to gain more followers.

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