I've been hearing all this stuff about the growing popularity of UFC. Therefore, I decided to see for myself. I will say that I found some interesting results in my quest to see what is driving all the buzz.
The trend graph below depicts buzz patterns. The NFL garners a lot of discussion online due to the NFL Draft. However, buzz about UFC eclipses both the NFL and NBA as a result of being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated toward the end of May 2007.
I would like to point out that the NFL is currently in off-season. As you can see, it still receives a substantial amount of discussion by bloggers talking about the NFL Draft. The interesting finding relates to it getting more discussion in the blogosphere than the NBA. The NBA playoffs are currently underway. Also, a key reason for an increase in discussion relates to UFC getting exposure from being featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. A little publicity can sure go a long way!
Personally, I feel UFC should find ways to get its name out in mainstream media more often. Also, some of its wrestlers may want to consider creating blogs and updating them periodically. Wrestlers who blog may help create additional buzz and fan interaction. For example, Curt Schilling of Major League Baseball (MLB) has a blog at http://38pitches.com. I swear that every post Curt makes receives at least 50 comments. It is unreal!
The trend graph below shows similar results to the one above. UFC receives more buzz by consumers posting on their blogs than MLB toward the end of May 2007.
The timeline graph below shows website traffic patterns for the UFC, NFL, NASCAR, NBA and MLB according to Alexa.com. The majority of consumers are visiting the NBA.com and MLB.com. However, it is important to note that there is a recent increase in consumers visiting UFC's website around the end of May 2007. UFC's website traffic still doesn't rival NBA or MLB, which are in season. Also, web traffic for the NFL will pick up considerably once its season is under way. However, it is promising to see the popularity of UFC growing.
The UFC seems very interesting to watch. I haven't been able to watch it yet; however, I will make a valid attempt to look at it over the next few weeks. I am interested to see what other people think about the UFC in the mean time. Feel free to leave a comment telling why you are drawn to the UFC.
Disclaimer: I want to state that these findings only show the amount of discussion in the blogosphere. Discussion about the NBA, MLB and NFL may infact be higher than UFC if all available sources are reviewed (i.e. chatroom discussion, video content, podcasts, discussion forums, Usenet groups, etc...). Also, I haven't compared UFC buzz to any other MMA league (IFL, KOTC, etc.). I will see if I can provide more in-depth analysis at a later date.
You can find out more about UFC by checking out Adam Morgan's blog over at Sprawl N' Brawl.