Who is the UFC's "poster boy" now?

MMAPlayground.com » MMA General » UFC Forum » Who is the UFC's "poster boy" now?
POLL: Who is, or will be, the new face of the UFC?
It's still Liddell. The Chuck is everywhere, and soon he'll get the belt back. 17% (11)
Rampage, if he defeats Henderson. 25% (16)
Randy Couture, if he defeats Gonzaga. 28% (18)
In a year, Shogun will rule. 15% (10)
In a year, B.J. Penn or GSP will be The Man again. 12% (8)
In a year, one of the TUF guys will be huge (Stevenson, Evans, Bisping, Griffin). 3% (2)
AchillesHeel
7/23/07 12:06:51PM
I was thinking about how Chuck Liddell was for so long the face of the UFC, and he's still the most recognizable UFC fighter, the one that non-fans know. Dana White has referred to 205 lbs as his "Rock Star Division" and there's no question that Liddell is, or at least was, the front-man of that group.

Has Chuck's loss to Rampage changed that, at all? Does the influx of elite fighters from Pride FC change it at all? Does the expansion of the UFC into other countries, both in fighters and markets, change it?

Does the parity in the Welterweight and Light-Heavyweight division make it more or less likely that one of those guys could become a superstar? What about the small number of elite guys in the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions? Does an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter help?

Some people say a language barrier (Anderson Silva) or even a strong accent (Georges St. Pierre) might make it tougher for a fighter to become a superstar in the United States. Some people say that color/ethnicity is a hindrance to superstardom here (Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans).

Of course, when I say "here", I might be short-selling audiences and markets outside the U.S. Could GSP make the UFC huge in Canada? What about Michael Bisping in the UK? Or Hayato Sakurai in Japan? How will the UFC be received by Brazilians if Anderson Silva, Shogun Rua, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are wearing championship belts?
xchickox
7/23/07 12:15:35PM
its gotta be rampage at the moment, he's doing all the stuff for the new game and has more charm and one-liners than any other fighter
MissGSP
7/23/07 12:15:41PM
Nick Diaz
SpiderSilva
7/23/07 12:17:55PM
Rampage has the best chance to take over for Chuck but it is still Chuck
Copenhagen
7/23/07 12:30:08PM

Posted by MissGSP

Nick Diaz



Diaz isn't even signed with UFC. He's with EliteXC.
Violentcuv
7/23/07 12:32:31PM
Rampage will probably be the new poster boy for the next few years.

I know with ESPN covering UFC now they made a big deal of the Chuck vs Rampage fight, and I'm sure UFC will like to keep the momentum going.

It's not going to be a One Man Promotional League by any means but Rampage will probably be listed at the top of the UFC fighter run-downs for a little while ow.
Rush
7/23/07 12:32:53PM

Posted by AchillesHeel

I was thinking about how Chuck Liddell was for so long the face of the UFC, and he's still the most recognizable UFC fighter, the one that non-fans know. Dana White has referred to 205 lbs as his "Rock Star Division" and there's no question that Liddell is, or at least was, the front-man of that group.

Has Chuck's loss to Rampage changed that, at all? Does the influx of elite fighters from Pride FC change it at all? Does the expansion of the UFC into other countries, both in fighters and markets, change it?




I think it has. It seems that for most fighters, you are only as good as your last fight. Chuck got owned in that fight and unless he is willing to fight for a few more years and pretty much dominate, I think his popularity is on a steady decline. I personally don't think in this way (only as good as your last fight that is), but I think too many fans out there do. It seems that most people only want to cheer for winners.

The influx of talented Pride fighters also make a difference. I think Chuck was a poster boy because he looked nearly invincible. With new talent coming into the UFC, that takes a lot of that away from him.



Posted by AchillesHeel
Does the parity in the Welterweight and Light-Heavyweight division make it more or less likely that one of those guys could become a superstar? What about the small number of elite guys in the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions? Does an appearance on The Ultimate Fighter help?




Parity? Certainly it does. See my post above regarding why I think the fans loved him. Many fans seem to want to see dominance. I wish more MMA fans were like tennis fans. I think tennis fans are some of the greatest sports fans in the world. They have their favorites, but they appreciate the game for what it is. If their favorite gets beat in a good game, they still cheer on the winner.

However, I still don't think there is parity in the LHW division, yet. But, it is slowly turning that way.

Do TUF appearances help? I think they do, but less so these days. In the time of TUF 1 and 2, I think it helped as it showed them outside the ring, but as seasons when on, I think TUF just gives fighters exposure. Let's not forget that TUF can make or break a coaches reputation too.


Posted by AchillesHeel

Some people say a language barrier (Anderson Silva) or even a strong accent (Georges St. Pierre) might make it tougher for a fighter to become a superstar in the United States. Some people say that color/ethnicity is a hindrance to superstardom here (Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans).



I think the language barrier is a problem, but only in the US (This is purely my opinion). For some reason I find that US fans tend to like fighters that they can relate to. So true UFC poster boys tend to be "All-American" kind of people. This sort of ties into your point about ethnicity, where the idea of "All-American" seems to be white skin.

I am pretty sure it goes the other way too. I'm pretty sure there are a number of black MMA fans out there that look up to Rampage, Rashad, etc. It's only natural.

If a fighter has an accent, that immediately alienates them from this All-American image. Heck, I think even B.J Penn's image and accent sets him apart in many fans' eyes.

I live in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, so I consider myself somewhat colourblind, but I am sure there are a lot of people out there that are not in the same boat. Not that I think it makes them racist or anything like that, but as I said, it seems to be a natural thing.




Posted by AchillesHeel
Of course, when I say "here", I might be short-selling audiences and markets outside the U.S. Could GSP make the UFC huge in Canada? What about Michael Bisping in the UK? Or Hayato Sakurai in Japan? How will the UFC be received by Brazilians if Anderson Silva, Shogun Rua, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are wearing championship belts?




GSP has made the UFC bigger in Canada, but I think he is and will be the poster boy for the UFC in Canada. However, I don't think he'll ever be a poster boy for the UFC in the US.

I don't know about the Japanese or Brazilians.




Finally, I would like to add that I think the poster boy for the UFC right now is (win or lose) Randy.
BeerisGood
7/23/07 12:39:29PM
i'd say huerta for sure
DJDark41
7/23/07 12:42:10PM
I would say Chuck Liddell, because every time I see anything about MMA on a channel other then Spike TV, it's always about Chuck Liddell this or Chuck Liddell that. However he won't be getting the title back anytime soon, so I didn't pick the first option in the poll.
GDK
7/23/07 12:54:55PM
Rampage at the moment.
He's a great champ for that sort of thing.
Thats what he wants, just show him the money.

Shogun will rule in a year.
cmill21
7/23/07 1:12:55PM
It's chuck 100%. Why did you put that part about getting the belt back, it's detering people from picking chuck in the poll.
AchillesHeel
7/23/07 1:16:37PM

Posted by cmill21

It's chuck 100%. Why did you put that part about getting the belt back, it's detering people from picking chuck in the poll.


I was sort of thinking along the same lines as Rush, that the general public wants/needs a champion to be a real superstar. Maybe you're right, though, maybe that's an incorrect assumption, and if people are avoiding that poll-selection for that reason, then I shouldn't have put words in people's mouths.

Do you really think that Liddell could remain the "poster boy" of the UFC without regaining the belt?
DangerousDjohn
7/23/07 1:17:19PM
I'm gonna have to say Terry Martin...JK. I said Randy if he beats Gonzaga.
cmill21
7/23/07 1:36:22PM
I do when you look at who the UFC wants to succeed the most, and who they promote the most. I think we can all agree that dana wants chuck to get that belt back, and he promotes the poop out of chuck. IMO I think thats why shogun will get a title fight so quickly, dana figures he'll beat rampage, and then chuck won't have to fight rampage again. I think Shoguns a worse match up for chuck though...
MartinKillMcGill
7/23/07 2:02:33PM
Its still chuck but dana will make the most out of rampage the has bags of charisma
Signal2112
7/23/07 6:21:41PM
Rampage, Randy and BJ would be picks for me.
casey64
7/23/07 7:29:03PM
Randy for sure.
MoJoy
7/23/07 7:47:33PM
It's not one guy, I think it's this group

Randy Coutoure
Anderson Silva
Rampage Jackson
Georges St.Pierre
Shogun

My thoughts.
SteedTheDeed
7/24/07 2:22:52PM
Roger Huerta, look at who they give him, how his fights are always aired and how much they are using him a lot lately (cover of SI.)
cowcatcher
7/24/07 2:37:18PM
chuck is the one guy the average joe could name from the ufc so hes my pick. for those of us that follow mma others my be the guy, but a poster boy has to be recognizable to the regular shmuck walking down the street.
jdubs
7/24/07 2:54:11PM
ufc poster boys are: rampage, huerta, griffin, crocop, and uhhh........ sherk?? and vera but i dont know what his deal is
cowcatcher
7/24/07 2:57:51PM

Posted by jdubs

ufc poster boys are: rampage, huerta, griffin, crocop, and uhhh........ sherk?? and vera but i dont know what his deal is



i forgot to mention forrest, thanks jdubs, for many people the best fight theyve ever seen in the ufc was griffen bonnar(these ppl being the folks that got turned on to mma by tuf) so they associate him with the ufc
thepunisher
7/24/07 2:58:47PM
Rampage is the new poster boy for sure
nubby
7/24/07 3:21:13PM

Posted by thepunisher

Rampage is the new poster boy for sure


I think he needs to win one more and then the UFC fans will start to gravitate to him.
kimoron
7/24/07 9:00:20PM
its rampage, easily. hes young, charismatic, arguably one of the most entertaining fighters to watch and most importantly he has the belt.
JuggaloWarrior878
7/25/07 1:03:06AM
Gotta be couture but if dan beats rampage i think he would be great. All amerian guy with mad titles
AchillesHeel
7/25/07 11:50:58AM

Posted by JuggaloWarrior878

Gotta be couture but if dan beats rampage i think he would be great. All amerian guy with mad titles


Unfortunately, I only had six spots for the poll. I probably should have put an "other" category. Rich Franklin is another guy who could regain his standing, and become recognizable outside the dedicated fan base.
Scott_Revels
7/25/07 9:32:10PM
It seems to me like they are building Huerta to be their poster boy. It may only be for the Lightweight Division, but still, they seem to be grooming him. Why feed him lesser talent fighters, one after another, if your not making him your 'Golden Boy'. Giving him lesser talent fighters will increase his record, and give him more time to train for a potential future fighter (BJ Penn?). I mean if you get to fight easy fights, and see someone like BJ develope, then your seeing how he does against top guys, and you learn to be better than him. That way, when a fight comes with a top guy, like BJ, then you know what he's good at, and what not, and then you beat him, and therefore your in.. Golden Boy status by KO.
Related Topics