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El Octagono es muy sexy

Lotsa people are reading way too much into the UFC’s plan to start broadcasting a Spanish show called ‘El Octagono’ next week. Will it succeed? What will the impact be? Are they stupid to try this? All these questions would be a lot more interesting and relevant if the UFC didn’t ALREADY have a Spanish show called Guerreros Del UFC every week on Fox Sports en Español.

Truth is, this show isn’t going to mean much in the grand scheme of things … it’s just another baby step forward in their quest for world expansion. It’s not like the show is gonna be expensive to make (it’s basically UFC Unleashed with a dark tan and more interviews in Spanish), and it’s not like it will really matter if the show tanks out or not. Best case scenario it serves as a nice lead into a new market. Worst case scenario it plants some seeds that might encourage young Hispanics to get into the sport. Either way, it’s not a sign the UFC is weakening, like old boxing guy Bob Arum would have you think:

“The reason Hispanic fans buy into it is the Hispanic fighters,” Arum said. “Brazilian is not Hispanic. Hispanic means Mexican, and how many good Mexicans, or Mexican Americans, do they have? Without that, there’s no interest. None.

“If you develop the Mexican stars, you can attract the younger Latino audience, but it seems as if that’s a long way from happening, and you don’t want to spend so much time on it that you lose your core audience: white, male, tattooed. . . .”

Arum said an endeavor like “El Octagono” fuels speculation that interest in UFC has reached a plateau. The company doesn’t release revenue figures, such as pay-per-view buys. “If this sport was so booming, this wouldn’t be happening,” Arum said.

Bob is right on the first count: until you start seeing more Mexicans in the Octagon, the sport is going to be a hard sell. Galavision (the channel El Octogono is gonna be on) is a Mexican cable channel, and most Mexicans couldn’t give a shit about what Brazilians or Americans are up to, no matter what language the fighters are reading off the teleprompter.

On the other hand, do I even have to explain why Bob Arum’s reasoning regarding expansion is moronic? How about I save some time and just call his doctor up … maybe Arum is about to have a stroke or something because his brain seems to be malfunctioning.

  • Carcass

    “The Latin fighter, as boxing has shown, has a lot of heart. And sometimes in MMA, heart can beat a better fighter.” – Gabriel Gonzaga

    Did anyone else find that particular quote laugh-out-loud funny?

  • pauli

    i’ve now got this picture in my head of mike goldberg saying “…inside EL OCTAGONO!” and pumping his fist.

  • Trembling Eagle

    Only Mexicans are Hispanic?

  • Atom

    Arum said. “Brazilian is not Hispanic. Hispanic means Mexican”

    No, Bob. Hispanic does NOT mean Mexican.

  • x5BoltMainx

    I’ve seen a couple of those episodes on Fox Sports Espanol & they’re fucking hilarious. Trying to watch a UFC fight with spanish commentors is kind of trippy.

    And here I thought you crazy Canadians forgot about Cinco de Mayo.

  • fightlinker

    While hispanic doesn’t just mean mexican, El Octagono is only on a Mexican cable channel. So will hispanics other than Mexicans be watching? Maybe if they live in Mexico.

  • Steve4192

    As far as combat sports are concerned, the only Hispanics who really matter are Mexicans. They are the only Spanish-speaking nationality that dumps shitloads of money into combat sports.

    Thus, while Arum’s statement might be technically incorrect, his point still stands.

  • ZooDog

    Galavisión is a Miami, Florida based Spanish language cable network owned by Univision Communications, Inc., also an US-based company.

  • Allah Ackbar

    “As far as combat sports are concerned, the only Hispanics who really matter are Mexicans. They are the only Spanish-speaking nationality that dumps shitloads of money into combat sports.”

    Puerto Ricans as well. I know they’re a protectorate of the US, but for all intents and purposes, they’re a separate country that the US can shit on at any time.

    Other Hispanic nationalities show up when a “home grown” star fighter shows up. For example, Mayorga incited hatred from other Latino boxing fans and love from the Nicaraguans with his cockiness. Hell, even someone like Pacquiao (Filipino) is very popular with Hispanics. It all depends on style, opponents, and marketing.

  • BIGFern7

    Fightlicker…you’re dead on with this one. Arum’s actually dead on also. My background is Mexican and i grew up on boxing so i can speak on this a bit.

    Trembling Eagle and Atom, Arum said that in the context of the hispanic fight market. Landing a solid Mexican fan base would be a gold mine for the UFC. All Arum was saying was that when the UFC says “hispanic” they really mean Mexican because that’s where the bulk of Hispanic fans would come from.

    I think it’s going to be hard as all fuck to get the uFC to become popular IN Mexico….Mexicans are not into jiu jistu and all that wrestling around hugging n shit…Mexican machismo would never embrace that. The UFC’s only shot is to grow a solid base among Mexican-America fans in the US.

  • BIGFern7

    and BTW….the channel it’s appearing in is NOT a MEXICAN channel – there isnt such a thing. it’s a Spanish language channel – just so happens that most of the Spanish language speakers are Mexican. But here in Miami where i live, Colombians, Venezuelans, Cubans, etc all watch that channel.

  • Accomando

    “…The Latin fighter…”

    Is Italian or Sicilian.

  • fightlinker

    Will make an update … i thought it was the mexican station, not the florida station. Thanks for the info, man!

    Funny to note that the UFC will only get bigger as people’s homophobia relaxes hahaha