If you’ve ever wondered if polls during sporting events are rigged to make fights seem more competitive than they are or to spread whatever message is most useful to the promoter, this story should interest you. A group of Frenchmen (from France, not the sub-french Quebecois) from the site Riddum.com are accusing the UFC of falsifying the results of a poll taken on Facebook and broadcast on UFC Tonight.
I am the chief editor at Riddum.com, a leading French MMA news website. I would like to bring your attention on an injustice that happened this week that angered thousands of MMA fans – which you may want to share with your readers.
The UFC Tonight crew (FUEL TV) blatantly rigged the results on the poll – Where Would You Like To See The UFC Go Next ? – that offered 4 options: China, France, New York, and Russia. They announced New York as the winner with 52% of the votes and France with 31%, which is completely FALSE. France is the actual winner, receiving most of the votes.
You can view the real poll results on Facebook or with this screenshot (taken on January 17 before the airing of UFC Tonight, Episode 3).
The site then shows the poll having 3,253 votes, 3,051 going to France. But rather than admit getting caught sweeping votes for France under the rug to further push the UFC’s ‘MMA fans are soooo passionate about MMA in NY’ line, FUEL released this statement on Facebook: “Apologies for any confusion, poll results were collected 1/12 5pm PT. Unfortunately, the poll continues to live on facebook, data collected will be different than real-time.”
So unfortunate! And unfortunately for FUEL, these Frenchmen had more proof that even by that bogus cutoff point, France was still heavily in the lead:
At that time (2 pm ET / 5 pm PT), France was already leading the poll with almost 1,000 votes. We mobilized the French-speaking MMA community on January 12 at 3.40 pm ET / 12:40 pm PT to vote. The poll was promoted on Riddum.com and shared on Facebook. At 4:52 pm ET / 1:52 pm PT (see my comment below), France was far ahead with almost 500 votes and New York had about 120 votes.
Not that any of this is any reason to hate FUEL forever and ever amen. It’s just a funny example of a company that’s used to no one giving a crap suddenly having to deal with us rabid and crazy MMA fans. No longer will they be able to rig their polls to promote the company line or claim our favorite non-UFC show on FUEL is Thrillbillies.
In actual relevant FUEL TV news … remember Dana White saying fans should switch to DirectTV if they wanna get the channel any time soon? Well, we now know what ‘any time soon’ is: 9 months. That’s when FUEL / FOX renegotiates it’s contracts with distributors. It’s a long time to wait, but we can all make it worthwhile. Every time you’re pissed that you can’t watch prelims or the Brazilian TUF, call up your cable operator and scream at them like Mel Gibson for a while. Nine months later, you’ll have Fuel! Or a conviction for harassment and hate speech. Or both!