By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
This is the second week in a new weekly feature here at MMATorch.com, looking back on the results of the numerous polls we run on the site during the week.
This week's polls took on a few different looks, with two looking to future possibilities and another asking MMATorch readers about how - or if - they were viewing Saturday's UFC on Fuel 6 event.
Starting with our Fuel TV poll this week, which asked how our fans were planning on watching Saturday's card, it wasn't surprising to see that 43 percent of respondents weren't watching the card because they didn't have Fuel. The network is not widely available in the U.S., with less than 40 million homes having access to it, so many who may have otherwise tuned in didn't weren't able to see the event.
Only 2% stated that they wouldn't be watching even though they had Fuel, with an even amount saying they were watching the event either live or on replay. 9% planned on waking up bright and early to watch the card beginning with the Facebook prelims, which started at 7:30AM ET due to the time difference from Macau, China.
The results came in around what I would have expected; only about a third of those responding were going to be watching live, in line with what you'd imagine for a card beginning early in the morning. Not every MMA fan is going to be willing to wake up early for an event like that, and tuning in to the replay later in the night works just as well for some. And with how the main event ended, Fuel probably saw a lot of people tuning in for at least the end of the main card replay on Saturday night.
The two other polls we're looking at this week entailed one topic that will come to pass in 2013, and another that may be well down the line. First, news of Ronda Rousey's impending arrival in the UFC begged the question: where should her first fight take place? The UFC airs events on several platforms, from Fuel TV to FX to Fox, and finally pay-per-view, so we wondered what our readers felt was the right spot to put Rousey's first-ever UFC fight, which is expected to come next year.
Rousey's become a breakout star in 2012, but as a premium network, Showtime doesn't attract a massive viewership for Strikeforce events. In the UFC, she has a chance to bring even more viewers in, and as the UFC's first female fighter she'll garner a lot of attention. A majority of responders think the best outlet for Rousey's debut is on one of the UFC's Fox events, with 61% voting for that option. 23% think pay-per-view is the right spot for her debut, with 10% saying FX, and the final 6% voting for Fuel.
I agree with the majority, Fox is the best way to make a splash with Rousey, and their April Fox card a week before the Jon Jones-Chael Sonnen pay-per-view event would be a very good spot to have her make that debut. They're going to get a lot of attention for the first female fight in UFC history, but that's not going to translate to something people will necessarily pay for immediately. If they put her on Fox, and she does what she's been doing thus far in her career, she can immediately become a monumental star for the sport. Having a fight of hers seen by 3-5 million viewers would be huge, and if she picks up yet another quick win, those may turn into pay-per-view buyers for her fights. Introducing her on Fox is the right way to go, and would allow her to help carry a pay-per-view event in the future.
The final poll we'll take a look at tonight is a look ahead to Jon Jones' eventual move to heavyweight. He's discussed it as an inevitability, but whether it happens in a year or much further down the road, we asked readers who they'd like to see him against the most.
Surprisingly enough, UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos was not the biggest vote-getter amongst MMATorch readers, coming in slightly behind Alistair Overeem. Dos Santos took 30% of the vote to Overeem's 33%, with Daniel Cormier and his AKA teammate Cain Velasquez coming in just behind at 18% and 11% of the vote, respectively.
A fight between Jones and Overeem would be highly interesting, especially with the parallels of a former light heavyweight moving up as he grew older and put on mass, but I'd be intrigued by just about any matchup in the top ten for Jones. It's still a ways away, as Jones has unfinished business at 205 lbs., but the heavyweight move is going to happen eventually. Jones will be able to move to the top end of the division immediately when he does move up, and it's probably likely that when he does, he'll wind up fighting a number of these opponents at some point.
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