Top FUEL Executive Thrilled With Early UFC Programming Ratings
It may be only little more than one month into a seven-year deal, but FUEL TV officials are excited by the early returns when it comes to ratings generated by UFC programming.
According to the cable network's executive vice president and general manager George Greenberg, ratings so far have surpassed expectation, with an 80 percent increase in the target demographic of men ages 18-49, and a near 230 percent increase in overall primetime ratings from past ratings periods.
"To say I’m jacked would be putting it mildly," he said. When it comes to more specific numbers, Greenberg said that recent UFC on FUEL pre-game and post-game shows have fluctuated between 35,000 and 75,000 viewers. And during live fights on FUEL, as many as 250,000 have tuned in to witness the action.
According to Greenberg, those numbers are expected to rise as viewer confusion over where to find the programming subsides.
Those may not sound like blockbuster numbers when compared to ratings generated on past outlets like Spike -- where two million viewers for Fight Nights was about the norm -- but FUEL TV is currently available in around 35 million homes, a fraction of the 99 million Spike boasts.
"If you want to compare it to a platform like Spike three times our size, I can’t help that," he said. "But I can tell you, If you look at the FOX ratings and last FX ratings for the fight, and you look at what it’s done to this place percentage-wise, we are absolutely killing it."
Next Wednesday, FUEL will televise its first full UFC main card with an event emanating from Omaha, Nebraska, headlined by a welterweight bout pitting Diego Sanchez against Jake Ellenberger. The event will be part of a free preview week which will make the channel available in an additional 8 million households.
While that will still leave more than half of the cable TV households unable to tune into the fights, Greenberg said that prolonged success for the channel -- along with viewer demand -- would help increase its reach.
For now, the channel will look to shore up its presentation, as Greenberg said he's looking to add visual aids that will help analysts like Kenny Florian explain fight details to viewers. And the production team will also continue to consider fan feedback. For example, the first UFC on FUEL weigh-in show was heavy on analysis but light on the actual weigh-ins. Greenberg admitted that the offering was "over-produced." Since then, adjustments have been made and the show mainly consists of a short introduction before moving the focus to the scale.
Meanwhile, the channel also looks to expand its UFC-related offerings. Greenberg confirmed that they are still negotiating a deal that would bring the upcoming Brazilian edition of The Ultimate Fighter to FUEL, and other programming is under consideration as well.
In one final note of interest, Greenberg noted that in 2013, UFC programming was likely to increase on the channel. While around 2,000 hours are expected for this year, the following year could see as much as 2,500 hours of UFC-themed broadcasts.
For Stefan Struve, It's Not About How You Start, But How You Finish
Looking back, Stefan Struve can acknowledge that certain things came too quickly for him. He was just three days past his 21st birthday when he made his UFC debut. At that young age, he had barely had time to fill out his 6-foot-11 frame, which hovered around 235 pounds. And his first octagon encounter came against a then little-known Brazilian by the name of Junior Dos Santos.
The result was a 54-second knockout loss, a lopsided defeat that could easily have stunted his progression. But there was always an end game in sight for Struve (22-5), who was clearly a work in progress when he walked into the UFC for the first time. While that's true for most fighters, it usually refers to their fight game, and the development of incorporating elements to complement their existing strengths while bolstering weaknesses. For Struve, it's a two-pronged growth plan encompassing both his fight skills and physical strength.
Many fighters try to pack on as much muscle into their frames as possible, but most don't do it in such little time, while trying to compete at the highest level of their sport. But due to his youth and a growth spurt, Struve was playing catchup from the beginning.
"I wouldn't do things any differently," Struve says now, just a few days ahead of his UFC on FUEL co-main event matchup with Dave Herman. "JDS was too much, too soon for my UFC debut. There are so many things you encounter in your UFC debut: media, fans, and then I fought a guy like JDS. Nobody knew exactly how good he was. I had beaten some really good guys before that, and I was ready for the next step, but facing JDS was too much, too soon."
Now just days shy of his 24th birthday and nearing his physical prime, Struve is likely to be cutting weight for the first time in his career next week, as he's currently hovering around the 265-pound cutoff. That means that the Dutchman will certainly make Herman live up to his "Pee Wee" nickname next Wednesday night when the two battle it out.
"We're working hard on [adding size]," said Struve, who has captured three of his last four fights, including a recent triangle choke victory over Pat Barry. "I just want to do it in a good way. I don't want to be 280 and fat. I want to add that solid muscle and stay athletic. That's the goal.
"I need to be able to do the same things now as fast as I was doing them last year or the year before that," he continued. "Maybe even faster. The way I'm doing my strength and conditioning, I get my muscles in the best form for doing what I need to do, which is punching and kicking people as hard and fast as possible."
Because of that, Struve says that his striking power has greatly improved. Working with coach Mousid Akhamrane, that part of his game has been a major focus. The biggest adjustments to his standup apart from power have come in working on his reach and balance, saying the latter has been an issue in the fights he's lost.
Recent results have shown the benefits of his hard work; while none of his first five UFC fights resulted in a TKO win, two of his last three victories have come via stoppage due to strikes.
"You don't want to have a straight right from me on your chin," he said. "That's not nice anymore."
In Herman, he faces a talented yet enigmatic opponent, qualities illustrated by his short tenure in the UFC. In his debut last June, Herman outlasted Jon Olav Einemo, earning a second-round TKO in the evening's FIght of the Night. A few months later, he was supposed to face Mike Russow, but was scratched from the event after failing a pre-fight drug screening, testing positive for marijuana. Herman denied usage but didn't formally appeal the result.
With a 21-2 record, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Herman has had a strong career, and with 15 knockouts, he has the kind of power that change the fight in a blink. But Struve says he's confident in his progression as a total mixed martial artist.
"He's got a lot of power in his punches and knees, but the same as me in my past fights, he gets off balance a lot," he said. "I hope he fights the same way. He's got good power but a lot of holes."
Last year, Herman made waves by repeatedly commenting on jiu-jitsu's lack of effectiveness in MMA, calling it, "kind of like trickery," and saying, "it's just not going to work, unless you're a complete idiot and fall for it."
Struve doesn't believe that Herman was completely serious in his statements, but is up to the challenge if he is.
"Let's see what he says when I got him in a choke, when I squeeze a triangle or whatever," he said.
That's what it always comes down to for Struve. In 27 pro fights, he's only been to a decision once. Adding muscle while improving his standup and retaining his speed is just part of his overall philosophy. It may have been a rocky start in the UFC, but it's all about how you finish.
Diego Sanchez and the Dangers of Fame in MMA
Diego Sanchez’s past several years could serve as a cautionary tale about the potential dangers that come along with the notoriety of being an MMA fighter.
In June 2009, Sanchez was at the height of his MMA career. He had defeated Clay Guida to improve his MMA career record to 21-2. More importantly, the win assured him his next fight would be for the UFC lightweight title against champion B.J. Penn.
In an attempt to gain custody of the child, Sanchez hired an attorney. During the process, Sanchez finally underwent a DNA test and learned there were no blood ties.
“I was crushed. It was heartbreaking for me that he wasn’t mine,” Sanchez said. “I had to take it for what it was and just accept it ...
“The girl that put me through this, she knew all along he wasn’t mine.” Sanchez continued. “It was all a big plan to get money or something: the money, the fame, she wanted to be in the limelight and say she had Diego Sanchez’s son … I don’t know.”
Having overcome these challenges, Sanchez immersed himself in God. Completely, this time. And after his MMA career is over, Sanchez intends to work for the ministry full-time.
“I dedicated my life to Jesus Christ, for real,” Sanchez said. “I was never truly, according to his righteousness. I just turned everything around and put everything in God’s hands. “
Since the loss to Hathaway, Sanchez has defeated two top welterweights in Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann and will next face Jake Ellenberger next at UFC on FUEL TV on Feb. 15. The winner could conceivably be within reach of a title shot.
“I still believe that it’s in my destiny to be a world champion,” Sanchez said. “It’s in God’s hands. I’m just going to do my part and work as hard as I can.”
Sanchez had proven himself inside the UFC Octagon. But outside, it was a different story.
“I got sucked real deep into the fame and the money,” Sanchez said recently on The MMA Hour. “I was a bachelor and I got sucked into a bad life of partying. I got really into smoking weed, drinking, partying. After my Clay Guida fight, I went down a bad path, man. It was just not a good path. After my loss to B.J. Penn it just got worse. I got really out of control.”
If his careless spending wasn’t enough of a problem, the Albuquerque native became a victim of an investment scam.
“To make it worse, one of my best friends completely robbed me blind,” Sanchez said. “Set me up and embezzled me for about $150,000.”
And so, three months after challenging for the UFC lightweight title, Sanchez was broke.
“In February of 2010, I had hit rock bottom, completely. I was broke. I was down and out, man,” Sanchez recalled. “This guy had run me dry. The money had I set away to pay taxes, I was $230,000 in debt with the I.R.S.”
Sanchez relied on drugs and alcohol to mask his personal and financial difficulties. Sanchez failed to stop even when he had his next fight lined up.
“I was in a bad place. The only place to cover this up, the depression and anxiety, was the drinking and smoking weed. I was smoking so much weed it was ridiculous. And I was still drinking leading up to Hathaway fight. I knew I had no place stepping in the cage. But I had to because I needed the money.”
Sanchez was upset by British rising star John Hathaway in a unanimous decision, suffering back-to-back losses for only the second time in his career.
After the fight, a new addition to Sanchez's life forced him to turn his life around. Ironically, this “blessing” was brought on once again from being a victim of his own fame.
A woman whom Sanchez had met online deceived the fighter into believing he was the father of their child. Based on the child’s striking similarities, Sanchez foregone a DNA test and raised the child as his own.
The path to discovering the truth began when he married another woman and was no longer allowed by the mother to visit the child.
Ellenberger is echt een harde gast,
Dave Herman Ready to Move on From Positive Drug Test, Eyeing New Nickname
Everything changed quickly for Dave Herman.
Fresh off a ‘Fight of the Night' victory over highly decorated grappler John-Olav Einemo in his UFC debut, Herman was quickly rebooked to face fast-rising Mike Russow at UFC 136. But disaster loomed at the doorstep, and the contest was abruptly cancelled after he tested positive for marijuana during a preliminary drug screening.
It'd taken over half-a-decade for Herman to finally reach the UFC, and in one fell swoop his dream seemingly died before it could reach its second act, despite his protests of innocence.
"I don't (smoke)," Herman explained to Ariel Helwani on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. "I mean, I have before, but not any time recently. Just, in general, smoking is bad for you. You're breathing toxins into your lungs. That's not something I want to do for anything, really."
Unlike most fighters that feel they have been wronged, Herman never fought the failed test, instead choosing to pass a follow-up and resolve the situation quickly, without a pink slip. But even now, the 27-year-old has no real grasp of what went wrong.
"I'm not sure what exactly went down," he mulled. "I went and took another test. Passed fine, but it was too late obviously.
"Fighting it wouldn't really have accomplished anything. I couldn't fight (at UFC 136). All I could do is get something rescheduled, at best, and that's pretty much what I did."
After the snake-bitten ordeal, few would have blamed Herman for craving a lifestyle change. But none could have predicted how far-reaching the change would spread.
Now, gone is the clean shaven appearance and self-effacing "Pee-Wee" moniker he sported for most of his career, instead replaced by a three-month old beard that has him contemplating a new nickname.
"I don't really have one yet, but I'm testing out ‘Sasquatch,'" he mused. "It doesn't have a good ring at all, but when you see me, you'll know... I'm going to look a lot more like a sasquatch than a pee-wee."
More important than cosmetics, however, is the much-needed change in scenery that has seen Herman relocate to Temecula, California, to train alongside Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen at Team Quest. Though the journey from Nashville to the west coast was not a smooth as he'd have hoped.
Living out of his longbed Ford Ranger, Herman travelled the country for two months in search of a new locale to relaunch his career. But, as it usually does, misfortune struck at the most inopportune time, and the fighter's brakes blew out somewhere in the dusty dunes of Arizona.
"I had to get to a garage to get my brakes fixed, and the next closest one was twenty miles down the highway. I didn't want to backtrack so I just kept going," he explained without a hint of trepidation. "100 to 150 (miles). It was a stick, so I could downshift to slow down, and I was on the interstate so I didn't really have to stop unless there was an accident. But then, as soon as I got off the interstate, it was bad. I didn't even have an emergency break. Nothing. So I like ran two red lights and got right into a garage."
Weeks later, with a new truck in tow, the wandering fighter arrived in California and hasn't looked back since. His UFC on Fuel TV opponent, Stefan Struve, stands an NBA-esque 6'11" and will by far be the largest man Herman has faced, but at this point, staring down the unknown has become as routine as Wednesday's jiu-jitsu practice.
Besides, Herman has a new identity now, and the way he sees it, "Sasquatch" isn't going to befall the same fate as "Pee-Wee," even if the price is anonymity.
"When I showed up (to Nebraska), even the people that worked for the UFC, no one recognized me," Herman finished with a chuckle. "I think it was the beard."
dank u, bijna gemist :P
Wtf is er met Herman gebeurd in een grot geleefd of zo?
Last edited by rollermanskunk; 15-02-2012 at 01:44.
Interview Ariel met Ellenberger een Sanchez na de weigh ins
UFC on FUEL TV Weigh-In Results
Diego Sanchez and Jake Ellenberger both successfully made weight for their UFC on FUEL main event, along with 18 other fighters, making the Wednesday night show official.
The winner could earn a chance to fight interim champion Carlos Condit, though that possibility has so far gone unconfirmed by UFC officials.
Ellenberger, who grew up just a few miles from the Omaha (Nebraska) Civic Auditorium and attended both high school and college locally, checked in first at 170, and Sanchez followed at the same weight.
"It's definitely exciting to come back here and be near friends and family," Ellenberger said. "I'm extremely excited to get back in there. I'm focused and looking to finish him."
Sanchez didn't seem phased by the hometown reaction.
"You know what? When they lock the doors, it's just me and him in there, and that's all that matters," he said.
In the co-main event matchup, Stefan Struve will have a major size advantage on opponent Dave Herman. The 6-foot-11 Struve weighed in at 256, while the eccentric Herman -- wearing a pink scarf and a black ski hat to go with a dark, bushy beard, came in at 234.
Jake Ellenberger (170) vs. Diego Sanchez (170)
Dave Herman (234) vs. Stefan Struve (256)
Ronny Markes (185) vs. Aaron Simpson (186)
Philip De Fries (241) vs. Stipe Miocic (240)
T.J. Dillashaw (136) vs. Walel Watson (135)
John Albert (135) vs. Ivan Menjivar (135)
Jonathan Brookins (145) vs. Vagner Rocha (145)
Sean Loeffler (185) vs. Buddy Roberts (184)
Anton Kuivanen (156) vs. Justin Salas (155)
Bernardo Magalhaes (155) vs. Tim Means (155)
Ik dacht dat Struve zei dat zijn doel is naar 285 lbs. in gewicht te stijgen, maar nu is hij weer 256 lbs. waar hij bij zijn vorige partij op 261 lbs. zat.
Zo jullie zijn er lekker snel bij met die video's tnx!
“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy”
-Charles de Montesquieu
Tja ....6 lbs ...pfffff een keer minder schijten en wat minder zout eten dag voor de weging...zegt niks....vind hem er goed massief uitzien.....
Exitus Acta Probat
don`t cry about shit, take ownership!!!
hard werken,hard trainen en genieten van het leven!!!
Weer om 03.00/04.00?
MORAALRIDDER 1st klas - "Behandel anderen zoals je door hen behandeld wil worden"
"Do nothing which is of no use."