Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ronda Rousey and Danica Patrick have great weekends

Danica Patrick, Ronda Rousey
Though they are not alike, I have talked before about the main similarity between UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey and NASCAR racer Danica Patrick. That's the ability to attract fans that would not normally watch NASCAR or UFC. Both ladies were very successful this past weekend in attracting casual fans. Danica won the Daytona 500 pole and then ran up front through most of the race until she dropped to an eighth place finish. I watched the race and it was a boring 500 miles of single file racing. Despite that, the Daytona 500 scored its highest rating since 2008. I think Danica should get a lot of credit for that ratings bump. It looks like Ronda Rousey got similar results for UFC 157. Dave Meltzer reported last night night that preliminary numbers indicate that UFC 157 did around 400,000 PPV buys. Apparently this has exceeded UFC expectations significantly. Remember it's her first PPV appearance and the first women's match on a UFC PPV. I would like to see what kind of rating she would draw on Fox. She is already on her way to being the biggest star in the UFC by the end of this year. There is also a rumour floating around that Ronda will make an appearance in the Hunger Games sequel. It would have been interesting if Ronda had lost. But I didn't think she was in any danger. As we saw in her loss to Marloes Coenen, Liz Carmouche is a good fighter who lacks the technique to finish an elite fighter. The fights were different but Liz lost both fights for the same reason. She made mistakes when she had the upper hand. And those mistakes cost her both fights. Her submission attempt certainly made the fight more interesting. She has to eliminate those mistakes. The bottom line is Ronda Rousey and Danica Patrick brought a lot of casual eyeballs to women's sports. I expect that to continue.

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