- 02/09/2012, 12:52AM ET
YODA said 02/09, 12:52 AM
In boxing and MMA, opportunities for success are maximized via talent and name recognition.
A charismatic fighter provokes a strong emotional reaction and uses the media to his advantage. This helps boost ticket sales, TV ratings, and PPV dollars.
In MMA, nobody is currently better at generating buzz than the #2 ranked middleweight, Chael Sonnen.
Many fans love him; many fans hate him. Few are indifferent.
Chael is dishonest, cocky, and disrespectful. And he's also very intelligent and has the mic skills of a seasoned stand-up comedian.
Chael hosted the 2011 MMA awards and also parlayed his gift of gab into a gig as an ESPN analyst.
His post-fight speeches are refreshingly controversial. He makes press conferences worth tuning in for.
Whether calling out Silva, Machida, or the entire country of Brazil, Chael's creative deadpan tall tales are unrivaled.
Chael's ability to constantly generate new soundbites has indeed made him the most sought after interview in the business.
This summer, Chael faces Anderson Silva for the title (in a Brazilian soccer stadium show). The build-up will be exceptionally entertaining.
Good luck, Yakov.
And the Prophecy Read said 02/10, 04:23 AM
I am going to go with someone young and quite arguably has hist best fights ahead of him.
My pick is the youngest UFC champion all time, the Light Heavyweight champ Jon Bones Jones.
While it is true Jones probably has his best fighting days ahead of him what he has accomplished now and what he could be capable of has got to create quite the buzz. More so than a guy who talks the talk but then also gets caught juicing. Really what all else has Chael done lately. Sure he has a big fight coming against Silva but
Jones is coming off a year in which he dominated those set in his path. And those were some pretty big names to. From Ryan Bader to Shogun to Lyoto and Rampage none could stop Bones Jones. Now he has a title defense against his former training partner in Rashard Evans. Both men are out to prove they are the better fighter.
While people may pay to see Chael get his **** kicked people pay to see how Jones is going to dominate yet another great fighter. Jones has a deadly offensive aresenal and now that he is known people are going to follow JBJ for winning great fights as opposed to making newspaper headlines and doping.
YODA said 02/11, 12:20 AM
Bones is spectacular in the cage. But outside of it, not so much.
As a guest analyst on the recent UFC on Fox, Bones was awkward and uncomfortable (luckily Randy Couture was there to bail him out) and the replica belt incident was downright petty.
Unlike GSP or Urijah Faber, Bones' "humble nice guy" act seems contrived rather than genuine. And when he does try to show some attitude, he lacks the swagger of Rashad or my next TD choice: Rampage Jackson.
Ever since his Pride days, Rampage has been a passionate guy who thrives in the media spotlight.
He was chosen to coach The Ultimate Fighter twice and to star in the A-team film.
Rampage is always an appealing interview subject - and not only because of the howling dose of crazy he brings to the table.
He blends candor ("Machida whooped my **** tonight"), humor ("Bones, when I first looked at you, I thought you were the first black Gremlin"), and unpredictability (motorboat attempt on a busty female reporter).
Rampage is beatable in the cage, but his charismatic persona is largely responsible for him being the #3 pay-per-draw in the business over the past 4 yrs (behind only Brock and GSP).
And the Prophecy Read said 02/12, 06:24 PM
Why does it matter if my fighter is good on a microphone or not? He isn't going to have as many fans by just talking and not winning fights, or in Sonnens case being suspended for a good time. Yet Jones and my next pick get their fans by winning in the ring each time they step in it. Not only do they win but they beat the best offered by the UFC and they can win in quite a few different ways.
My next pick is Anderson Silva.
Silva has dominated the middleweight division for some time now. He currently owns the record for title defenses and has a rematch with Sonnen, who had to cheat and still came up short against Silva in their last meeting where Silva was hurt.
So once again my fighters might not be able to talk on a microphone as well as yours can but they don't have to. They win their fans over by kicking **** in the octagon. They don't need to talk when they can fight the way they can. Its not too often you see UFC champions run their mouth constantly and there is a reason for that. They don't need to.
Silva and Jones are easily two of the best fighters in the business and people will pay to watch them fight for the performance they put on each time out.
YODA said 02/12, 11:38 PM
Your 2 picks certainly have talent. But since this TD is about charisma in MMA, we have to factor in the appeal of a colorful personality and communication style.
My final choice exemplifies the additional career opportunities that a magnetic personality can help bring: Jason "Mayhem" Miller.
Despite 32 of his 34 matches coming outside the UFC (in promotions such as WEC, DREAM, Strikeforce), Mayhem has still managed to build a name on the MMA landscape.
Mayhem hosts a radio-show on Sirius satellite radio (Mayhem Mondays), was a lead spokesman for EA Sports MMA, and is an announcer for King of the Cage (a Tier-II promotion).
Most famously of all, Mayhem has hosted 3 seasons of MTV's Bully Beatdown.
Because of his gregarious personality, Mayhem was chosen to host The Ultimate Fighter (2011) even though it had been a full 6 years since his last UFC fight (a one-and-done debut loss to GSP).
Personally, I'm not a fan of Mayhem (or his crazy eyes), but I do admire and respect the fact that he's used his persona to carve out a successful career in the MMA business despite his limitations in the cage.
Good luck in the rest of the TD tourney, Yakov.
And the Prophecy Read said 02/15, 01:33 AM
I really don't get how my picks aren't considered to be charismatic.
Who do you first think of when you think of the UFC? Is it really Chael Sonnen? I could possibly see Rampage but I highly doubt you don't think of Jones or Silva actually both before Jackson.
I get Jackson and Sonnen talk a bigger game. They have to. How stupid would my fighters look if they sat there and ran their mouths as they are beating the hell out of all challengers with an excellent arsenal of offensive attacks. My two fighthers have quite arguably P4P some of the best offense in the UFC. Thats whats fans want to see. When I think of charismatic I think of what would draw me to liking a certain individual I guess everyone has a different definition and I guess I should have looked said definition up but when I think of the UFC I think of fighters who can win a fight in nearly any way.
For my last pick I'll pick a fighter who I was also considering with my first. I am going Cain Velasquaz. I guess after his Fox performance this just seals the loss for me but anyone that can garner the attention of a nation when they fight seems charismatic to me.
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