Mixed martial arts fans do not know what they want…

Something very interesting that happens with
fans, you never leave it to the fan as a performer. So many times the performer will say, “Well,
I’m giving the fans what they want.” Trust me, the fan does not know what he or
she wants. They will come out and complain and voice
certain things and say it should be done a certain way. That is part of being a fan, having a negative
outlook on things, booing as well as being positive and cheering, but that’s all part
of a fan. Do not turn to a fan or even a focus group
of fans, find out what it is they want and then give it to them, because the fan doesn’t
know what he wants. He will always voice it but he doesn’t actually
know. The fan doesn’t actually know what it is
he even likes. The fan doesn’t actually know what it is
he’s actually even tuning in for. He just has an overall impression of, “I
like that and I’m going to keep watching it.” Well, I offer you this—and I’m not saying
you don’t listen to the fans ever. There are plenty of things and matchups are
some great things to go to the fans for, but there’s a piece of the psychology that even
the fans don’t understand that they like. For the longest time—and we’ve been in the
entertainment era of the sport for about two years now and it’s not going away anytime
soon. It will go away—it is an era—but we’re
in the entertainment era right now and you will have fans that want to come out and resist
that. You will have fighters come out and say, “Well,
I don’t do talking. I don’t bring in a lot of attention. I just go out there and fight,” and they’ll
say this and they’ll stand on it as though they’ve said something noble and that somebody
should cheer for that. You’ll have fans that will come out and complain,
say there’s too much talking, “What’s all this about?” No, none of those fans would ever watch the
show on mute. None of those fans would watch a live fight
and not want to hear the commentators. They just aren’t aware enough even within
themselves that, yeah, the talking’s an important part of it. It’s called mixed martial arts. Arts is a form of communication. There’s no greater form of communication than
speaking. It’s what separates the humans from the animals. But the fan doesn’t realize any of these
things. So the fan will come out and say, “There’s
too much talking.” There are fighters that will say, “Well,
I get passed over and I don’t get the opportunities I have because I don’t do enough talking.” And then you are slapped in the face with
Conor versus Khabib, Conor not doing the media and does not get in a world tour or press
conferences and fans having an absolute uprising to the point that Dana White has to come out
publicly over the weekend and promise the fans there will be press conferences. So any fighter that bought into the narrative
that was being created by the fans over the last two years since we’ve been in the entertainment
era and shuffled the deck and altered their career to meet those fans’ specifications
of not talking, of not entertaining, is now confronted with the fact that they’re disappointed
there wasn’t a world tour and that the president of the UFC has had to come out and promise
fans that there will be press conferences. It shows you how important it is and it shows
you that we are in the entertainment era, and even though that’s obvious and even though
I know these things, I do find myself having to come on and re-support and prove and justify
that reality. But you will have the fans that come out and
say, “Well, this guy just talks,” or “This guy just showboats.” That same fan is throwing an absolute fit
that we’re not getting those things with Conor and Khabib, which supports my premise that
a fan does not know what they want. That isn’t a slight to the fans. It’s just something that the entertainer and
the performer has to be aware of, and if he or she has a good idea, then it’s going to
make somebody stop what they’re doing and tune in and watch because something’s happening
here. I don’t know what it is, but something on
my television, on my screen, through my radio, something is happening here. That is all the performer needs to do. Do not go onto the message boards and hear
from any fan that the entertainment era doesn’t exist. The very fan that will take time out of his
day, log in, go on the underground forum because he’s a big fight fan and has all of the answers,
is staring at a computer screen on the underground forum where he knows there’s absolutely zero
chance of a fight breaking out and he’ll spend hours and hours a day to do it and to voice
his opinion and hear other people’s opinion and get passionate about it and fight about
it and argue back and forth, with no punches or kicks ever even having a likelihood to
happen, while voicing how important it is and that it’s the only thing that matters
or should happen. So you see the problem, and it’s not a problem
if you recognize it. It is not a problem if you know going into
this as an entertainer and a performer the fan does not know what he or she wants. He feels he does. He would hear you say that and think it was
the most condescending thing in the world, “How can you tell me that I don’t know
what I want?” But you compare their statements one after
the next to find out and prove, no, they really don’t. They change with time, much like the fans
booed Tyron Woodley and a round and a half later they were on their feet cheering for
Tyron Woodley. There is no right or wrong answer. But if you can stop them and entertain them
because something’s happening, whatever that something may be, because something is
happening, then you’re serving the fan.

100 thoughts on “Mixed martial arts fans do not know what they want…

  1. Chael let me offer you this… the FANS want to see… looks up at computer screen .. Fedor to smash your head.. into a bloody pulp… and there's a piece of the psychology where we don't even know what we want, we just… see it, and say "i like that." Lol jk man we all love the American Gangster can't wait for that fight!

  2. Because us fans are so diverse and have became fans in different eras. I've been here for almost 2 decades and watching all your favs leave is weird.

  3. Fans want the best performances in fights between the top contenders in a ranking system that is actually legit.

    This fan, anyway.

    “Fans” is not a monolithic group, jack.

  4. nobody asked the fans. youre nuts if you think the ufc bases its decisions on fan input.
    at best, the ufc might cherry pick some comments from fans that support whatever the hell it is they feel like doing at the moment.
    but even more likely is that theyd just create fake user accounts, pose as fans, and pretend to love their own decisions.
    the ufc's only plan is to sell enough ppv's to make their loan payments. thats it. short term goals only. must make mortgage payment.

  5. "The fans" are not a single homogeneous entity.

    The same fans who wet themselves and giggle over male soap operas are the same ones that complained about the lack of promotion for Conor/Khabib.

    The fans who are sexually attractive, strong, and competent/accomplished in their daily lives didn't care too much about manufactured conflict/drama and still don't (authentic conflict on the other hand…is interesting now and forever).

    If the second group of fans moved from not caring to caring, that would be one thing and in the vein described in the video. But in reality, the first group of fans just shrieked louder and louder until the UFC said "okay, enough already, here".

    That's my very fair and very objective take on the situation.

  6. Sometimes when people say they want less talk, what they want is more talk, enough to add up to a story. Disconnected, repetitious brags and profanities get old fast. A story that adds up is different.

  7. If I see more videos like this…where Chael convincingly tells us what the "fans" want then I'm through. I've been watching the UFC since 1995. Is the average UFC fighter the same since then? Hell no. They are at a whole new level and I've watched them evolve well above Chael. Don't compare the fans any way you would a UFC fighter….dick. Also – just because you can work your game (talk) convincingly, doesn't mean you are and expert at what you are talking about. Remember that – Fans.

  8. Well, he did get that right: it certainly is condescending. I think Chael is referring to the "casual" fan. Then there's the other fans of MMA that train BJJ, that box, that train Muay Thai – these fans know what they want.

  9. i know what I want, Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez and Robbie Lawler vs. Rory Mcdonald type shit. Is it smart fighting? no, not at all. But dear lord those are so great to watch.

  10. I think it's personality that fans want and that words are the easiest way to convey a personality. Fighters like Khabib and Namajunas are great examples of this. They aren't trash talkers but they stand out from the pack.

    But yeah talking shit and being loud does work. Great example of this is the fact that Lee and Chiesa weren't on my radar until the "DON'T YOU EVER TALK ABOUT MY MOM" incident.

    I think it's also just a matter of being memorable. One of the best things in MMA as a fan is being able to follow the journey of a fighter from obscurity to glory. It's almost impossible as a fan, whether hardore or casual, to remember every fighter you see. It's a lot easier to remember someone who evokes a big reaction from you by grabbing the mic and making a statement after winning a fight.

  11. Haha, this is a belief of Jerry Seinfeld as well, he said “do not give the people what they want, there are not in show business, how would they know what they want?”

  12. I want guaranteed championship weekends. The belt will be contested no matter what. You don't make weight too bad, you're out. Worst case there is no champion.

  13. I'd like to hear what Chael has to say about authenticity, McGregor is boisterous but authentic, Khabib when he said the "fight real gangster, i'll fight you anywhere" was completely authentic, Colby Covington is completely inauthentic, and Darren till is authentic but with inflated expectations ( think this will change with age, he is very humble in interviews not in the moment). I understand that fighters will hype themselves up to get early title shots and support they may not immediately get from the UFC, but it can come off as very fake and at times disrespectful to one of the tenets of being a martial artist.

  14. This is true of any art. The Star Wars or Game of Thrones fans would never be able to write any book or film that they would like. It is best to completely ignore what they say they want. They don't know.

  15. Did Chael just call us all stupid?? He only makes sense 50% of the time and contradicts himself often. Every fan is not the same but thanks for being prejudice buddy!

  16. Hey Chael, are you a fan? I tell you who I am not a fan of,is you! I’ve been watching mma since before wreckage. I’m just as qualified as you.

  17. You have a low fight iI.Q and a low life iI.Q you and ufc fighters are cattle. That’s it. The organization you work for doesn’t care about you or the fans.(cattle) that’s it.

  18. I want a rotation of cards featuring Barboza, Wonderboy, Aldo, Gustafsson, McGregor, & Dillashaw. Thats 6 fighters. If they fight twice a year. The UFC would get a year of PPV view buys out of me.

  19. "It's called Mixed Martial Arts, art is a form of communication."
    That's just nonsense, Chael Sonnen. Maybe you hype up the talking over the fighting because you're a better talker than fighter?

  20. all he says is i dont know. Lol what do you know. this dude distracts himself from his own conversation. bunch of rambling.

  21. I know what i want though, I want fighting and some entertainment along the way wont hurt. Guys that can entertain, let them entertain, we will all see the fight when time comes

  22. People on shit like the underground and Sherdog forums are retarded keyboard warriors that legitimately think they know how to fight better than the ones in the cage. And everyone is a can. Surely all fighters should be 5'5" 350 pound dumbasses eating pizza in front of their computer in their mom's basement.

  23. Dana was asked about a world tour b4 a fight agreement was signed. He said no. Conor is a lot of things, a showman being one of those things. There just wasn't enough time from his court date to fight. Oppurtunity missed. Fight pushed 2 fast.

  24. No you are not right. I know what I want. I want to know who is the best fighter. I want Khabib vs Conor. I want ben askren in ufc. I want Chael fighting Fedor. I want Chael vs Jeremy horn.

  25. Chael, for the 1st time in the history of the universe u are wrong. We fans DO know what we want: we want dynamic fighters that talk shit but aren't too arrogant and don't insult anyone WE like; and keggers that never end; and beautiful women that are smart but not smarter than us (and don't talk too much); and rainbows that never end, and puppies that never die…. it's all there Chael. That's what we want.

  26. Chael has so many rough premises n he isn't that straightforward he sometimes argues multiple things at the same time instead of just the single point

  27. I don't mind trash talking, but I hate it when fighters talk about politics.

    "I am not getting the respect I deserve from Diana White" – Cejudo.

    "I am not getting the respect other champs get" – Woodley

    With all due respect, fucking shut up. All I want to hear fighters talk about how much ass kicking they are going to do, and to whom, and in what manner. I don't want to hear a bunch of whining and complaining about the game. I don't want to hear fighters ducking fights because "it's not good for my career right now". It drives me crazy.

  28. Chael, "the fan does not know what he wants"
    This is not only true, its true in most areas of life. In engineering for example we are TAUGHT not to believe the first thing the customer says. There are a couple famous examples they trot out but I'll just go over one. When electronic fuel injection was first developed, a truck company asked the customers whether they wanted diesel engines with electronic fuel injection. They ALL said no way, and they would NEVER buy electronic fuel injected diesels. So the company listened to the customer and did not switch to the new technology while their competitors did. All the customers ended up buying the competitors engines because their electronic controlled fuel injection got better gas mileage.
    What the customers actually wanted was better gas mileage combined with reliability. They didn't really care how you got to that point. The reason all the customers SAID they would not buy electronic controlled fuel injected engines is because the ASSUMED it would not be reliable. The lesson here is that what people SAY is often filtered through a ton of assumptions. If you want to make a product people actually WANT then you need to dig deeper than a question on a survey and really find out what is important to the customer. Go provide that and you will be successful. The story of the development of the sidewinder missile is just as good an example of this. I wont put it here as this post is already too long.

  29. i disagree chael. i think you might be forgetting that there are millions of different fans. and when you say that "fans say that theres too much talking but then complain about no conor v khabib presser", did it ever occour to you that maybe thats because some fans think one thing and other fans think the other? lol. its not like "the fans" think as a collective group.

  30. Very true. Also a "funny" thing as that some so called "real MMA fans, and not casual fans as everyone else" claims that liking or stating that the sport is more lame without the "king" of the "chicken" does not make us a real Mma fan but just a casual idiot. LOL. Makes my day every time how damn stupid some people can be.

  31. The only video I've disliked from Chael. I know what I want to see. People like Mindsmash help fans understand what's going on. We need the fans to know the fighters are role models for humanity, because there is an attack on humanity's masculinity, so let's not make the fans any less informed or give them less power than they already have.

  32. Is there a way to listen to these in one giant show, not little chunks like i find. Love listening to chael, but want the whole show (ala joe rogan JRE)

  33. Cheal would be a good writer. He’s making topic points on stuff that aren’t even real topics. He’s too smart/sophisticated for mma media it seems.

  34. I want to see Fedor Emilianenko vs Chael Sonnen.
    I also want Fedor to beat the crap out of Chael because Chael is being condescending on me.
    I do not want Chael to know who I am because I don't want him coming after me (though I doubt he'd bother anyway, let's play it on the safe side).
    I also want to see Connor vs Khabib but not as much as Fedor vs Sonnen.
    I definetely do not want to see more shit on Connor vs Khabib before the fight because I was sick of seeing Connor rude trash talk way before the fight with Khabib was anounced.
    I do want to see Chael's rude trash talk of how he's going to beat Fedor because I like his sense of humor. And I miss his trash talks at his opponents.

    Can I please get what I want?

  35. Its split down the middle some like the talking and some don't, so talking or no talking is going to piss someone off. It's not the same people though. Some times it feels like chael enjoys playing dumb

  36. I think you can say the same about MMA media, they are as incoherent as the fans, but with actually power to get what they want.

  37. lol wrong i always watch boxing on mute to avoid the biased corrupt commentary

    then again thats scumbag boxing oh yeah i also dont watch that corrupt garabge anymore
    amateru boxing is better

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