UFC Aims For Equal Parity In Fan Demographic
Reflecting on his time at the 2022 Women In Sport Summit, UFC Australia and New Zealand vice president, Peter Kloczko, sat down with Ministry of Sport to discuss the UFC’s goals for women’s mixed martial arts (MMA).
On the UFC creating more participation by adding more female weight divisions, Kloczko said the final decision would come down to UFC president, Dana White and matchmakers.
“My view is that it’s probably just a matter of time, but the talent has to be there to require it. It’s also a matter of just strengthening the divisions that we have. So, we will continue to invest into female participation in the sport to provide those pathway opportunities, and also give them that platform to compete,” Kloczko said.
“The fan growth that we’ve seen through women’s sport has really propelled our fan base even further, and we see it in the data coming all the time.
“When I first started working for UFC, we’d look at our demographics for Australia and New Zealand, with the demographic split being from a gender perspective, where we’ see 70% male or even higher, and 30% female and sometimes even lower. Now we’re edging towards that 60/40 mark, and I’m sure that at one point we might see something close to parity,” he said.
Commenting on Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Valentina Shevchenko joining him through Zoom, Kloczko said both athletes are pioneers of women’s MMA after journeying through the organisation’s pathway programs.
“These ladies have competed in combat sports since their teenage years and have gone through different pathways to join UFC and then become champions of their divisions,” Kloczko said.
“When it comes to competing at UFC I mean, you only need to look at Joanna, who recently retired and will down in history as one of the best to ever do it. She defended her belt so many times in the strawweight division and was in some of the most memorable matchups that we’ve seen in UFC history. She’s a great ambassador for the sport as well, the way that she spoke today, I thought was amazing,” he said.
Reigning UFC featherweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, has also made a major impact on UFC, by showing how the skill level of women’s MMA has grown over the last 10 years.
Additionally, the growth of UFC Australia and New Zealand, through UFC193 and UFC243, which both set attendance records, has provided the opportunity to grow their reach in the pacific as they see an increase in over-the-top (OTT) platform subscribers in Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
The news of UFC’s women’s MMA goals come after the organisation announced a partnership with 4D Sight to create live video advertising.