Tuesday, April 14, 2015

All Grappling PPV Warz! Female matches, Counter-Programming, Free Streaming, Oh My!

It sound like 5Ive is going to anti-Metamoris and ante up by offering one of the biggest cash prizes in grappling for females. It's a smart move, akin to Copa Podio streaming their event free to counter the counter-programming of Metamoris scheduling their card on the same day for the second time in a row. 5Ive will endear itself to virtually every female grappler and also pick up the male fans who choose not to economically support Metamoris going forward.

Fellow Jiu-Jitsu/Grappling blogger extraordinaire posted his thoughts and position of the economic feasibility of women grappling and PPV money dollars with a number of salient points among them, this one: "Think of a blue and a purple belt sitting 10 rows up for Nicolini-Musumeci: even if those people aren’t interested in, say, Chael-Babalu, having a match featuring one or both of those women draws them in even if you wouldn’t otherwise get them to buy the event."

For whatever fans you may get that will pay to see Chael Sonnen or a Jeff Monson, there are, I believe, enough hard core Jiu-Jitsu enthusiasts that would pay to see a Galvao/Dern match or a Nicollini/Mesquita match that would not be tuning in due to a Sonnen or a Babalu (I'm a HUGE Babalu fan, please note). 

Jeff's other most salient point, that it is a better business model to garner support rather than alienate women grapplers and by extension those willing to support women's grappling by adopting an anti-Metamoris stance also rings true. For those of us who train with, see the dedication of our female counterparts, or even date a girl who also trains, it's tough to spend $$ to support an organization with such a blanket and patently dismissive stance toward the ladies of the mat.

Ralek and company have taken a very, very UFC-monopoly style approach to the market and that is their choice. I think a key difference is that Jiu-Jitsu with it's larger aggregate of skill divisions make this harder to corner the market. Obviously the IBJJF and black belt and nogi expert whatever divisions can be somewhat skewed in the reality of only a handful of truly elite level competitions, but a regular competitor such as myself will gladly support events like Jiu-Jitsu battle or Osiander's Finisher Series and that Metamoris runs the dangerous risk of alienating it's own relatively niche audience almost before it truly takes flight. Even if not morally sound if done solely as "insurance," perhaps, putting on some female matches would have been akin to doing what they said they would do rather than that they actually did when they subbed in a Marcelo Garcia brown belt rather than the Royce Gracie black belt who won the online poll to face Magalhaes in a previous PPV event.

At any rate, with the option to free stream Copa Podio versus support the ladies whom I personally see train, compete, and have refereed for I find myself having to stand across the line in the sand and side against what could have been the premier grappling event, or at least one of them, in the world.

It's stupid and a waste and honestly I expected better business acumen from them if nothing else.
It's hard to listen to commentary and talk about the nobility of the sport and competition but then out of earshot or at a different venue lament that women matches don't make $ so we don't do them.

Le sigh.

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