The two ladies on Saturday’s UFC Japan fight card have no problem using what they got to get what they want.
With the UFC and Fox Sports 1 trying to downplay the fact that the first all-women’s season of The Ultimate Fighter debuted to the worst ratings in the show’s history, by talking up the number of DVR and encore presentation viewers, the debate rages about the best way to sell WMMA.
Zach Arnold is insistent that the UFC and Fox have “blown it on the story telling front” on the series so far and Ben Fowlkes has complained about the “baffling beauty-first approach” the UFC and Fox has taken.
Don’t expect Miesha Tate or Rin Nakai to agree. Tate, the UFC’s second most-popular female fighter, will be welcoming the controversial Nakai to the UFC this Saturday in Japan at UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson.
Both women share a definite sex sells philosophy to marketing their fighting careers.
Nakai has become notorious for a rather interesting series of videos she’s posted, many featuring her in bikinis or lingerie others coming closer to outright fetish videos. Nakai told Fox Sports that the videos are her concepts but admitted to Roxanne Modafferi that Pancrase requested a weekly video from her.
“I want not just MMA fans, but ordinary people to watch my videos,” said Nakai. “My interest is that people who don’t have any idea about MMA watch my videos and might start to watch MMA and the UFC.”
As for Tate, she’s down with the program and digs Nakai’s style. Per MMA Fighting:
“I believe the UFC brought me to Japan for a reason. I think the reason is to grow the women’s mixed martial arts fanbase and that makes me feel good about my presence here. I think I have a strong presence and a strong following, even in Japan.”
Described by Nakai as ‘beautiful and sexy,’ Tate has even suggested a nickname for her opponent.
“Personally I kind of like ‘The Asian Persuasion’ for Rin. I thought that’s a cute nickname because she’s very persuasive in her videos.’
How weird are Nakai’s vids? This one features her watching stag beetles fight over a banana:
Others are less subtle:
As for Tate, a quick scan of her Instagram shows where she’s coming from:
And if you’re wondering if Nakai can fight, here’s how she looks on the job, from Pancrase 47: