MMA/Boxing Youtube Traffic 2019 Wrap Up: UFC, DAZN, Bellator, More

DAZN

In a short amount of time, DAZN (when not using poor automated copyright claims to strike youtubers and have their live streaming disabled), has become an integral part in combat PPV.

Dan Hardy Has Submitted UFC Request To Fight Matt Brown

That has stretched to their Youtube as well, with their clips being heavily viewed. The emphasis is certainly on boxing, which comprises the entirety of their top 15 list. Specifically, it's completely monopolized by Ruiz vs. Joshua, Logan Paul vs. KSI, Canelo and GGG in the top 10, which really puts a stamp on the money spent on top names as those who drive interest and the service.

  1. Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. Highlights (16.7M)
  2. KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 (16.4M)
  3. Joshua vs. Ruiz, Round 3 (10.2M)
  4. Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev Highlights (6.2M)
  5. GGG vs. Rolls Highlights (6M)
  6. Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs Highlights (5.1M)
  7. KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 Face-to-Face (4.6M)
  8. Andy Ruiz vs. Anthony Joshua 2 Highlights (4.4M)
  9. Countdown to KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 (4.2M)
  10. KSI & Logan Paul Hug It Out After Rematch (4M)

  11. Joshua vs. Ruiz Preview Special (3.8M)

  12. Andy Ruiz breaks down third round against Joshua (3.2M)

  13. Ruiz/Joshua weight changes (3.1M)

  14. Ryan Garcia vs. Romero Duno Highlights (2.1M)

  15. Garcia KO's Duno (2M)

In addition, because DAZN USA's channel is so young, these are also the all-time top 15 viewed Youtube videos in the history of that platform.

An interesting note is that no MMA clips cracked the top 15. However, we can provide the top 5 MMA clips as well.

  1. Michel Pereira's moonsault (1.9M)
  2. Douglas Lima knocks out MVP (1.8M)
  3. GSP talks fighting Khabib (1.1M)
  4. Rory MacDonald doubts himself (790k)
  5. Inside Bellator MVP's fight night (783k)

Not included in this list are "Best of" Bellator clips that didn't actually happen this year.

UFC/ESPN MMA

The UFC didn't exactly have the marquee year it has in the past, but some new names emerged as top draws.

With Ronda Rousey and GSP long gone, and Conor McGregor not fighting, the company had to rely on new star power. Based on their Youtube numbers, that happened in the form of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jorge Masvidal, and a returning Nate Diaz.

UFC's Youtube primarily posts Octagon interviews from integral fights from their shows, opting to not run highlights of PPV events they're still trying to sell. The interviews took up 12 of the top 15 spots on their Youtube in 2019, which you can see below.

  1. Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier UFC 242 Octagon interviews (11.3M)
  2. Nate Diaz UFC 241 Octagon interview (4.4M)
  3. Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva UFC 234 Octagon interviews (3.9M)
  4. Jorge Masvidal UFC 239 Octagon interview (3.5M)
  5. Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz UFC 244 Octagon Interview (2.8M)
  6. Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker UFC 243 Octagon interviews (2.7M)
  7. Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier UFC 241 Octagon interviews
  8. Jon Jones, Thiago Santos UFC 239 Octagon interviews (2.5M)
  9. Henry Cejudo, TJ Dillashaw UFC Brooklyn Octagon interviews (2.4M)
  10. UFC 239 media day faceoffs (Askren vs. Masvidal thumbnail) (2.4M)
  11. Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway UFC 236 Octagon interviews (2M)
  12. UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier Post Fight Presser highlights (1.9M)
  13. Jon Jones, Anthony Smith UFC 245 Octagon interviews (1.8m)
  14. Francis Ngannou, Cain Velasquez Octagon interviews (1.7M)
  15. Inside the Octagon: Khabib vs. Poirier preview (1.7M)

Note that this doesn't include classic fights, top 5 moments or the like. That list featured appearances by Nurmagomedov, Amanda Nunes, Anderson Silva, and classic Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie, and Shultz vs. Goodrige fights. There were documentaries featuring the formation of the UFC, Chuck Liddell that did well too, as well as the UFC 1 event.

One could also argue that Amanda Nunes' UFC 232 Octagon interview should be included in this list, landing at 2.29M views. It happened in the wee hours of December 29, 2018, not giving it much time to resonate that year.

However, much of UFC's actual, in-cage highlights are posted on the ESPN MMA channel, even then, not many cracked the top ten. Instead, Jack Swagger -- a new AEW signing -- ended up having the top viewed highlight video in-cage of any MMA fight on the channel last year.

  1. Best of UFC 244: Khabib vs. Diaz weigh-ins (5.8M)
  2. Jack Swagger wins MMA debut (4.6M)
  3. Khabib trash talks Dustin Poirier (3.8M)
  4. Masvidal and Leon Edwards get in backstage fight (3.6M)
  5. AJ Agazarm loses pro MMA debut (3.6M)
  6. Nate Diaz reflects on win over Anthony Pettis (2.4M)
  7. Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman's confrontation (2.4M)
  8. Ben Askren looks back at KO loss to Masvidal (2.4M)
  9. Khabib says Conor McGregor begged (1.8M)
  10. McGregor wants return fight against Khabib (1.8M)

To wrap up our coverage of Youtube traffic, and top drawing segments, names and fights, we took a look at the boxing world.

PBC on Fox

  1. Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman full fight (7.4M)
  2. Pacquiao/Thurman face off (5.6M)
  3. Thurman after loss to Pacquiao (4.7M)
  4. Thurman calls out Pacquiao (3.8M)
  5. Wilder and Ruiz talk heavyweight future (3.5M)
  6. Pacquiao/Thurman interview (2.8M)
  7. Caleb Plant wins world title for late daughter (2.7M)
  8. Pacquiao beats Thurman (2.6M)
  9. All Access: Pacquiao vs. Thurman (2.5M)
  10. Pac/Thurman Prelims (2.3M)
  11. Pacquaio speaks after win (2M)
  12. Jarrett Hurd vs. Julian Williams (1.6M)
  13. Erroll Spence Jr. calls out Pacquiao after beating Porter (1.5M)
  14. Thurman and Pacquaio prepare (1.4M)
  15. Pacquiao and Thurman discuss their fight (1.3M)

Other fights to crack one million views include Tony Harrison vs. Jermell Charlo, Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz, Dustin Long vs. Marsellos Wilder, Charlo vs. Harrison II, Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia, and Kownacki vs. Arreola.

Sky Sports

  1. Andy Ruiz Jr interrupts Anthony Joshua interview to call for trilogy (10M)
  2. Joshua reacts to shocking loss to Ruiz (5M)
  3. Joshua's post-fight interview after beating Ruiz (3.1M)
  4. Joshua wants to fight Wilder (2.5M)
  5. Behzinga & Eddie Hearn react to Viddal Riley & Shannon Briggs' HEATED clash (2.4M)
  6. KSI reacts to beating Logan Paul (2.4M)
  7. Joshua discusses losing to Ruiz (2.3M)
  8. Live KSI vs. Paul II Reaction (2M)
  9. Ruiz vs. Joshua conspiracy theories (1.9M)
  10. Ruiz vs. Joshua 2 preview (1.8M)
  11. KSI vs. Logan Paul 2 open workout (1.8M)
  12. KSI's parents glad rivalry is over (1.8M)
  13. KSI/Paul 2 weigh ins (1.7M)
  14. Joshua on Ruiz and Wilder (1.7M)
  15. Eddie Hearn talks KSI/Paul 2 (1.6M)

There was also a Prince Naseem Hamed documentary that landed at 2.7M, but Sky Sports Boxing had many more videos that hit the 1M view mark, a much higher clip than PBS.

Showtime Boxing

  1. Pacquaio vs. Broner post-fight interviews (4.4M)
  2. Pacquiao vs. Broner Highlights (2.6M)
  3. Wilder KOs Breazeale (2.5M)
  4. All Access: Pac vs. Broner (2.1M)
  5. Gervonta Davis stops Ricardo Nunez (2M)

Gervonta Davis stopping Yuriorkis Gamboa, and an All Access clip of Shields vs. Hammer also did exceptionally well.

Another channel, Matchroom Boxing, has Joshua vs. Ruiz's round 3 at 8.3M, and a couple of Logan Paul vs. KSI clips hitting one million as well.

COMBATE

A battle for number two in the MMA world wages on. Combate has seen fantastic television numbers, while trying to overcome the star power of Bellator.

Combate exploded onto the scene, with a hispanic-heavy roster, and even some star power of its own. Sexy Star, former Lucha Underground Champion, was one of three notable pro wrestlers to compete for the brand in 2019. It would appear it's paid off, as her fight was one of the most watched overall in the 2019 year. 

Below are Combate Americas top five Youtube videos of 2019

  1. "Sexy Star" Dulce Garcia vs Mariana Ruiz (11.9M)
  2. María Buzaglo vs Alitzel Mariscal (1.4M)
  3. Anthony Avila vs Pablo Sabori (1.2M)
  4. Marisol Ruelas vs Corrie Ward (1.1M)
  5. Desiree Yanez vs Paulina Vargas (1.1M)

Bellator

Some full fights are also included in Bellator, as long as the actual fight took place in the 2019 calendar year. While they didn't have any monster 10M+ videos, they had a more consistent level of high trafficked clips. All but one of their top 10 clips are on their own channel, though one also ended up on DAZN's Youtube.

There's much discussion over who is winning the battle for number 2 globally between Combate and Bellator, but at least on digital reach, the edge goes to Viacom-led Bellator. 

  1. Douglas Lima vs Michael Page - Bellator 221 (6.6M)
  2. Raymond Daniels - Bellator Birmingham (5.2M)
  3. Nick Newell vs. Corey Browning - Bellator 225 (3.3M)
  4. Ryan Bader vs. Fedor KO (2.1M)
  5. *DAZN* Douglas Lima knocks out MVP (1.8M)
  6. Melvin Manhoef vs. Kent Kauppinen - Bellator 223 (1.3M)
  7. Derek Campos vs. Daniel Straus - Bellator 226 (1.2M)
  8. Patricio Pitbull vs. Juan Archuleta - Bellator 228 (1.1M)
  9. Jake Hager Submission Finish & Post Fight Interview (1.1M)
  10. Paul Daley vs. Erick Silva - Bellator 223 (1.1M)

ADDITIONAL NOTES

- UFC is very strict in their tagging, implementing only relevant topics and those pertinent to UFC. This is a major difference to many companies that will sometimes try to piggyback off of other relevant terms.

- UFC also will tag things individually, meaning they'll tag "Jorge" and "Masvidal" instead of "Jorge Masvidal." Theya almost never utilize the full character limit in tagging, either.

- These don't include UFC "FREE FIGHTS" that they often make private after the promoted event passes. Bellator simply leaves theirs up in most cases. 

- Combate's tags are largely relevant, but also feature "UFC" "UFC latino" and some similar terms in order to gain a little market confusion. 

- Bellator's tags feature a ton of topics not pertinent to the video. Everything from fighting disciplines like karate, bjj and taekwondo, to "Conor McGregor," and "UFC." DAZN doesn't do this.

- DAZN is very protective of copyrighted materials, perhaps too protective. They've often flagged videos sent to us personally by Bellator, and even copyright striked a live post-show before it even aired. When we contacted them, they tried to arrange a banner placement on our website in order to get whitelisted.

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