25 Awful Web Designs From 25 of MMA’s Top Fighters

With the steady rise of Mixed Martial Arts in the mainstream and the new followers of the sport, you would think that the marketing teams for the fighters would know that their target demographic spend hours every day online and would probably be their biggest promoters. But judging by the style of the following 25 websites from 25 of MMA’s top fighters, I am assuming they didn’t get that memo.

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva

Georges St. Pierre

Georges St. Pierre

John Fitch

John Fitch

Diego Sanchez

Diego Sanchez

Urijah Faber

Urijah Faber

Mirko Cro Cop

Mirko Cro Cop

Tim Sylvia

Tim Sylvia

Nick Diaz

Nick Diaz

Frank Mir

Frank Mir

Nate Quarry

Nate Quarry

Chris Leben

Chris Leben

Kendall Grove

Kendall Grove

Matt Hamill

Matt Hamill

Demian Maia

Demian Maia

Rich Franklin

Rich Franklin

Karo Parisyan

Karo Parisyan

Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida

Stephan Bonnar

Stephan Bonnar

Manny Gamburyan

Manny Gamburyan

Sean Sherk

Sean Sherk

Joe Lauzon

Joe Lauzon

Mac Danzig

Mac Danzig

Royce Gracie

Royce Gracie

Pete Sell

Pete Sell

Jorge Gurgel

Jorge Gurgel

One even bigger problem I found while researching this post was that some of the bigger names didn’t even have websites up live online (from what I could find anyways). Some of the bigger names did have good websites and it wouldn’t have been right putting them in the list, so if you don’t see your favorite fighter on this list, its because their website was ok :)

Anyone else notice the cheesy cage backgrounds and overuse of a fighting stance with one fist out at the camera? Someone needs to jump up and bring these guys into 2009 properly because right now, they’re losing out on connections with their fans and building the proper fan base to ensure they’re a name that everyone wants to see.

Comments

  1. says

    While I do agree that these websites suck, I don’t really think they are loosing any of their fans. I suspect that’s what fans like to see, because most fighting websites look like this. :)

  2. Ally says

    What I would really love to see on these “Awful Web Designs” is the critique that goes along with each page explaining what is wrong and what could be done to improve it. True you did point out the majority that is wrong but it would really be helpful if each one had the individual critique along with what should be done opposed to what was done.

  3. says

    @ally

    I agree with you, however it is very obvious what is wrong with these websites. Each and every one of them must not have been done by a design professional. I am guessing this is a market that is being served by “the kid next door.”

    Quality as a whole in these site are just not up to industry standards, that is very apparent.

  4. Sioxie Legend says

    Alright – now it’s no fair picking on wrestler websites! I mean – do you watch the shows? The websites are perfect in that they reflect the genre and the interface and graphics convey that. I’m not sure how you mean that they suck – if you don’t like the design, well this genre is gawdy and tacky and in your face – so generally the whole genre must offend you.

    That being said – what would you do to change the design? Also when you say a website sucks you need to be specific. Does it suck because the interface is confusing? Do the links work? Does it serve it’s purpose? I don’t think that all these sites suck because they are wrestling sites – if they were sites catering to jewelry or for corporate then yes – they would suck, but the websites in general serve the purpose and are targeted to a certain market. My point is that you cannot have a general critique on any website without giving some feedback. If you think they suck – then point out why. Otherwise it just seems you were in a bad mood when doing the article and out to lambaste a genre that has a hard time being eloquent – to say the least.

    @Zinni

    While you think some things are obvious – it doesn’t matter. A good critique always lists what is wrong and WHY it is wrong. Not just that it sucks.

  5. says

    @Zinni – thank you :) My thoughts exactly and why I did this article. It’s definitely a niche that is underserved. When I did the post, I found 8 fighters with the SAME layout, done by the SAME “sports marketing” company. the only differences were colors and their pictures.

    @Sioxie Legend – They are not “wrestlers”. It’s not the WWE. Mixed Martial Arts is real fist to face combat. :) For my reasons why the websites suck, please refer back to the comment Zinni made. The sites are not nowhere near close to web standard and they all look like a 1995-1996 version of a website. It’s about to be 2009 and they should step up their website quality in my opinion.

    @Paul Romer – http://blogthememachine.com is my portfolio.

  6. says

    It’s always nice to see designers who like MMA (or at least write about it). It seems like those two demographics don’t overlap much (at least, judging from the terrible design generally associated with MMA).

    While I agree that they pretty much suck, some of them (Tim Sylvia, Diego Sanchez) at least make good use of photographs, which is something most websites could learn from.

    The sad thing is that all of those websites were probably made by professionals. But most people just don’t have enough design education to select a good designer. I’m currently building a website for a friend who does submission wrestling. I hope it’ll be nicer than those.

  7. says

    MMA is often behind in terms of design.

    Many fighters simply do not make enough money to bring in top talent in regards to web design… or their website is basically designed by a training partner or agent for free.

    Many fighters also do not know how to market themselves online. I believe that this will change as agents wise up to online media. Unfortunately, the fighters themselves have very little time for well… anything… if they are not preparing for a fight they are in the gym teaching students and giving seminars. I would cut them a break :)

  8. says

    Yeah, I don’t think that a pretty website is a fighter’s top priority, however, these website do look bad. I think that eventually we will see some sites that are a little bit better executed. But honestly, if the site has great content then the design doesn’t really matter as much. Great topic by the way, I wonder what other industries have this design issue.

  9. says

    Most fighters first build it themselves then once they get sponsored it gets done professionally. Like chuck liddells for instance. It is clean and professional for sure. I know there is a market for MMA Web design if anyone decides to get into that.

  10. says

    Agree with Adrian’s first comments. But if anyone needs a professional site look us up, i teach at the mid-south’s best MMA school. The current tapout with Rampage has Slay and I doing a series of moves. Look at our portfolio and get some help with your site :)

  11. Gavin Elliott says

    MMA is going to be one of the largest sports in the world in coming years. Dana White and the guys at Zuffa have taken the UFC out of the under-ground where it was for a while and back in to public view.

    I believe that the UFC/MMA/BAMMA (United Kingdom version of the UFC) is lacking massively in terms of online appeal. The UFC has hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for it’s own online marketing, yet the fighters themselves lack in the whole brand building / online market place. This should be changed.

    One fighter who knows how to use online media is Matt Hughes ( http://www.matt-hughes.com/ ), he blogs regularly about life / fighting and his book writing, events etc.

  12. says

    Maybe you’re so picky because you know what good web design is supposed to look like. I’m a big mixed martial arts fan. I guess I notice if I like the site design, but really, I’m more interested in reading what the guys have to say. Now that it’s 2010, many of these sites have been updated.I don’t think the UFC kicks in any cash for the guys to buff up their sites.

    It’s cool that you collected these images – it’s like web history for MMA :D

  13. says

    lol. It is funny watching the design, but maybe that is really how they market themselves.
    I don’t think they should linger in the design too much. Fans won’t actually care.
    As long as they take a little step at a time to a better web design.

  14. says

    Some of these sites look pretty good for basic profile websites, but a lot of them could use a little bit of design help. You would think that any one of these fighters could find a fan willing to design their website professionally for free. Whoever designed Frank Mir’s banner did an excellent job.

  15. says

    I got to agree that they are not the best. At the end of the day they are at least on the web and have some sort of presence.

    Take it easy!!!

  16. says

    Haha.. some of those actually aren’t that bad.. Are all of these their “official” websites though? Some of them look like they were just made by fans and whatnot. I mean, it’s hard to believe that a guy who has Gatorade and Under Armor endorcements (GSP) would have a website that was THAT bad..

  17. says

    I can’t really say I’m surprised with how awful some of these sites look. Just because a group of people get together and call themselves a ‘marketing team’ doesn’t mean they have braincells.

    I think most of the fighter’s that let these people run their websites gave their ‘marketing teams’ the green light on the layout, so they are too blame as well :)

  18. says

    It amazes me that some of the bigger fighters don’t have live sites up and running, but it does kind of seem like MMA and martial arts generally are a bit undeveloped when it comes to branding the stars of the sport. I know UFC is massive and it’s made superstar millionaires out of a lot of its fighters, but the development of the profiles of fighters is tiny in comparison to the development of profiles in the music industry, for example.

  19. says

    Last year (2009) I formed Your Fight Site, a web design and graphic design agency targeting the MMA (and professional wrestling) markets. So far, we’ve been pretty successful in carving out a niche. We’re experienced, having worked for larger companies, let maintaining prices affordable to those who aren’t quite as big.

    People don’t mind paying for good design, and we’ve never had a shortage of work due to good word-of-mouth from our past clients.

  20. says

    This article is 2 years old and nothings changed. I just thought I would restart the conversation as it seems there’s been no real influence in the past 24 months. It’s unfortunate, but I believe if it’s going to change, someones going to have to set the bar. It’s still pretty low…

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