A bunch of people from the UFC community, and even the broader sports community, are angry with the UFC for handing social medial influencer Addison Rae the microphone and a big stage for some apparent media work at UFC 264 this week. Rae is one of TikTok’s biggest stars. She has over 80 million followers on that app alone, and she’s one of the most popular social media celebrities on the planet.
On Friday, Rae posted, “I studied broadcast journalism in college for 3 whole months to prepare for this moment”.
Rae could be seen in the picture standing in front of one of the UFC’s designated interview areas at UFC 264 in Las Vegas with an official UFC mic in her hand.
They don’t just give those to anyone, so it looks like the UFC hired Rae to talk to UFC stars at UFC 264.
According to Dextero, Rae briefly studied sports broadcasting at Louisiana State University, but she ended her studies after she became a huge star on social media.
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‘Never in a Million Years’ and Other Reactions to Addison Rae
While Rae is sure to have many fans and supporters who are happy for her to land the apparent gig at UFC 264, some other people on social media were downright upset with the idea that Rae could suddenly command such a prominent role at UFC 264.
Steve Benko is a sports producer for a CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh. He posted, “Imagine spending four years in college plus unpaid internships plus reporter/producer/editor/photog jobs that pay next to nothing to even have the SHOT at a better job…and all it takes for Addison Rae is TikTok and three months of college to be ahead of you.”
There were also a lot of comedic reactions to the UFC’s decision to credential and presumedly hire Rae for the role.
You can see some of the most popular takes from various social media users below.
Some of them are about all the broadcast journalists out there who might feel skipped over by Rae.
One user suggests the UFC accomplished exactly what it wanted when Rae’s name was trending on Twitter.
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Analysis: Why Hiring Rae Makes Sense
While the UFC giving Rae such a role at the biggest fight of the year was sure to baffle some people and even downright hurt others, the move actually makes some sense from the UFC’s perspective.
Part of the UFC’s mission as the world’s leading MMA promoter is to constantly seek ways to find access to new audiences. It’s why the company works so hard to get into new markets outside the United States, and why hiring a social media influencer like Rae would also be a savvy move.
The same thing could probably be said about ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. Does he know much about MMA? Probably not. But does he help bring new eyeballs to the sport? Absolutely.
Look, the UFC is a business and a publicly-owned one at that. That means the UFC is always going to be looking for new and innovative ways to promote its product.
Rae is just the latest example of the UFC continuing to try new things, and she’s probably just the first go at the UFC trying to get its product in front of a demographic to which it previously had no or limited access.
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