Survey: MMA, boxing reaching new generation of sports fans

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, nose to nose
In partnership with the Washington Post, the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion surveyed 1,000 American adults on their attitudes about sports. This, the first release in a series, covers the extent to which sports fan consider themselves fans of professional boxing and mixed martial arts.


  • More than three-quarters of Americans call themselves sports fans, 20 percent of whom identify as avid sports fans, according to the national survey. 
  • More than a third of all adults, 38 percent, said they like boxing, MMA or both. 
  • The highest percentage of fans of both sports, 39 percent for boxing and 37 percent for MMA, are in the youngest group polled, 18- to 29-year-olds. 
  • The smallest percentage of fans, 13 percent for MMA and 17 percent for boxing, was among the oldest group polled, age 65 and up.