Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the world’s fastest growing spectator sports of this century, and EssentiallySports (ES) has embraced the revolution to grow “On The RopES”, the Ultimate Combat Community, at an equally fast pace. Although the initiative of this sub-brand started earlier this year, it has already garnered a lot of attention from enthusiasts on social media. With close to a million followers across Facebook and Instagram already, the brand is indeed growing very swiftly. 

Although On The Ropes is rapidly scaling by the minute, it is no less than a challenge – covering multiple categories such as UFC, Boxing, ONE Championship, and WWE. 


Article continues below this ad

It all began with the success of the combat sports coverage ,which enlightened EssentiallySports with a new direction to entertain its passionate audience – and seizing the opportunity in a blink, was the only natural next step. On the discussion table of our determined team management group, was once again where the idea of this sub-brand came under the spotlight.

The main objective had always been to create a community for niche combat sports enthusiasts, by only sharing unique and unadulterated combat-focused content. With the idea firmly fixed on the vision board now, the EssentiallySports team then came together to make it a reality. 

On The RopES by EssentiallySports brings combat fans together

When the mission is to become the Ultimate Combat Community, what then holds everything together? Yes, you guessed it right – the ropes in the ring! Anik Mondal, our UFC Social Media Manager, explained, “So like, one thing that is common between UFC and Boxing is the ropes. The whole sport continues to balance itself on the ropes. And so if someone is getting unbalanced, the fighters know that the game is getting over there and then!” 

Although now the brand cleverly plays on a key technical term, it infact began with a core focus on the largest combat discipline ruling the charts – MMA. And hence with an initial direction to begin with, the page was named ‘MMA Fight Night Life.’ However, after the decision to make it all encompassing experience across various forms of the spectrum, a small group of content and social media specialists gathered to ideate, and take it to the next level.

One of its initial contributors was Rohit Lohan, who with his knowledge and skills of content creation, was able to make an early mark with the development of the brand. With one eye on remembering the early period of establishment, he remarked, “My colleagues Akshay Pallav, Aashish, Faizan, and Pragjyoti trained me during my initial days, as no other associates were handling the UFC/MMA division. No doubt, it truly has been an enriching experience.” 

Capturing the community’s attention continually remains On The Ropes’ focus

A catchy name and an in-depth understanding of the sport are, however, just one side of the coin. But the real ball game is with the other side of it, as far as garnering reception and engagement is concerned. Ask any combat enthusiast and what makes fans like themselves make the niche audience tick, the answer is almost always resoundingly similar in the community – ‘It’s raw, it’s pure passion.’ 

When enquired about the X-factor that makes it all so special, Rohit unhesitantly mentioned that it is the prime way in which the sub-brand covers these sports. “We have a mixture of content themes and formats that we keep experimenting with. Mostly, we mix it up with the raw and normal content… but the audience very much likes the raw content. By my estimate, a large majority of our audience is into the former.”

One can trace the origins of the sport back to the ancient times of the Greek Olympic Games, roughly 648 BCE ago, which already had begun to get embroiled with many controversies. However, behind all the brute and raw appeal lies a deeper essence, and the strategic mindset of a ‘gladiator’. Boxing legend Muhamad Ali once said, “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul, and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even”. 

It is not just the fight in themselves that makes these sports extremely popular. The demonstration of a unique balance between the state of mind, the body, the technique, and the discipline of the athletes before they can even think of standing in the middle of the ropes, is what makes the experience supremely tantalizing. 


Article continues below this ad

And so undoubtedly, at the epicenter of it all, are intense physical and mental pressures which make these sports, as well as the fighters, truly one of its kind. The team of On The Ropes too, assuredly, does not hold back from capturing the rawness of these life-altering extreme moments, and delivers to its intensity-loving audiences – in exactly the way that they want.

The future of EssentiallySports’ combat sub-brand

It’s fair to say that On The RopES has already received a lot of praise and attention from the combat fans’ community for its continued top-notch content. However, the team themselves firmly believe that they have only begun to uncover the potential and possibilities. Ishaan Krishna, a social media team associate, said, “I think the current strategy that we are following- it’s very good. And if we stick to our base strategy while trying out some refreshing ideas and experiments, surely it would give us even greater results.” 


Article continues below this ad

Being receptive to change and forecasting challenges is the only way the sub-brand can grow to greater heights. With the sport not exactly season-bound, curating content of a certain volume while maintaining the quality and flow, is a common problem statement. Additionally, unforeseen injuries could always lead to the cancellation of some much hyped, pre-scheduled events.

But despite all such uncertainties though, the On The Ropes team continue to holds its ground and adapt. With the belief that delivering the knockout punch, will always continue to pay dividends and lead to the destination of success.