As Real As It Gets, Except on Twitter

Twitter Fakers

There has been a lot of talk about celebrities with fake Twitter followers and how their reach relates to actual influence.  We have even blogged on the topic .  So we decided to take a look at the UFC’s top athletes and Influencers to see how they compared. We also uncover the athlete with the most amount of fake or inactive followers.

We decided it was best to go by UFC’s own rankings (top 5) and include the Champions of each weight class. Then for balance we added in the UFC’s Dana White, Lorenzo Ferttia and for good measure Bellator’s Bjorn Rebney and UFC based journalists.  Last and surely not least we wanted to see who had the most fake followers.

Why the UFC athletes and not other MMA athletes?  For this control group we wanted Twitter profiles with equal or similar platforms promoting their accounts, training in use of Social Media and of course the Zuffa Twitter bonus, which means the athletes have incentive to use their Twitter accounts.  The UFC teaches its athletes (possibly not all the females) how to use Twitter and social media.  Each athlete has promotion from the UFC for their specific Twitter accounts and the UFC provides a cash incentive to use the platform.

Some of you may be asking why we did not list any of the UFC athletes represented by our firm?   We used the champions and top five athletes in each weight class.  The answer is, unfortunately none of them made the cut (ouch).  You will notice that some of the athletes that are listed that do not have Twitter accounts (that we could find).

The data we did find is very interesting, the spreadsheet and infographic are attached.  It’s common to gauge Twitter influence by how many followers you have.  The advertising industry is more interested in the true reach of each account.   They’re most interested in the number of actual people, active in social media that follow the account.

We are in no way saying that the accounts with large numbers of fake followers bought the follows or did anything nefarious to attain those follows.  Follows from fake accounts can happen for a myriad of reasons. And just because a follow is now inactive or fake does not mean they were not once ready and willing to be engaged or that the athlete bought the follow.

What does a “fake” account look like?

Meet “Jama Fastic”:

Jama Fastic is a fake Twitter follower. This account has never tweeted, retweeted, engages with anyone, and can’t be identified as a real human being or company in any way shape or form. You can also tell that Jama Fastic is a fake account when you look at some of the 51 accounts Jama follows:

· Justin Bieber

· LeBron James

· Katy Perry

· Jack Dorsey

· Sofia Vergara

· Ellen DeGeneres

· Barack Obama

· Leonardo DiCaprio

· Sarah Silverman

· Ryan Seacrest

· Justin Timberlake

· Lil Wayne

· Oprah Winfrey

· Kelly Rowland

For Jama every single follow is a celebrity. Why would someone create an account and follow these particular individuals? What do they have in common?  Clearly there is a baseline of these types of accounts targeting MMA athletes.

This is the type of account we classified as a fake follower. It also reveals another source of fake followers - some high profile accounts just get followed as a way to automatically make a fake follower account seem real - they weren't bought but they are still very fake.

You might be also asking why did we add promoters and a few UFC Media members?  One, they are also influencers in the sport and two, we felt they balanced the athletes and give you another view of the data of influencers with similar platforms.

Let us know what you think about the results in the comments and if you have anyone not on the list that you would like us to process please post it and we will try to gather the data for you.


Top Ten MMA Influencers with the most fake followers

1. UFC Heavyweight Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma)

Follower Breakdown:

followers 566,458

Fake: 82%

Inactive: 11%

Good: 7%

Klout Score: 70


2. UFC Bantamweight Michael McDonald (@maydaymcdonald)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 24,626

Fake: 56%

Inactive: 22%

Good: 22%

Klout Score: 61

3. *Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos (@junior_cigano)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 599,987

Fake: 48%

Inactive: 33%

Good: 19%

Klout Score: 68

4. *UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva (@spideranderson)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 3,301,511

Fake: 47%

Inactive: 32%

Good: 21%

Klout Score: 74

5. **UFC Welterweight Demian Maia (@demianmaia)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 285,245

Fake: 47%

Inactive: 32%

Good: 21%

Klout Score: 81

6. UFC Welterweight Johny Hendricks (@johnyhendricks)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 80,325

Fake: 41%

Inactive: 28%

Good: 31%

Klout Score: 72

7. UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 793,158

Fake: 40%

Inactive: 37%

Good: 23%

Klout Score: 82

8. UFC Champion Jose Aldo (@josealdojunior)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 190,192

Fake: 36%

Inactive: 31%

Good: 33%

Klout Score: 66

9. UFC President Dana White (@danawhite)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers: 2,517,324

Fake: 35%

Inactive: 37%

Good: 28%

Klout Score: 87

10. UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre (@georgesstpierre)

Follower Breakdown:

Followers 678,834

Fake: 34%

Inactive: 31%

Good: 35%

Klout Score: 83



Outside of MMA Sampling:


The President of the United States Barack Obama

Follower Breakdown:

Followers: 29,585,383

Fake: 42%

Inactive: 30%

Good: 28%

Klout: 98

Notable accounts with above 30% fakes:  UFC Heavyweight Cain Velasquez @ 32%, UFC Heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira @ 32%, UFC Light Heavyweight Dan Henderson @ 34%, UFC Reporter Ariel Helwani @ 30%, UFC Light Heavyweight Lyoto Machida @ 32%, UFC Lightweight Nate Diaz @ 30%, See the spreadsheet for the rest of the results.

About Klout -Klout began with a very simple idea: Everyone has influence—the ability to drive action. Klout measures influence based on various factors.


Jason Genet


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>