UFC fans are nuts, but top MMA fights deserve more media attention then the Skins Game
After seeing a few mixed-martial arts fans around the Internets spend some of their valuable time trying to invent new and exciting ways to call me different varieties of feminine hygiene products, I figured I should give at least one response before moving on.
First of all, in regard to UFC buying out Pride, I agree with reader Casey Trowbridge when he wrote: “If you were going to attack the Fertitta quote as being full of hyperbole you would’ve done better to attack the part where he said that this could make MMA as popular as soccer.”
Keep in mind, however, that this is a fairly America-centric audience we get, many of whom would be willing to fight to the death the point that the NFL is more popular than soccer, regardless how wildly wrong they are. But I agree - Fertitta’s quote was moronic.
Secondly, I can’t just flat out accept that MMA is more exciting than golf. Different strokes for different folks, and all. Some people find golf, tennis, and even chess thrilling. Others find MMA, the running of the bulls and those illegal Bum Fights you can find on the Internet to be a thrill.
Mostly, however, I will give MMA fans this - regardless of how humorless they appear to be, they get completely screwed by the mainstream media. For the life of me I see no reason for sports pages to avoid covering UFC bouts. If a sports editor is willing to dedicate precious column inches to the Arena Football League and the Skins Game, then it’s ludicrous to not give the same coverage to big MMA bouts.
Case in point, I just now saw that Randy Couture beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC Heavyweight crown. Now, whether you like the sport or not, this is a pretty huge deal. Couture is 43 and been through a lifetime of battles, and he beat the hell out of a younger, MUCH bigger Sylvia. If you’re going to give Evander Holyfield coverage for beating some bum at the age of 44, you really need to give Couture coverage for dominating a guy like Sylvia. It’s the kind of story any sports fan would appreciate.
MMA fights aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But neither is golf for many, especially when there isn’t a Tiger Woods or Michelle Wie in the field. Nonetheless, MMA is a valid sport. I’ve actually had phone interviews with both Couture and Sylvia, and found them to be interesting guys that are dedicated to their sport. This isn’t professional wrestling (or Bum Fights).
Are UFC bosses and its fans often guilty of hyperbole? Of course. But the whole “let’s pretend they don’t exist” attitude on the part of the nation’s sports editors is elitist. It’s a valid sport, with a solid fan base. It’s time sports editors caught on to that.
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I still think that Tiger wouldn't last a minute in one of these fights.
Fertitta? Hyperbole? Yeah...okay...I see your point now. I'll admit to a bit of knee-jerk reaction.
But they have to be, the guys who own MMA are going to promote it and try to hype it up as much as possible. They don't have Sportscenter talking about them for 5 hours every day....
Same goes for the fans, they don't have the benefit of mainstream media covering them(for example a golf writer discussing MMA seems a bit odd, as you have pointed out the two sports are vastly different...no offense intended) so they have to hype the sport they love.
Hopefully as the sport of MMA grows(UFC likely earned near half a billion last year) mainstream media will catch on and we MMA fans don't have to promote the sport we love and can sit back and watch people do their jobs...
The actual truth is that its just a vocal minority but they do all have tourettes in their fingers meaning they can't help typing garbage the entire time.
I like your article but you're wrong on one thing. MMA fans on a whole do tend to have a good sense of humor.
All the best and long live golf... My 3rd favourite sport :)
I would further like to agree with you that MMA needs to be covered especially relative to some of the other things that get coverage.
The only thought I'd otherwise like to leave is this. Sure, Fertitta in my mind was guilty of hyperbole. However, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. If you break it down to its core hyperbole is what drives advertising. Anyone selling something and calling it the latest greatest thing is guilty of some hyperbole. How many biggest sporting events of the year can a society experience anyway? So I don't see why he needed to be singled out for what he said when that's hardly the worst use of hyperbole I've ever come across. Especially when even though he wasn't directly saying it, I do still stand by my point that in terms of effect on the chances of competition in the marketplace this merger or buyout will have a comparable impact to when the AFL and NFL joined in to one league.
But you're writing about MMA for the second week in a row... and thanks for linking to my site, I can use some extra traffic.
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