Hey Bloody Elbow community, how are you all doing? I've been a fan of MMA for a few years now, but really haven't been part of discussions involving MMA minus casually talking with my friends. I've recently been surfing MMA Mania, but I really wouldn't call their comments section a series of intelligent debates, it's more of a slap fight between people whose IQs match that of Forrest Gump's. So it's good to see that there is a website with an intelligent, reasonable fan-base, and I'd love to be part of the discussions that go on around here.
However, no matter how smart or dumb, casual or hardcore fans are, quite a few people seem to be loyal to a certain brand of MMA. A few years ago there were distinct groups of fans that were either for Pride or UFC, but after they merged, it's now UFC against every other company. There's always that group of people that will buy every UFC event, regardless of how good the card is, and ignore other companies, like Strikeforce, that can have very solid fight cards. There's also a group of people that will never buy a UFC event because of the questionable contracting methods that Dana White uses. I've never understood the logic of either of the groups, because they tend to focus on brand name and ownership rather than the fighters and/or fights. Hell even some journalists, who are trained to report things objectively, have shown these qualities (I'm sorry but Loretta Hunt is extremely biased). As I've seen more and more pro and anti UFC "fanboys", I have tried to understand why they have gained such a bias, and have come up with a couple of theories.
The first conclusion I came to as to why people are biased for the UFC is the use marketing. As stupid as it sounds, some people DO believe everything they see and/or read. Just look at the success of Fox News. If they flip the channel to Spike TV and see an advertisement that Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva is going to be an instant classic, they'll take the UFC's word for it and proceed to open their stupid fucking trap about how Rich Franklin is "the man" and how the UFC is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Good marketing, matched with the ignorance of the average Spike TV viewer can breed a new MMA fan that has a huge bias for the UFC and not for some of the best fights in MMA.
Anti-UFC supporters are a completely different situation however. Rather than the casual MMA fan that the average UFC fan is, the anti-UFC folks tend to be pretty well informed as well as bigger MMA fans. These people tend to focus on what Dana White has done over the years, and are discordant with him. They express their disagreement with White by condemning UFC as a whole, and open their fucking traps about how his actions aren't progressing the sport and how Zuffa is a greedy Capitalistic company that restricts upon the freedom of the fighters they have contracted. I have no problem with anybody discussing the behavior of Dana White, but I do have a problem with people who deny the classic fights that have happened inside the octagon because of his actions (the same goes with the whole George Bush sucks, therefore America sucks idea). The logic is deeply unsound, and baffles me in some ways. People who are against the UFC due to leadership issues creates personal vendettas and doesn't support the fighters in any way, shape or form.
Of course there are biases with any rivalry between companies, but this seems to be less logical. Pretty much every MMA company has nearly the same exact rules, each with their own superb roster of fighters. I can't help but feel like we're a bunch of 11 year olds bickering about whether WWF or WCW is the better comapny, rather than seeing the awesome fights that we'll remember for the rest of your lives. Remember what got you involved in MMA (Hint: It wasn't a hate for corporate greed or a shitty advertisement portraying MMA fighters as gladiators. It was the fights.)
Oh and remember this is my first blog post on Bloody Elbow, actually this is my first blog post ever. So please try to lay off on my poor sentence structure and lack of word variety and try to focus on what I'm trying to say. Constructive criticism is fully welcome.