More on the Great "Keep Your Pro Wrestling Out of My MMA" Debate

Does Luke Thomas really want to reject the new UFC fans Brock Lesnar has brought over from the WWE? (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

I posted last week on the comments of Luke Thomas and Jordan Breen regarding attempts to view MMA throught a pro wrestling lens. 

I wanted to share two reponses in this installment. First Geno Mrosko from Cage Side Seats focusing on the ad hominem parts of Luke's argument:

Is he trying to piss off people like me and you who enjoy pro wrestling? It would appear so, now wouldn't it? It gets people talking and that's a lot of the point. But make no mistake, he actually believes a lot of what he is saying. Hard to believe, I know, but he really does. We're trying not to hold it against you Luke but you're making it hard on us.

Most hatred is rooted in ignorance and this is no different. The Attitude Era had it's pros and cons. This seems to be an instance of Thomas, among so many others, believing that we love wrestling because of the "sports entertainment" side of it. That the only reason we tune in is to listen to these guys cut promos and spray beer all over the place. This couldn't be any further from the truth. A wrestling match is an art form. When done properly, by talented guys who know how to work a crowd, it's a beautiful thing. I guess he can't get past the fact that they aren't actually punching each other or trying to hurt each other to see what is clear as day to the rest of us; there is more to it than that. They are telling a story with each move they make and you have to see past the surface to find it.

And here's Chad Dukes, Luke's colleague at 106.7 The Fan:

And I just, to me, the one thing that stood out by this (and Luke's a friend of mine and Luke has helped me you know get a foot hold in the MMA community and I'm excited for that) but what I don't understand is that he is really upset about the wrestling terminology, which your average wrestling fan isn't even aware of. Like what we're talking about is what I call "P1's". In radio that means people that call your radio show and know everything about it, they're the people that are really into it. And I don't understand what the gripe is. Because if you're just talking about terminology and you're talking about that you don't want to say that "Chael Sonnen is over" or "Chael Sonnen is getting heat"; well then would you say sometimes a guy will take a touchdown back from the one yard line and you say, "Wow that really was you know, he just hit a homerun", you know you say, "That was a slam dunk". I mean terminology in sports crosses over all the time; I wonder what is so particularly offensive about wrestling terminology, professional wrestling terminology, crossing over into MMA?

And one more point from Dukes:

Luke knows that I don't agree with everything he says, he doesn't agree with everything that I say. But we both have a common goal and that is to take Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream, to take it to mainstream sports fans, like baseball fans and basketball fans and say, "Look!" And I'm of the mind, and I don't know how you feel about this Geno, but I'm of the mind that I don't care how you get onboard the boat, just get on the boat.

And the way that I got on the boat, I'll tell you what it was, I can tell you the EXACT moment: I had been one of those guys that maybe saw one Mixed Martial Arts fight a year when my boys got it. Drab T-Shirt, who you talked to, my Producer and I, we went to go see Brock Lesnar's first fight, we went to go see him fight Frank Mir. And what happened was we saw four fights on that card that were gangbuster, balls out, action. And it was one of the best spectacles I'd ever watched. But we would not be fans of Mixed Martial Arts if Brock Lesnar, a professional wrestler, hadn't gone over and fought in it. And that was, this was, only two or three years ago. So what I am saying, for Luke to say that, to me it upsets me because that's how I became a fan and I think that's how a lot of people are getting drug over. And I think that would actually help people like Luke take the sport to other sports fans.

That's where I part ways with Luke. Pro wrestling fans have been the biggest part of the UFC explosion of the past five years. From those who tuned in to watch the first season of The Ultimate Fighter because it followed WWE's RAW program to those who checked out the UFC to see how Brock Lesnar would fare, a fan is a fan and we need all of their support if the UFC is going to become a truly mainstream sporting promotion.

I'll finish up this series tomorrow with commentary from K.J. Gould

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