We all know the difficulties MMA has had with the mainstream media. The most well known example being the "human cockfighting" quote by Sen. John McCain, MMA has struggled to gain acceptance and fair coverage by the mainstream media. I was rather surprised when I came across an article about Frankie Edgar today on cnn.com's front page.
There's a link to it and discussion after the jump.
The article covers an interview with Edgar, discussion about the fights between he and Maynard, and - most importantly - a basic explanation of what MMA is. Mike Straka, who is introduced as an MMA journalist (although I must admit I don't know the name), breaks down MMA, and the article mentions the extensive safety precoutions taken by athletic commissions to regulate MMA.
Beyond the basics of the article, I was extremely happy with the tone. There was no bias against the "brutality" of MMA, or bashing the competitors as anything less than superb athletes. I wonder if Edgar isn't the perfect ambassador of the sport. He's not an extreme character, nor is he arrogant, but very down to earth; a normal guy. He describes himself in the video as "an athlete," not a fighter.
I have a suspicion that there will be more mainstream publicity leading up to the UFC's debut on FOX, as there's a whole new audience that needs to be education on what MMA is all about. And more publicity like this article is exactly what the sport needs.