The world of MMA is missing a critical point regarding the sport they so love. Lost in the rationalizations of safety, comparisons to boxing and football, and emotional reactions toward Bob Reilly's statements is that the sport serves a purpose to all multicultural societies.
Summarily, MMA began as a spectacle intended to prove superiority of one art taught regionally in Brazil. The sport was literally meant to be an infomercial for dojos, and it was quite an effective one for the Brazilian Gracie family. Although they had success in three of the first four events via Royce, the dynasties of styles were short lived in the early days with each one passing the torch once a critical weakness was discovered. Grapplers with bad takedowns got smashed by the strikers, the strikers would get brought to the ground and worked over by wrestlers.
Frank Shamrock went on to become the first well rounded reign of terror thanks to the "Alliance" team featuring his Pancrase oriented catch wrestling, Maurice Smith's kickboxing, and Tsuyoshi "TK" Kohsaka's instruction on how to survive and fight off your back. He submitted elite wrestler Kevin Jackson, used a wrestling slam to retire kickboxer Igor Zinoviev, and out-lasted the much larger Tito Ortiz to a TKO victory.
Flash forward ten years and look at the most dominant fighter in MMA today; Georges St Pierre. A man who combines American folkstyle wrestling, Brazilian jiujitsu, Japanese Kyokushin contact karate, Thai boxing, and Queensbury rules boxing into one marvelous art known as MMA. Therein lies the glorious untold story of the sport.
While many people focus on the financial boon a UFC event can bring a province, nobody explains what makes the sport fantastic. Those pushing for regulation futilely fixate on being comparatively safer than other contact sports when there's no inherent value to that thinking. But when a competition is the perfect symbol for a melting pot of cultures creating something greater than the sum of its parts... you have something special. You have mixed martial arts.