When the news of the UFC leaving Spike for the FOX family broke earlier this week, one thing people kept asking themselves was “what did the UFC give up to get this deal?”. After the official announcement was made, FOX told us that there would be a press conference soon, where they would make a “major” announcement. We wondered if people would be fired, if rules would be changed, and most importantly, would Gladiator Man finally meet his maker? Only time would tell. To tell the truth, Im over Danas “big announcements”. When I heard the words “big”, “announcement”, “ufc” and “major” in a sentence I checked out. We’ve been conned to the point of memehood by Danas major announcements. No one really takes them seriously anymore. I even took time out of my day to tweet Tomas Rios that this “major” announcement didnt mean shit. After all, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Fast forward to the big announcement and aside from TUF getting a much needed revamp and the UFC having the support of 3 different networks, there wasnt really much major to the announcement in my eyes. At least until I really sat down and thought about it.
Gone was Joe Rogan yelling “ITS FIGHT TIME BITCHES” at the top of his lungs, no more showing up to press conferences in a t-shirt and jeans (apparently, Dana didnt get that memo), no more “f bombs”. For one of the first times since I’ve been a fan, MMA felt like a real mainstream sport. I didnt feel like I had to defend the sport I love to my anti-violence peace loving friends. So to me, the big, major announcement is actually what they didn’t announce. This deal is important, not only because of the major network shelling out a huge amount of money to support MMA, but because of the suits and professionalism they can put behind the sport. I’ve always maintained (here, on Twitter or on various other message boards and MMA communities) that in order to take MMA into the mainstream, it needed to shed the frat boy image. The fewer Affliction shirts and the less nu-metal the better. MMA is a sport full of intricacies, drama, intelligence and some of the best athletes on the planet, its time the people with the money and the people calling the shots act like it its more than 2 people beating each other up.
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