I notice more of MMA influence in my daily life every day, and it is such a progressive leap from where it started. That's hardly news, we all know the sport is blowing up, but what observations have the rest of you made that MMA is reaching popular culture?
Here's my list:
Music. Songs like Volbeat's "A Warrior's Call", Sick Puppies' "You're Going Down", Sevendust "Rumblefish", Godsmack "Cry Like A Bitch", these all seem like they were written specifically to become the walk out theme for MMA fighters. I know there are more, so help me out with these...recent songs that seem written for MMA.
TV: fighters are making more and more cameos on TV shows, but I was recently watching a filler piece about the upcoming season of "Spartacus", and the actors were discussing how the stunt team had been watching "more UFC" to make the fights more realistic.
Movies: Pretty obvious; Warrior, Haywire, Never Back Down, Fighting, Beatdown, the list goes on and on
Celebrities and Other Sports: athletes like Shaquille O'Neal, actors like Kevin James, WWE stars CM Punk, The Rock, The Undertaker, even Paris Hilton and Mandy Moore are showing up at UFC events. Ariel Helwany interviewed a NASCAR driver that was a knowledgeable fan of MMA, even if he was mainly there to plug the upcoming race on FOX.
Sporting Goods: Scheel's not only carries an impressive array of mixed martial arts gear, they feature George St Pierre in a running video in the store. You can find MMA gear in Kmart now, for that matter. MMA gear is selling well enough to be found in stores that have small sections titled "sporting goods", right along with baseball gloves and basketballs.
Commercials: yeah, so far we're limited to commercials aired on Spike or FUEL during a fight, but we're still seeing MMA fighters cutting spots for sponsors. Randy Couture's gym thing that hung on your door comes to mind as airing outside of fights, and GSP's spot for ESPN is still one of my favorites.
Clothing: you can buy Tapout, Affliction, all sorts of fighting shirts and paraphernalia at all kinds of outlets these days, including the mall, once home of anything but fringe.
What other ways have you seen MMA making its presence felt in the mainstream?