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Philly Inquirer: "'Iron Ring' More Circus Than Serious"

Notable quote:

My 17-year-old brother loves it for the hip-hop representation and all the gab that comes with the fighters' bravado. I'm a hardcore fan and I just rattle off five or six opponents who could destroy the opponents he's rooting for. He doesn't recognize the names. It dawns on me, though, that his demographic is the viewership for this show. These are his great fighters.

Iron Ring has been rated in the top 25 prime-time cable shows watched by African Americans, according to Nielsen. Not surprisingly, 50 percent of the Iron Ring audience is female compared with about 30 percent for most top cable sports shows, according to BET, and the it averages 813,000 viewers per week. It is among BET's top programs this year, according to the network.

There's no question that as the audience for fighting and combat shows increases, so will the fan's understanding of this fighting art. The show needs to be seen by all fight fans, and that will be part of the effort to bring Iron Ring into overall acceptance as legitimate MMA programming.

Part of the charm was chuckling at the ignorance of coaches and owners wanting to see bloodsport. They mean well, but there simply weren't enough people with MMA experience involved in the show to gain the loyalty of hardcore fans seeking good mixed martial arts fighting. But we can't help but watch a fight.

I still haven't seen a single minute of the show, which is telling in and of itself given that I watch hours and hours of MMA every week.

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