That is how it used to be in America about ten years ago. I can definately see how MMA isn't mainstream. ESPN exposure is good though!
the ESPN exposure is great, although it would have been better if SKY SPORTS had bought the rights (as it is a far more established channel and has many more subscribers)
UFC is growing (mma in general too, we have BAMMA and have had the likes of Cage Rage and Cage Warriors which have played their role in the development of UK MMA.)
I hope it continues to progress and one day will surpass boxing as the UK's favourite fighting sport (my own opinion is that MMA is a lot more entertaining and complete sport than boxing, but I agree there is a market for both and room for each to thrive)
I see no real reason for the MMA growth in UK not to mirror that in the States, especially if UFC keep pumping money into promoting the sport here and putting on shows here (I agree that in general the sport would need continued and greater success of UK fighters to really attract attention and break into the mainstream)
This could well happen in the future, kids are certainly a lot more into mma than they were 10 years ago and it stands to reason that the more kids are training to become mma fighters from young the more we will develop successful fighters who can compete at the elite levels.
One worry is the real lack of quality Wrestling background here (and teaching there of) you only have to look at how Semtex Daley was dominated by Koshcheck to see we are lacking in that department.
The quality of boxing training here is more established and consequently 'better' than that of our mma coaching (and the indivdual disicplines within) but as interest improves so will demand and eventually so will the quality and ease of access of our teaching/coaching for the kids who have an interest in the sport and hopefully this will equate to a long term rise in the success of UK fighters and as a result interest in mma in the UK.