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Sports Entertainment or Legitimate Sport?

Posted 02-26-2013 at 10:18 AM by Killz



I am one of those MMA fans who hates even the mere mention of the WWE. Nothing irks me more than the comparison of true fighters with what are essentially juiced up 'athletic' actors, who, whilst do suffer bad injuries and are a great specimen to watch, are not, and will never be considered as legitimate sports stars. They act out scripted set of actions and moves that results in a pre-determined outcome. Suffering brutal knock outs or limb shattering submissions is not a likely outcome for these guys.

When I hear the UFC coming out saying they are doing all they can to make MMA a legitimate sport it's great... In theory.

The idea of a sporting governing body overseeing all things MMA, having legitimate leagues and rankings, on paper, all seems like a truly massive step forward in the MMA world, which for years was shunned as nothing more than human cockfighting. (god I'm so sick of hearing that phrase)

In reality though, hmm, it really doesn't seem to be working out quite as we'd all hoped. Now the introduction of a ranking system just doesn't seem to have any merit for one, and for 2, if things carry on as they have been, then it looks very much like the UFC are just going to totally disregard it anyway.

I suppose it really became obvious that the UFC likes the idea of MMA being a true sport but can't pass up the opportunity to try and make as much money as possible whilst disregarding any official (or unofficial) rankings. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this but you cant have your cake and eat it.

There are a string of recent and upcoming fights that illustrate this. Think Chael vs Anderson II, Diaz vs GSP, Aldo vs Pettis, Cain vs JDS II, and the list goes on, and on. This is fine, creating 'bigger' fights makes for bigger money etc etc, but you cant make these fights whilst also at the same time trying to convince everyone that this is a legitimate sport. To use a football analogy, You wouldnt see Spain be forced to play Botswana in the world cup final just because the Botswana goalkeeper talked some shit.

Take GSP vs Diaz as an example. No doubt that fight is gonna make a load more money and excite a lot more fans than a possible matchup with Jonny Hendricks (the rightful No 2 contender in many peoples eyes) would have, but in no sport does a guy coming off a loss, after serving a year long weed ban get an immediate title shot.

That being said, Personally, Im all for the great fights over who 'deserves' the shot. Exciting match ups more often than not make for exciting fights and ultimately sell PPVs but dont try and tell me this is a sport, because it isn't. It is 'sports entertainment', where fundamentaly rankings mean very little, and who fights for belts is more often than not decided on based off of who will sell the most PPVs. I love great fights and exciting events, I love watching The UFC and I love when there is a great build up for events because some guy is running his mouth.

This isn't a sport, this is Sports entertainment performed by highly skilled, highly trained Athletes and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!
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Budhisten's Avatar
I want it to be a sport though - MMA will forever be stuck on that "level" battling it out with the dreaded "pro wrestling" as long as it remains sports entertainment.

If the UFC truly wants the best for the sport, they will need to legitimize it, which I doubt they will make an effort to as long as the biggest paydays are to be found elsewhere. So in this case, Zuffa is chosing to be the big fish in a small pond (Sports entertainment) rather than a small fish in a big pond (True sports - NFL, Football, Basketball and so on)

Shame
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 10:44 AM by Budhisten Budhisten is offline
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Killz's Avatar
If they could totally legitimise it and do it all properly I'd love that, but in the mean time I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the show
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 10:48 AM by Killz Killz is offline
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CupCake's Avatar
Excellent Blog Killz, it echoes my sentiments down to a tee
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 10:54 AM by CupCake CupCake is offline
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OU's Avatar
This is not about MMA it is about the UFC. Very important state the difference.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:00 AM by OU OU is offline
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Killz's Avatar
I never implied that I was talking about anything other than the UFC. I was strictly talking about the UFC (i.e the mention of their recent rankings implementation etc). However, The UFC has been, and will continue to captain the MMA ship and set a president for smaller MMA organisations whther the hardcores like it or not.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:05 AM by Killz Killz is offline
Old
OU's Avatar
I think it's very important to understand that the UFC is 1 MMA organization. It's not the entire sport. They may be tainted but the sport is not. UFC may be MMA to you but it's not to me and there is far more to the sport then what happens under the Zuffa banner. I don't like you grouping entire sport to the actions of Zuffa. Call it the "Captain of the ship" if yo want I'll just call it the "biggest ship". But it's not the only boat I sail on and it hasn't been the best boat in 2013, that belongs to Bellator who has had the better and more entertaining fights in 2013 so far. I will continue to look at MMA as much, much bigger then Zuffa.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:15 AM by OU OU is offline
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Killz's Avatar
That's fine, but I'd say you were probably in the minority. Without the UFC none of these other organisations would exist, but that is a different topic altogether.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:27 AM by Killz Killz is offline
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OU's Avatar
I think if the UFC went away tomorrow there would still be MMA, I'm sure of it. I'm just saying I don't base my fandom for the sport on just what Zuffa does. Dana White doesn't control MMA he controls the UFC. I have watched 6 cards over the last 14 days and only 2 of those were UFC cards. The best fights I have seen from those 6 cards were not in the UFC. I think the more we talk about non Zuffa MMA the better. The more non Zuffa fights you see I think the more it will restore your fandom in MMA. Because in my honest opinion MMA is at an all time high while UFC is at an all time low. I know I'm in the minority but I would hope some people would convert away from the Zuffa thought process. I HAVE A DREAM!
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:37 AM by OU OU is offline
Old
Killz's Avatar
Yeah for sure, if UFC went away tomorrow there would still be MMA, however if the UFC had never been here in the first place Im not convinced there would be MMA now. 100% not on the scale it is now.

I enjoy a lot of MMA outside of the UFC but the UFC cards are normally the ones I enjoy the most.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:50 AM by Killz Killz is offline
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OU's Avatar
When it comes to enjoyment I can't possibly imagine anyone thinking the UFC has been superior to Bellator this year. Also OneFC always, always, always entertains. Always. Strikeforce in it's prime was some of the most entertaining MMA out there. I'm not saying I don't enjoy UFC fights, like I have mentioned many times I buy every PPV, every single one. I watch all UFC events and this weekends event is going to be an EPIC card of entertainment and I have no doubt about that.
But still, I'll continue to preach about non Zuffa MMA because I think it's important and also very deserving. Just my personal opinions on this sport.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 11:55 AM by OU OU is offline
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Andrus's Avatar
Good piece of writing Killz! The football anology was sort of rediculous and spot on at the same time.
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Posted 02-26-2013 at 03:29 PM by Andrus Andrus is offline
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Hammerlock2.0's Avatar
And that's the reason why Bellator > UFC
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Posted 02-27-2013 at 06:36 AM by Hammerlock2.0 Hammerlock2.0 is offline
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Budhisten's Avatar
I watch the UFC because they have the best fighters, hands down. But I watch Bellator because they have an amazing approach to the sport of MMA (And great fighters as well).
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Posted 02-28-2013 at 05:20 AM by Budhisten Budhisten is offline
 

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