In Search of the Elusive Mainstream

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emfleek
7/13/09 2:38:30PM
For many fans, mainstream press coverage of MMA is some kind of validation. Having been looked down upon for years for enjoying such a violent sport, seeing it on Sportscenter makes them think everyone else was just late to the party. Going mainstream is now the biggest straw man out there; it's a debate-shifting tactic more than anything else, and bringing it up assumes that going mainstream is actually an option. The idea that ESPN would one day have an "MMA tonight" and anchors of SportsCenter would discuss it alongside football and basketball as an equal was always a preposterous notion. Take away the two most controversial events at UFC 100, and you still have a blood-soaked mat starting the show, a man who couldn't open his eye and could barely walk after his fight, a vicious one-punch knockout, and a main event comprised of one man headlocking the other and beating his head in. After all this, do we really believe it is Brock Lesnar's antics that will keep this sport from going mainstream?

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pinoymixplaya
7/13/09 3:29:43PM
This is just my opinion, but I definitely don't think the sport is near mainstream just yet. I am sure that most people agree with me, but its hard to deny the flocks of people that watch it for the violence that gives the sport a bad name. I guess I watch it because I am a pretty big Martial Arts fan since I was a kid and watched my first Bruce Lee film. So its upsetting to say that most of the people I rub elbows with at the sports bars I watch the live PPV UFC events are there for opposing reasons than mine.

The sport will become mainstream when the majority of viewers appreciate the ground game just as much as the striking. Its like asking whether you believe NFL is mainstream if a bunch of people watch it, but have no idea how to score points.
bootyclause
7/13/09 4:29:30PM
i think the majority already understand the ground game, that is a theme on the mma internets but every time i watch UFC in a sports bar everyone knows what is going on and cheers for takedowns and sub attempts as much or more than a good striking exchange. I dont think the so called "noob" is as widespread as people think.


as for the article, i think it is offbase and theres really no good reason for fans not to want the sport to get bigger. At some point if you're not mainstream then you cant get any more popular.

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