Along with trying to establish mixed martial arts in American sports culture, MMA promoters like the UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator are competing against the excepted assumptions of the sport in today's mainstream media, including news outlets, uneducated fans, ill-advised combat followers and more.
With obvious aspects of MMA weighing on the first impressions of ordinary sports fans, such as rules, how fighters train and how barbaric it really is, the potential for growth heading into the future becomes somewhat limited.
However, people need to understand that MMA is only getting stronger, so by subjecting yourself to the truths about the sport and companies like the UFC, you're only giving in to the inevitable.
With that said, here are the top-10 things that mainstream media misunderstands about the sport of MMA and the UFC included. First and foremost, the UFC is not a sport.
Fighters do not fight UFC, they fight MMA.
The UFC is simply the company that promotes these fights and athletes. It is in no way the sport itself.
I can't tell you how many times I hear somebody explain how a fighter fights UFC. It seems to me that people in mainstream America are starting to recognize the companies more than the competition itself.
Whether that's bad or good for the future of MMA has yet to be determined. But as they say, any publicity is good publicity.
Is The Sport too Barbaric?
The biggest question to millions and the threat to the future of MMA is the fact that the mainstream media considers it too brutal and barbaric.
From a current fan's perspective, this assumption holds no ground. But for potential followers of the sport, seeing somebody get clubbed about the face with elbows and knees may not be the most friendly thing to watch.
I get it: MMA isn't for everyone. In fact, a lot of people don't have a single particle in their body that enjoys sports.
Regardless, how can the American media industry and uneducated critics of MMA morally put a label on a sport that is scientifically proven to be less dangerous than boxing (sorry for the generic comparison)?
Boxing has been accepted by the American sports culture for over 100 years, but its in-ring antics have lead to alarmingly more deaths than MMA. Why? Boxing has a longer history whereas MMA has a history of 20 years (roughly)
Numerous deaths have resulted in MMA that are kept out of the media to protect the sport from being too negative for the general public
While it is true Boxers are subject to hundreds of punches in one fight, while smaller gloves, referee stoppages and other fight disciplines allow MMA fighters to significantly endure less damage.
Barbarism. In Boxing, while a fighter subject to a KO the fight is stopped immediately while in MMA after a fighter is KOd and taken tot he ground the fight continues with the referee moving in for stoppage.
Now in street fights when an opponent is downed the fight ended by the victor either walking away or discontinues striking. Unlike MMA, where the fighter even though KOd has a few more punches or kicks for good measures.
No such barbarism exist in boxing. Thus Boxing is known as the 'Gentlemans Sport'
Yes, UFC fighters are capable of being defeated with a single punch, kick or submission. Some argue that boxers other hand, literally slug each other in the face for over 30 minutes, enduring pressure on their skulls and brains.
Boxers can also be defeated with a single punch.
In Boxing Unlike MMA there is no destroying or breaking limps. The gloves in Boxing provides a cushion to blows meant to protect the fighters, whereas the gloves in MMA are smaller so in ratio an MMA punch would be far more destroying to the brain than a boxers punch.
The point here is that the UFC incorporate some sort of very unhealthy acts. The public is blinded to simply what is purely a fight in an octagon where 'a handshake agreement between two individuals to pulverise each other' .