MMA The past and the future?
I came across this on a forum on a different website, now I know it's about Kickboxing but please take the 30 seconds and read it. I work across all live combat sports and have a good overview of what is going on with them, what I see is that regardless of what discipline you train/fight/follow they are all similar in the fact they are their own worst enemies when it comes to progressing the chosen sport.
I can't help but see the similarities between the statement below and MMA as it stands today. Am I right or wrong? Or is MMA, the newest combat sport out there, destined to follow in the foot steps and repeat the mistakes of every other older sport.
Does MMA need to change its ways?
Can it change?
Will it change?
Will apathy and infighting keep it down like every other combat sport?
Kickboxing - a definition:
* A sport that had the potential to be the sport of the 80's, then the 90's, then the noughties
* A sport that had the potential to be as big as any other combat sport out there.
* A sport that had the potential to do a 'UFC' before UFC.
* A sport that badly needed legislation and regulation to progress and survive, but the majority didn't want it.
* A sport that was full of many good professional people from other walks of life who were prepared to put their skills and resources into development, but lost them.
* A sport that required unity and co-operation in order to progress and not die.
* A sport that needed sacrifice from the majority in order to build it for future generations - but didn't get it.
* A sport now so saturated with people doing their 'own thing' but still blaming others for it's demise because,laughably - the 'bigger' people in the game have been too greedy.
* A sport where the good only remain in clusters working with the minority of people who do want things right, but unfortunately those clusters are still fragmented.
* A sport where, despite all of the above, is still hosting more and more tin pot, make the rules up as you go events every weekend. Offering title shots to fighters who are 1-6 but can sell a ticket. Thus dazzling the eyes of star struck coaches and fighters who can only see the silverware.
* A sport that is held up only by the small amount of decent brands at the top end,in the middle and at entry level whilst being worn down into oblivion by the rest who have no plan for after lunch, let alone the next 5 or 10 years
I could continue - but that'll do it......
(OP by THE BULLDOG, AX forum)
See 'some' similarities but I think the development of UFC has proved to be a game-changer. Kickboxing has never done viewing numbers like the UFC has. Tapout has proved to be a longlasting brand (being on sale in a high street store proves the popularity, not sure Kickboxing ever had a clothing brand that non-fans wear for fashion reasons)
MMA will change by itself, I dont think any major shake-up is needed other than the introduction of a governing body for us here in the UK. Infighting will always be an issue as people struggle to compete against rival shows but the talent pool is getting deeper and deeper, I think we're pretty lucky with what we have.
Agreed on the loss of resources and people sacrificing a lot for the sport though. Some of our pioneers have suffered financial hardship for the love of MMA and planted the seed for what we have now. I hope some of them get their rewards as the sport continues to grow.
Do you think the UFC will continue to be the driving force in the future or will we see other big promotions come to life as the sport grows. Personally I hope so, I like variety in life.
Surely kickboxing thought it would change and progress on its own, as did Mauy Thai. Can we afford to leave it to chance and would a governing body in the UK not just lead to fragmentation as some people don't want to join or go away and form a other associations.
We have lost some of the pioneers of UK MMA over the years, I'm glad to see that some of them are now involved in trying to make the sport fairer and better for the ones that follow, People like Neil Hall at MMA Officials trying to build a standard of Officials, I just wish more promotions would either use them or the other trained officials that are out there.
i have spoken to people who have been involved with other combat sport but not MMA and quite a few see MMA following the same path especially here in the UK.
I think it will be the front-runner for some time. CW are obviously on the increase at a rapid rate, just hope they dont go the same way as Pride, Strikeforce, WEC. The UFC needs competition, monopolies lead to an overpriced product of varying quality.
How many Kickboxers are household names in America though Stu? What we have in MMA now is momentum and money. We have World recognised athletes sponsored by the likes of Nike, others appearing in Hollywood movies etc. The UFC has done a great job of developing 'some' of their prize assets. Kickboxing never really had that marketing know-how that Zuffa have provided. The Fertitta's have brought a lot of business knowledge with them.
What we need is for the big stars of today to put that money back into the sport to develop other fighters.
Pioneer-wise, I was thinking more of the people who put early shows on when the audience wasn't so big and lost significant amounts of money (Aaron Chatfield being a well documented name amongst others) and early fighters like Lee Hasdell who was travelling the World competing whilst some of us were only just hearing rumblings of Vale Tudo.
Neil Hall is doing a good job for sure though and we're lucky that Marc Goddard is so passionate about developing UKMMA when he could just take care of himself and his own career.
Can't disagree with any of that. I just feel that a lot is being driven by the business that is the UFC, I can't deny the publicity they bring and the glossy side they show to the fans in general, but the sport won't be grown by the fans, the UFC will. For the sport to be all it should be, is it not good to learn from the mistakes of others and go in a completely different direction.
With the farce that was the main event in Paisley and the criticism of Safe MMA for, something didn't work in a new project (don't give them time to look at it and respond anyone), this does nothing but set the sport back. Gyms and fighters continuing to show their support for substandard promotions and then complain that we can't move forward when they are the only ones that can change it by working together.
Kickboxers aren't the house hold names of today, but they were in the 70's, 80's and 90's. Money and sponsorship that is available to MMA today to a certain degree was available to kickboxing back then as well. Other combat sports didn't even make as far before they splintered. I hope MMA can stay the course.
we are definitely very lucky to have people like Marc who have the passion and a thick enough skin to continue to do the thankless task they do. To Marc, Rosi and all the rest of the people that obviously don't want an easy life, Than You all.
The UFC will profit yes but heard countless up and coming fighters over here credit TUF or UFC events as the reason they started training, which can only be a good thing!
Other companies will compete, as they have done over the years but ultimately the UFC will prevail due to being the established show. In the same way CW has secured much of the homegrown talent by being a reliable show guaranteed to showcase fights to however many countries.
People will always support substandard shows because some gyms arent as savvy at getting their fighters matched as others. It's part and parcel, wont go away with licensing either as unlicensed shows will become the norm for fighters starting out from smaller gyms.
I suppose social media has a lot to do with the rise of MMA. I'm guessing it wasn't as easy to watch Kickboxing bouts in the 70's and 80's!
Every sport gets splintered, I remember the politics in TKD when I was a kid. Pathetic really but people get power mad.
Quality thread Stu, don't post much here any more with all the trolls and what-not but sparked my interest. Hopefully some others will jump on board with some opinions.
Ha this must rank as the most grown up CW conversation this year. Enjoyed the chat and your views.
The list in the original post may not be an exact fit but one thing that strikes me is that people who are inside MMA in some way tend to greatly overestimate the appetite of the general public for exciting combat sports and that lack enthusiasm is exacerbated when you get those things on the list happening
Any opinions I express on this forum are entirely personal opinions and it should not be assumed that they reflect the official view of any organisations I am connected with
We do get caught up in what we do and tend to think that everyone around us love fight sports as much as do. The reality is we are involved in a minority sport, yes MMA has a growing fan base but its still a minority sport.
i see so many dedicated people in combat sports, fighters, coaches, people who just train for fun and fitness but continue coming back to class week after week, providing enough income for the gym to stay viable. I have always thought MMA would be best served by some form of representative body, whether that's a governing body or some form of association. I also think that it needs to be formed while the sport is still small and not making much money, that way the ones who set it up and run it are doing it to benefit the people I just mentioned and not for self interest. I have read on here so many times "who should run MMA in the UK", for me the answer is simple, it should be the people who already do, the ones sweating their bollocks off in gyms day in day out preparing fighters to entertain the rest of us on a Saturday night, it should be the ones that shed blood at sweat in the name of sport and they should have someone serving their interests and working for their future.
The original list while not an exact fit now, will probably fit MMA more and more as the years go on, unless the dedicated few come together and learn from the mistakes made by others. Projects like Safe MMA are crucial to the future of the sport, if people don't try then we are destined to fail.
I found MMA kind of late, I didn't even know it existed until I did my first MMA show as an MC in 2007. To be honest I was expecting WWE type fights and thought this could be interesting, I was blown away by what I saw that night and have been hooked ever since. The changes I have seen in UKMMA and the global rise is staggering in such a short time but can it continue?
As far as I can tell MMA as we know it popped into existence in the 90's.
Now that we are well into the third decade and have fledgling projects like Safe MMA, what else would you like to see? Where do you think MMA will be at the end of this third?