Thursday, June 26

The State of MMA

The current state of the professional Mixed Martial Arts is volatile and prosperous. There are many dynamics at play with many different factors weighing on the outcome .A constant ebb and flow of ratings and rumors.The sport is facing its greatest challenges and its greatest prosperity.The gauntlet has indeed been set. How will it play out ?

The Players

The Current Champ

Currently the UFC is the largest promoter of MMA. They have risen from banishment to having their fighter on the the cover of SI. They were the first to show live events on free TV. TUF has been a huge success since its inception. They have set the standard for which just about all other companies will be judged ....just about. The UFC is the classic American story .Right from there very first pay per view it was misunderstood, uneducated, unorganized, and defiantly very, very brutal. They gained notoriety and infamy at the same time. They were eventually banned from coast to coast, no one would be touch them, within a few years they would be sold. Enter Zuffa.

Zuffa moved swiftly to put in place a new president and business model. They changed the rules in the cage, from weight classes to rounds to the elimination of the one night tournament. They then preceded to market the changes to athletic commissions around the country. The stigma was slowly being lifted. After a series of daft moves and steady marketing the UFC has become the signature MMA company in the world. The roster is a who's who of MMA . Bar none the best fighters are in the UFC. The one question that remains is Network T.V. When will they pull the trigger?

The Contenders

EXC at this time is currently the biggest challenge to the reigning kings . They have positioned themselves in a very adventitious spot. There currently are the only promotion that has a prime time network t.v. deal .There success lies in there acceptance of circus act fights and low ball grifting to the fans. The marketing and PR departments have made the deals while the others failed. EXC is both on Showtime and CBS prime time the first for both broadcast groups. .

The stable of fighters that are under contract for EXC are not the top of the food chain by any stretch of the imagination but there is certainly stars there. Gary Shaw and Co. are setting match ups that are based more on preservation of stars than competition.

With so few quality fighters under contract, in debt, and no clear direction of there rosters, one wonders how they have prospered? They have not made a profit yet and are not close to . How long
can this will this last ?


Small San-Jose based promotion that has a post prime TV deal with NBC for a 30 minute time slot. One of the few promotions that seems to do things right. Second to Zuffa in terms of ROI. they have been very savvy in their moves. This is the true Dark horse in the race for supremacy.
With intriguing talent and a underlying integrity they have steadily made strides.The true question is now does Strikeforce have enough talent and cunning to seize a golden opportunity ?

The same remaining problem that might be unobtainable ? How to drawl talent away from other promotions?

Zuffa based company that features lightweight fighters. They a TV deal in place with the VS. network. They have generated a fair amount of exposure in the last 6 mo. All of it good.They have a mass of talent with some rising stars. The June first show on Vs. was nothing short of spectacular and there ratings back it up.If there was a coming out party,that was it . The question is will the American public pay to see lighter weight fighters ? Or maybe, will they have to ?


Latest and greatest challenge to the throne. Swooping up talent with big money movers and shakers
..Hello Mr. Trump .....The old rules of the game are changing . Does big money names and spending equal Success? There are so many questions left to answer its hard to know where to place them just yet. July 19th is going to sting .Do they have the gumption to stick it out? We might never know because they haven't told anybody about it. There marketing campaign has been lacking to say the least. Will the investors get cold feet after a 7-9 million dollar loss ? Will the fighters who once held so much promise return to glory ? The wins by anyone on there premiere card will be quality wins, but will they entertain ?

stay tuned for further instalments of my paper I will post them as they are finished. Thanks for reading

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