Ok, here are my opinions on bringing sport fighting to a higher level:
If you want Fighting to be viewed as a sport it should be treated like any other sport.
"Ultimate Fighting," still has a negative image in peoples minds who are not into the sport. We all know this when we talk to people and mention "Ultimate Fighting", or the "UFC", what kind of responses we get. Instead of trying to clean up this image, it is much easier to start over, with a new name, and look, and attitude.
I think the cage settup should go. The cage promotes the "No way out" thing. "Locking" someone in a cage isn't very sport like. Pride has done very well with the rope setup, and it looks more like sports.
Stay away from all words like Ultimate, Extreme, etc. These words are used in hip new trends, not long lasting traditional sports.
Weekly TV coverage. A weekly TV show that everyone can watch without buying Pay Per View. We all agree with this i think.
This TV show should be barebones as possible, leaving out hardcore music, excessive pointless commentary, etc. Boxing is pretty good at getting to the point, and thier fight commentary is good too i believe, they talk about what is happening in the fight, and even can be quiet sometimes. You don't have to be talking constantly, and making excessive jokes.
Good sportsmanship. While watching Pride with my Dad, he said that what he liked the most was seeing fighters fight all out trying to hurt each other, then seeing them smiling, talking about the match, and giving each other hugs. They have much more sportsmanhip than most other sports even. You don't even see this respect in baseball, hockey, football, etc. This is a good thing.
To make fighters look like they are sports like, they should use wristbands and headbands. Sports!
Ok, here are my opinions on bringing sport fighting to a higher level:
I prefer the term Ultimate Fighting to mma.When I think mma I think of two guys with mullets in their pajamas trying to kick at each other
Unfortunately, WA state congress just past a ban 46-3 on NHB type fighting with heavy fines for those promoting the sport.
These uneducated congressman lumped the toughman contest (which has had quite a few deaths) with our sport (no deaths) not realizing the difference between well trained fighters and a couple of knuckle heads who don't know how to defend knock eachothers heads off. Sad Day for MMA!!
Miller your right. Ultimate fighting is what our sport is. MMA is gay.
I agree with the term mma giving the wrong impression of the sport it sounds like just another karate or kung fu variant and turns sports fans off. Ultimate fighting is only one promotion and can't be used as a generic term for the sport.
I personally think Pankration is the most fitting name, especially as its going to be a demonstration sport at the Athens olympics. This dem sport won't be the same as UFC or Pride rules with its limited striking on the floor and extra protective equipment,but its the same as pro boxing not being the same as olympic rules boxing.
Which leaves Pride and the UFC like our WBO's and WBC's
Even the tma guys can't complain as contemporary theory has it that eastern martial arts came from pankration.
Trust me... it is much easier to lead the uniformed from an image of Daniel LaRusso doing crane stances, to what MMA really is by saying Mixed Martial Arts or Full-Contact Martial Arts, than it is to lead them away from an image of street-fighting and brawling when you say Ultimate fighting or Extreme Fighting.
"I personally think Pankration is the most fitting name, especially as its going to be a demonstration sport at the Athens olympics."
The name Pankration wouldn't work for hillbilly Bob.I tried to get some guys to come over and watch Pancrase(a similar sounding name) on ppv and one of them asked if "That's where they pull each other's Pancreases out".
"Trust me... it is much easier to lead the uniformed from an image of Daniel LaRusso doing crane stances, to what MMA really is by saying Mixed Martial Arts or Full-Contact Martial Arts, than it is to lead them away from an image of street-fighting and brawling when you say Ultimate fighting or Extreme Fighting."
I'd much rather have the streetbrawling image than that of fags in gi's with ponytails.
I once told a friend who was a huge boxing fan to check out the UFC(the one with Hoffman/Smith).He came back to work that monday and said they should call it the Ultimate Hugging Championships because there wasn't much fighting goign on that night
I am not crazy about the term MMA, or Ultimate fighting. I think maybe we need another name.
But a lot of people also mix up submission wrestling with submissive wrestling and think we are into some kind of freaky kink sport.There is a part of Newton/Verrissimo to back that up as well.
kirik himself said in his Full Contact Fighter interview that since he changed the name from submissionfighting.com to mma.tv that his mother could tell people what her son did without people thinking he ran a sex site.
Miller - "I'd much rather have the streetbrawling image than that of fags in gi's with ponytails."
I think I have a sense of how you feel about MMA. You seem to have a little more "hard-nosed, let's get back to basics, it is about fighting" view of what MMA should be... and I respect that.
But for me... the streetbrawling image is just as off as the image of kids in pajamas. Plus I personally would like to see MMA (I prefer Shootfighting as the overall term) to be a more widely seen and recognized sport... dare I say become mainstream.
"I once told a friend who was a huge boxing fan to check out the UFC(the one with Hoffman/Smith).He came back to work that monday and said they should call it the Ultimate Hugging Championships because there wasn't much fighting goign on that night"
This leads us the issue of more rules or less. Hugging goes on due to the mid-level rules (not real Vale Tudo, not Kickboxing). So we need to get it right in the rules department sooner or later...
I would like to see a name like shooto, shootfighting, sport fighting, etc.
Tigger furthers the point -
This is from an old post of mine:
Now, in order for MMA to go mainstream it will take several things... Which are inevitable if we work on it, but will not happen if we don't keep these two things in mind...
First we have to look at the other major sports. Starting with football, baseball, basketball, etc...
They have two major audiences that are being targetted - young (teenage/20's/early 30's) and middle aged (late 30's/40's/50's). The young market is the consumers that by hats, jerseys, t-shirts, coats, video games and all kinds of merchandise... They pour money into the industry from the fringes with MASS numbers...
The older market is where the money is really at... These are the businessmen, lawyers, doctors, executives, entrepeneurs, celebrities, etc... who have real spending power. They support the sports from the foundation - they buy season tickets and have major purchasing power for the larger sponsors like cars, vacation locales, high-end technology stuff, and beer (where they are patrons of the bars across the country that has contracts with beer distributors and are targetted to pour more money into the name brand beers)...
The other sports have this... MMA has neither...
Pro wrestling has the young market for sure, and boxing has the middle-aged crowd.
We need to establish this kind of strong "reliable" market audience in order to grow... MMA consists of mostly the younger crowd but in small numbers that is not a "reliable" source of income for promotions.
In the long run, I say we are more suited for the middle-aged crowd which tends to be a more sophisticated audience. They are the ones that can come to appreciate MMA and not have the "smash his head" mentality... BUT that will take time, because it has to be people who are currently getting into MMA from a participation/training stand-point and will grow with the sport and follow it over time. As it is the current middle-aged audience is not really feasible. We need to look at the middle-aged crowd that is coming - the ones who are teens/20's/30's right now... The WWE nuts and less sophisticated young viewers of today don't have the concentration span or strong enough intelectual presence to appreciate MMA.
So, it will take time for "us" on this board and the current youth that is just getting into BJJ and submission fighting gyms/clubs all over, to eventually become the middle-aged businessmen, lawyers, etc... who will have the strong financial presence in our society... With this in mind, we do not want to alienate the TMA youth... they will be middle-aged professionals someday with 6 figure salaries and we could use their patronage when they are in that position...
This leads to the second thing we need to do... image adjustment.
MMA is largely viewed as a hardcore, gladiator, pit-fighting thing... No matter how you slice it, that is what the general crowd is looking for and thinks it is - and when it turns out to be less horrific than UFC 2 they are turned off and leave...
Thus we need to drop the WWE and trailer trash audiences (even if we lose money in the short) to establish a "Martial Arts" image in the minds of the masses... We need to lure TMA people, and non-MA people who at least know that TMA's exist... With XMA on Discovery and the Top 10 MA's that TLC did awhile back, not to mention Walker Texas Ranger, Keneau Reeves as a digital Shaolin Monk and Tom Cruis as a Samurai wannabe, there is a basic appreciation of Martial Arts in general.
That is our hook, our marketing angle - We say we are a martial art competition. Then people will at least have a common ground to start thinking about us... Even if they get images of guys in pajamas doing horse-stances and yelling, it is easier to go from that image to what MMA is, rather than starting out with the "Ultimate head-smashing" image and trying to go to what MMA really is...
Boxing is tough guy baddest fighter in the world... we need to be the exotic fascinating thing that only the few elite can do... (you know... "masters" - oooo). That is why most people were fascinated with Royce in the first place - because he did shit that no one had seen and didn't understand... We need to recapture that idea and let it spread in peoples minds... The breaking displays on that XMA show probably actually impressed people because it looked like only those guys can do that - MMA needs to have that same awe inspiring presence (as it is, most jug-head spectators think "I can whoop his ass").
We need people to be like the guy who sat behind me at HOOKnSHOOT when Yves Edwards fought Scott Bills and Nakao fought Berger... He was out of his mind with excitement because Yves was doing some nasty shit that reeked of expert... Then when Jutaro came out (walking slowly and with a flat expression) the guy was so stoked because he had an image of a Asian master or something, and he just said quitely "This guy is gonna fuck someone up" - then when he threw Steve the guy said "Oh man, this dude is bad"
It is a direction that I want to travel...
I disagree,we need teh trailer park audience and we need to focus more on them.We need to market more exciting fights and work off of the brutality angle.Not necessarily the bloodsport angle but we have to accept that we are in a violent sport.Let's quit denying it and work with that.
Football plays to its hard-hitting action, and Hockey shines a spotlight on its rough play...
But they don't focus on the trailer trash... Why should we??? We can still bill MMA as a exciting, dangerous, intense, hard-hitting without dumbing it down and turning away from real sports fans.
Miller knows whats up!
"Football plays to its hard-hitting action, and Hockey shines a spotlight on its rough play... "
The majority of football and hockey fans are trailer trash as well.Sure their are wall street execs as season ticket holders but when was the last time you saw Donald Trump sporting a Raiders jacket to a nice restaurant or painting his face silver and black?Football and hockey are so popular because everyone working class Joe played it in high school.If you want to talk about a rich man's sport than look at golf and tennis.Those are the sports that don't tend to cater to the trailer trash crowd but football, hockey, baseball,etc?You're not using a very good comparison for your argument.I know what you mean and I understand it but I think you are wrong and are also using bad examples.
"The majority of football and hockey fans are trailer trash as well. Sure their are wall street execs as season ticket holders"
This is my point... we don't have to just sell to trailer trash (they are an easy sell). We can still establish a repectable image with other demographics, so I disagree with you comment that we need to "focus" on the trailer trash.
"Football and hockey are so popular because everyone working class Joe played it in high school."
That reality didn't happen overnight - plus this ties into one of my previous points:
*** So, it will take time for "us" on this board and the current youth that is just getting into BJJ and submission fighting gyms/clubs all over, to eventually become the middle-aged businessmen, lawyers, etc... who will have the strong financial presence in our society... With this in mind, we do not want to alienate the TMA youth... they will be middle-aged professionals someday with 6 figure salaries and we could use their patronage when they are in that position...
"You're not using a very good comparison for your argument."
I think perhaps you may be not seeing the bigger picture...
"I know what you mean and I understand it but I think you are wrong and are also using bad examples."
Likewise, I completely see your viewpoint and where you are coming from, but it seems you are only looking a year ahead and only at our current fan-drawing power (along with the current standard of marketing).