The Rise of MMA Snobs
I’m an MMA Fan. I have been for over 20yrs. I enjoy watching the sport as well as training within its systems. Similar to more people than you may release, I was apart of the black generation inspired by 1980’s cross-cultural karate icons to actually join a dojo. That and self-defense. The 90’s were rough for 11yr old me and pro wrestling moves were not cutting it.
I can easily say I'm far from an MMA pro, but my fandom does come with the standard package: Loyal watcher, educated on MMA terms and rules on a level that allows me to enjoy the sport, invest, aka buy random merchandise related to MMA when applicable. I am also entertained by it for my own enjoyment or with friends.
It was when I stumbled across clips from a popular sports show on ESPN -whose host I’m familiar with enough thanks to football- when I was literally dumbfounded by what the F*&k they were talking about. About a minute and a half into their 7-minute commentary on the Mcgregor v Cowboy fight and I had this weird shift of perspective as if I saw a magician for a phony when he couldn't do a common trick. Now, of course, I’m not calling long-standing professional sports talky guys fake. What I am implying is that they didn't really know what the hell they were talking about when it came to the topic of MMA, and that fight specifically.
It was painful to watch because I realized the dividing factor of fans prior to MMA become more mega mainstream, take UFC’s current year with ESPN, and the postmodern cool kids bandwagon cutting in front of our 18 wheeler of MMA fandom that has cruised across time until the moment where everyone sees what we always knew;
So anyway, forgive my earlier self-indulgence. You see, I’ve listened to these gentlemen a few times. No different than several other sports analysts, and color commentators whose until recently had nothing to mention regarding MMA. It’s beautiful that we can witness the ongoing rise of a great sport. What would be just as great, however, would be the professionals who bleed and eat MMA having they TV time in the sun when all things MMA matter.
Here comes Mr. S.A.S. You may not recognize the initials, but I assure you his post-fight commentary after UFC 246 was insulting to the integrity of the sport and the fighter he was criticizing. He is without a doubt the exact opposite of what type of commentary MMA needs; inexperienced, ill-informed and loudly arrogant.
Why do I think this foretells MMA snobbery?
For each popular talking bobblehead comes and audience with YES MAN infiltrators who will take the words of hypemen as Law. It happens whenever someone unassociated thinks they are making something great, better by loudly dumbing it down.
To be fair, simply spectacle works. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit part of MMA’s professional appeal is simply spectacle, however, it’s still a sport with unique and thorough technicality. Those deeper layers of understanding will be lost if the masses are hearing the shock and awe without experience the Blood, Sweat, training, chess, and technique that goes into every second of a fighters time in the Octagon.
Monitor your conversations accordingly my fellow Fans, as a wave of misunderstanding is upon us.
Show off your knowledge and education your brothers on why we always knew….MMA is Awesome.