Stigma vs. Reality: The average MMA fan.

By | July 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm | One comment | MMA | Tags: , ,

We are vile. We are criminals. We have a disposition of violence. We are malevolent creatures. All of the following things have been attributed to me at one point in the last few years. Now for the record I am a happily married father of 2. My average outfit is a pair of khakis and a polo.I have a drink once a month and have never been in prison. The problem is that the general public doesn’t know that about me;all they choose to see is an MMA fan.

Although Mixed Martial Arts is the fastest growing sport in the world, the general public still sees it as barbaric and illegal,(the fact that the third largest state in our union hasn’t legalized it yet doesn’t help) and we are shunned as lesser humans because of it. We all know that our sport is safer than boxing and the NFL, but I’m not going to beat a dead horse with the facts of it.

I know a lot of you have had the experience I had this weekend. I was talking with a friend when I mentioned that I help run an MMA website. Without hesitation several stereotypes were thrown at me: I supported steroid use, probably had multiple tattoos, and would fight over anything. I wasn’t appalled, it’s not the first time this has happened, but I always get offended and feel the need to defend my sport. The one thing that I said that seemed to strike a chord was this, “In 10 years, when MMA is a top 3 American sport, I want you to remember this conversation.” He paused, as if to permanently put it in his memory, and then we moved on to another topic.

We have all had a conversation that veered in this direction at one point or another, and it’s one reason that we all seem to have such a close bond. We are the new whipping boys for the mainstream sport fan. Let me say this about the majority of the MMA fans I’ve met: They are the most generous, loyal, and good-hearted fans on the planet. There is a mutual respect between the fans and the fighters that doesn’t exist in other sports.

Whether they like it or not, MMA will be mainstream within 5 years. I expect ESPN to be covering the sport not as a side note, but as the lead story. Fighters will be known on a first name basis and regulation hiccups will be a thing of the past. So while you watch Terrel Owens and Kobe Bryant act like selfish brats, I’ll be tuning in to see elite athletes compete at the highest level. And when the final bell sounds, the 2 men will shake hands, show respect to the fans, and restrain themselves from pulling out a sharpie or dancing with the Octagon girls.

 

Photo courtesy of Martin McNeil and ESPN.com

Jason Przewoznik is the owner of KnockoutLounge.com. KnockoutLounge.com was created to provide a haven for up and coming Mixed Martial Artists to share their stories and their careers with the fans; Supporting ALL fighters on the rise in a not-for-profit community.
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One Comment

  1. Chippenham Martial Arts (5 years ago)

    Martial arts Chippenham…

    […]Stigma vs. Reality: The average MMA fan. | KnockOut Lounge[…]…

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