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2010, Have the Golden Years arrived?

VHS box art for the first Ultimate Fighting Ch...

Amidst the complaints, boo birds, and increasing number of fans finding reasons to complain, right now is the best time in history to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts.

It’s amazing looking back a few short years to a time when watching the sport was much more difficult. If you were rabid follower of mixed martial arts ( then commonly referred to as no holds barred fighting) your viewing options were extremely limited, you could travel to your local video store in hopes that the latest tape was available ( of which the store would carry one copy  often 6 month old events), you could search online click the link and begin the tireless operation of downloading a grainy MPEG with your 56K modem and wait 24 hours to watch 3:12 of action, or you could search the back of magazines and order a VHS copy of the latest event many times lacking English commentary, or the ever popular tape trading forums where you too could purchase home video of fights from basements in some foreign country.

Oh how times have changed, I can vividly remember last November was speaking with FiveOuncesofPain.com’s managing editor Cory Brady, the conversation consisted of my amazement that we were moving into uncharted territory. At the time there was an unheard-of nine major events being held in a three-week period.

For both of us a schedule of events like this was unheard-of, as a fan of mixed martial arts in 2010 it is becoming more and more commonplace. For the first time in my many years of watching the sport, the last 10 days of May prove to be the time where I simply could not watch every live event available to me. In retrospect it’s a good problem to have. With TiVo and advances on the Internet fans have the ability to watch the sport, ALL of the sport, virtually anything they want. I look back at the end of May shows us exactly how far we’ve come,

May 19 – The Ultimate Fighter-Spike

May 20 – Bellator XIX – FSN

May 21- Moosin- PPV

May 21- STRIKEFORCE Challengers

May 21- K-1 World GP 2010 in Bucharest

May 22- Jungle Fights – ESPN Deportes

May 26- The Ultimate Fighter-Spike

May 27- Bellator XX- FSN

May 28- M-1 Selection Eastern Europe Semi-Final – Online

May 29- DREAM.14 - HDNet

May 29- M-1 Selection Western Europe Sem-Final- Online

May 29- UFC 114 prelims- Spike

May 29- UFC 114 Rampage vs. Evans- PPV

The list above only includes programming would fights that have never been seen before. It makes no mention of the UFC countdown show, ESPN weigh-in show, Bellator Sunday Fights, ESPN’s MMA Live, WEC on Versus, ESPN Post UFC 114 coverage, Inside MMA,  HDNet fights, Fighting Words,  and any local MMA programming your carrier may provide.  Did I mention that the UFC had a fan Expo that drew 125,000 people the final weekend of May?

While I realize that many fans prefer one organization or another, for those fans who enjoy all things MMA, schedules like the one posted above are slowly becoming the rule rather than the exception. It is a testament to the rabid fan following that we are now showered with any number of choices on any given day. And while many people seemed to find themselves unsatisfied for whatever reason with  Rampage vs. Evans , I’m happy that the sport has progressed to a point where people have the access to watch these events, in real time.   I may not agree with some people’s opinions when the prefer to express their unhappiness with certain events, or specific fights in general, I am very thankful that people care enough to watch the event, and have an opinion.

The little sub culture that is MMA fandom is slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past, as mixed martial arts as a whole begins to set a foothold in the mainstream.

As fans of bat, ball, and puck sports will attest, mainstream sports culture is one of discontent, if championships are not won people want changes, fans boo what they don’t like, and cheer what they enjoy and in that respect MMA has become more mainstream that many would like to admit.  I’ve witnessed Superbowl champion NFL teams find themselves the subject of angry fans who are not satisfied with victory alone.   Much like their mainstream counter parts method of victory is becoming important to the vocal minority on a week to week basis.  Is it right or wrong?   The truth is that it doesn’t really matter, people are talking about the sport, the sport is growing, and our athletes are now being treated much like their peers in other sports.

MMA is becoming a major player, and as I fan I’m enjoying just about every minute of it.  It’s a great time to be a fan of mixed martial arts.

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19 COMMENTS
  • Rece Rock says:

    Nice Article… kind of states the obvious- but never the less pretty well written and some good thoughts.

    I can agree with the sentiment that MMA is in it’s golden years from a fans view, cause we are seeing an influx of great talent and as the author mentions an abundance of cards available…
    I can also disagree from a business standpoint that MMA is not in it’s Golden Years yet cause I don’t think we are seeing MMA at it’s revenue/ branding peak yet… I think in the next 2 years we will see more growth and expansion and could then be considered the golden years of the business side of things.

    As a whole the author hit it on the head when he said- “It’s a great time to be a fan of mixed martial arts.”

    Well-Done. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    awesome title, especially since Blanche Deverauex died today.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    word.

    and!!!! It’s Bellator Thursday!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    awesome title, especially since Blanche Deverauex died today.  (Quote)

    LOL. You’re right. She was the last living GMILF.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    A little off topic here, but anyone know where I can watch Bellator tonight and possibly last night’s TUF? I moved to Omaha to take a class and all I have is my laptop and my phone.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  • nothing_shank says:

    Dufresne, bellator is kind of taking a week off. This week is strictly a highlight show from season 2. They’re giving the fighters a week off to get ready for the finals. Otherwise, not every matchup would have their full month off to heal and prep for their fight. No unfair advantages for anyone. I believe ryan thomas is the only 1 from this season to fight 2x in less than a month, and that was only because he filled in for jim wallhead.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • mu_shin says:

    Yes, I think the golden years have arrived, and I see things continuing to get better.

    With high caliber athletes like Brock Lesnar (love him or hate him, you can’t deny his physical gifts) George St. Pierre and Jose Aldo redefining the possibilities in this sport, and the evolution we are witnessing in the synthesis of hardcore wrestling, high level boxing technique, traditional martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jutsu, MMA has achieved new levels of maturity. Now we’re going to see generations of fighters who have grown up with this new paradigm, and they will take it even further, even higher, adding to the training techniques guys like Greg Jackson have developed, and producing a true Golden Age of mixed martial arts.

    Personally, I’m waiting for the day that some kid comes out of Korea with with an arsenal of no-nonsense combat oriented kick technique from a lifetime of TaeKwon Do training, who has also trained BJJ and wrestling, with some Thai boxing thrown in, and whatever weight class he’s in, he’s going to be unstoppable… And let’s not forget there are 1.3 billion Chinese people who share the deepest history in martial arts on the planet, who are going to be exposed to MMA in the coming years as well. Good things to come…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • elkymbo says:

    I’m gonna have to learn how to watch all of this stuff via the net as in Australia we only get what is shown on PPV and the occasional show on fox sports. Oh yeah we get TUF on fuel tv as well. Any suggestions for good sites to get Bellator, Dream and Strikeforce on….aside from youtube? I know there’s a lot of weekly stuff on as well but we simply don’t see this stuff on pay or normal tv. Please help me MMA faithful.
    You’d be bloody champions….cheers.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    if you feel like buying a subscription to Rapidshare and Megaupload i can show you where to get all the MMA you can ever need. Other than live UFC shows i download every show i watch, regardless of language

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Is it the Golden Years not quite yet. That’s the beauty of it. When a fight gets the lead on Sportscenter that’s when in my mind this sport has arrived

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    Elk: They’re not going to let the post show where I told you how to get the fights, but if you just google streaming MMA fights there will be a bunch of sites that come up.

    Try this search term in Google: mmalinker
    Try this one as well: mmabloodbath

    Good luck. You’ll find them. Always be sure your virus software is up to date, FYI.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    I have been watching MMA ever since the first UFC and have backtracked past events such as Vale Tudo in Brazil and of course PRIDE and Pancrase shows-I still believe that the most exciting time in MMA was the first 5 or 6 UFC events

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • mu_shin says:

    GM- I know it’s like all the people who say they were at Woodstock, but I still have the VCR tapes my taekwondo buddies and I traded around when we watched the first seven or so events together as a group, and decided we needed to get into submission grappling. We got a couple different teachers to give us seminars, and then started training with a former marine who specialized in “sentry neutralization”, who ran a school in Hollywood, and counted Mossad and other special forces types among his students. Great stuff, and we saw the beginning of what is now MMA from the inside.

    I agree those were great days, but unless there are underground events, most likely in other countries, we will never see fighting like that again. MMA knowledge is out there, and I don’t think it can be unlearned. When Fred Ettish took eighty stitches to the face, it was a different world, and I don’t see us as being able to go back there. I enjoyed that sport, and now I enjoy this new hybrid that we call MMA…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • elkymbo says:

    Thanks for the help gents. Right onto it :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • LiverPunch says:

    It will be the golden years when Fedor can fight Lesnar and not have to sign an exclusive contract to do so. How can we say this is the best time in MMA when a great deal of the worlds best can’t fight each other?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    The best is yet to come.
    One great thing about MMA these days,is it compels Dave Andrest to write.
    Yah,I said it!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    LOL. You’re right. She was the last living GMILF.  (Quote)

    I agree.
    Always wanted to DO the RUE.

    awesome title, especially since Blanche Deverauex died today.  (Quote)

    I agree.
    Always wanted to

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    I’ll try again.
    Always wanted to DO THE RUE.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Guthookd says:

    ^ LOL

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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