View Full Version : FOX sports gives positive coverage of UFC

Wounded Ronin
3/09/2006 5:52pm,
Finally, I find a lengthy article linked from the MSNBC post-hotmail-logout screen that actually gives positive coverage of the UFC.


Some highlights:

Yahoo even reported that its second-most requested topic in their search engines the weekend of Feb. 4-5 involved Ultimate Fighting, with "UFC results" among the most popular topics. Only that weekend's Super Bowl XL received more inquiries.

If fight fans needed to go online and search for results of the fight which was not covered by traditional outlets like the Associated Press that would seem to suggest mainstream media are missing the boat on a sport with a big following.

UFC quickly became successful as a pay-per-view attraction in the mid-1990s. But a backlash grew against the nascent sport's Wild West atmosphere, which often produced grizzly visuals. A relative lack of rules led to sideshow-type spectacles, such as a fight between 150-pound martial artist Keith Hackney and 600-pound sumo Emmanuel Yarborough; and another fight in which Hackney repeatedly punched martial artist Joe Son in the groin before Son submitted.

Worse, then-UFC owners Semaphore Entertainment downplayed the inherent skill of the athletes and instead played up the carnival aspect, promising and delivering blood gore.

Bridging the gap was Spike TV's ,The Ultimate Fighter reality show, which is finishing up production of its third season. The show features would-be UFC fighters training in the Nevada desert, guided by UFC stars like Liddell and Couture.

"It was a way to phase on to television without going straight to showing the fights," White said. "Once people started to see what these fighters do how much time they spend in training, what level of skills you need to make it that helped break down the stereotypes about our fighters and helped the people see them as all-around athletes."

The show has helped the public gain an understanding of what the sport has evolved into. Fighters need to be cross-trained in all relevant disciplines; a puncher who can't wrestle will be taken down with ease; a wrestler who isn't versed in submission holds will find himself on the wrong end of a submission lock on the ground; and everyone needs to watch out for someone who can kick.

"When you first see the clips, if it is something you have never seen before, the visuals can be jarring," said welterweight fighter Frank Trigg, a former University of Oklahoma wrestler who has been featured in a UFC main event. "People have always had the idea that boxing is the 'proper' way to fight. So it takes time to understand the differences between what they're used to and all the subtleties of that go into a ground fight."