View Full Version : The sport of MMA; 'recession' imminent? enjoy while it lasts.

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12/02/2003 11:52am,
As much as I love the sport MMA, I have a feeling it will decline into obscurity. Which would be a very sad thing. Upon reading 'the Gracie Way' it is mentioned by Carlos that back in his days (60's?) Vale Tudo competition(that is, MMA) was in it's heyday in Brazil. Back then it was covered by the newspapers, comics were drawn up on the Gracies etc.

Today, it is the same in Japan, the boom capital of MMA. Parallels can be seen in how Yoshida is seen in Japanese newspapers, and how even Ken Shamrock and Rickson Gracie have been made into comic book characters. It is indeed the glory age of MMA. But can it last?

In business, this is just like the internet boom. Soon, Japan will lose interest in MMA. DSE are already showing signs of strain, apparently they are feeling the pressure from Inoki's new show. It is becoming a crowded marketplace with demand for it already at it's peak and dropping.

What I am counting on is a WWF/WWE type of resurgence. The WWF was huge in the 80's, then in the early 90's did so badly that some shows looked like a kid's gameshow. It was indeed a very sad thing, then suddenly, it became the phenomenon it is today. For MMA to proliferate, esp in the USA, they need a TV show like 'RAW iS WAR'. If not weekly, then monthly, if possible.

-edited to remove silly 'ninja' overtones-

12/02/2003 12:09pm,
It won't totally go away. Yes, you're right that the novelty that first made it popular will eventually wear off. However, it can remain and prosper at any given time if the marketing can be made to suit the wants of the target audience.

12/02/2003 12:13pm,
I fear it will go down the way ninjutsu has.

With all the nonsensical movies MMA guys are releasing now, like 'scarecrow gone wild' starring Ken Shamrock, 'Brazilian brawl' starring the machado brothers...

it is just like in the 80s with American ninja, ninja turtles, ninja kids etc. It ruined the whole thing.

And the last I heard, Van Damme is now using MMA moves in his movies. It is a free world, but this can only be a bad thing for a sport struggling to survive in the USA. What someone needs to do is to come up with a 'rocky' equivalent of MMA. 'The smashing machine' is the closest thing yet.

12/02/2003 12:48pm,
What is a "MMA move"?

You're comparing Apples to Dogshit.

MMA is a sport in which martial artists compete under relatively limited rules to test their skills as realistically as possible while maintaining a respectable ammount of safety for the fighters involved.

The Ninja craze was a fad spawned by unrealistic representation of the martial arts as imparting superhuman abilities to the practicioner. It fed upon the desires of a generation reared on superhero myths, and eventually became a laughingstock as the children of that decade (the 80s) grew up and were embarassed at having taken people like Ashida Kim and Frank Dux seriously.

12/02/2003 1:06pm,
Great analogy Phrost.
Also, the WWE is in a huge down surge as well in the last 3 years or so.

12/02/2003 1:42pm,
I formally started martial arts in 1971 and have observed the following. First there was the Bruce Lee phase, then the Kung-fu phase, then the ninja phase, then the Muay Thai phase, then the commando phase and now the MMA phase etc, etc. The MMA phase to will pass, but like all the others will not disappear. There probably will be a Bullshido equivalent type forum where all the practioners of the next phase will all denigrate the previous systems including MMA's. It is just the nature of the way things are.

12/02/2003 2:04pm,
I think I see what you're saying about fads in MA, and you're probably right about the masses training for 'MMA' or in 'MMA styles' (which is a misnomer). But the sport is established, at least solidly in Japan and Brazil, if not the US.

So as a sport, like boxing, everyone's not going to train in it. As the latest, greatest thing in MA, who knows? People are sheep.

12/02/2003 2:26pm,
yes, everything in the world is cyclical.

rgd to MMA being 'established', I feel there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the USA. In Japan it has become as popular as it could get, I remember reading that it was the 3rd largest sport there behind baseball and sumo wrestling. And now with the likes of Akebono going into K-1(while not MMA, has close ties to it) things will hopefully get even better!

I think Zuffa has done a tremendous job with MMA, namely, the UFC in the USA. The big problem here in the States is that they really have to strike a balance; too much gore and it becomes a political target again, too little and they might lose fans. While that is no problem for ppl like me who appreciate the athletic ability shown in these events, MMA is like boxing in the sense that most fans don't know what's really going on, they just want to see good action. And there's nothing wrong with that.

In a way, perhaps the 'recession' of the UFC has already happened. It does'nt seem so long ago that I, like many others, had to follow the sport through the internet and mail order videotapes. UFC 13 etcetc, great fights that never saw the light of day on cable. Could ZUFFA be bringing MMA into the golden age in the USA?

12/02/2003 5:38pm,
You think WWF is in its heyday right now? I dont think I know anyone who watches that crap anymore. Everyone got bored with all the soap opera bullshit and stopped watching. They took all the substance out and left the hype, which eventually wore off.

MMA keeps the substance, and thats why it will last. Look at boxing or any other sport. MMA is longer a gimmick like it was; ppl are becoming fans for the right reasons instead of just to see blood.

The fan base its developing now isn't as big as when it came out, but its more stable and wont get sucked in by the next "big thing."

12/02/2003 5:45pm,
In business, this is just like the internet boom. Soon, Japan will lose interest in MMA. DSE are already showing signs of strain, apparently they are feeling the pressure from Inoki's new show. It is becoming a crowded marketplace with demand for it already at it's peak and dropping.

This makes no sense.
They are at their peak but dropping at the same time ?
Pick one.

* * *

And your argument is irrelevant because we currently ARE in the downtime and recession of MMA (in the Western world).

UFC draws a small fraction of what it did in the early/mid 90s in both live crowd and PPV.

We don't have to worry about the sport fading into obscurity because it ALREADY HAS FADED INTO OBSCURITY.

The only place it has boomed is on the internet. And for all the people that 'love the sport' I'm constantly suprised by the lack of people that either attend or order the PPVs.

At the moment we are in obscurity and trying to claw our way back to the mainstream.

12/02/2003 5:45pm,
It's not really a worry, especially in the UK; we don't have any MMA on TV, so there isn't a massive fan base. This means that most of the people into MMA, are MMAers, Hhnce it won't die. Besides, what if it's popularity with the public did die? It's not like people would stop training in MMA, or the fighters would stop fighting.

12/02/2003 5:52pm,
good posts all.


I concur with what you said in my other post on this thread. But rgd to my statement on Pride Japan 'at peak and dropping' what I meant was... I wonder if it can grow any bigger. There were some rumors around the UG that DSE was having some financial trouble. And I think it was Chris Brennan (or some other fighter, correct me if I'm wrong) who posted that the majority of ppl don't realise that PRide may actually be going through a tough time in the near future.


does'nt setanta (sp) do the pay per views for UFC in the UK now?

12/02/2003 6:08pm,
Frankdooks, are you talking spectator or participatory sport in Japan in regards to your statistic?

12/02/2003 6:10pm,
Its public knowledge PRIDE have had some financial knowledge.
Their owner committed suicide a while ago.

Its more because of the ludicrous amounts they pay fighters.
I'm all for fighters making good money but some of the rumored amounts are out there.

12/02/2003 6:15pm,

I was talking spectator-wise. They have such great legendary 'hero status' figures in Japan, it is hard not to. e.g. Saku, Takada back in the day, and currently, Yoshida. If only the same could be said of Hughes, Couture, Sylvia.... maybe one day

Mr. Mantis
12/02/2003 6:29pm,
Phrost, I have taken a sig., if you have any objection, please let me know. Thank you.

And I predict the next fad phase to be: The samuari phase. Thank you.