Fox News Conference Puts UFC in It’s Place

The UFC on Fox official launch press conference served as a reminder for fans of the UFC’s place in the world of sports, how far it’s come and how far is has to go.

One thing the UFC’s accomplished in recent years is a stellar production value to it’s events, easily equaling the output of the major broadcast networks and any of the pay cable networks. Their graphics department does a great job. Everything, from the camera angles, commentators, sound quality (no small feat, considering the noise an event can generate!) have all been top-notch. And they’ve given fans the impression that the UFC is on the same level as, say, the NFL or NBA. Not so, as this press conference demonstrated.

The “traditional media” appeared just as cranky and ill-informed as their stereotype suggests, and this didn’t escape comment by many MMA blogs and sites. However, they do represent quite a lot of American’s views on the sport, which also haven’t been updated since it’s violent and “no holds barred” beginnings. In many places, MMA is viewed as nothing more than human cockfighting, as a violent, brutal contest that adds nothing to society. Where fans see gladiators battling it out in what is often referred to as a “physical chess match” these people see “gladiators” beating on each other for no purpose other than to entertain in a modern version of one of mankind’s basest pursuits.

So having them there, asking their out-of-date, clunky questions was a chance to make some real progress into the mainstream consciousness. Even though they may have been “grumpy” or “ignorant” as some sites characterized them, it was a really good thing and a sign of Fox’s commitment to really “break” the UFC into American homes.

It’s easy for us, being fans, to see the UFC, and MMA generally, as much bigger than the sport really is in America. This press conference and the future of the UFC on Fox should serve as a reminder of the UFC (and MMA’s) place in the world, and how it will grow with the help of a big push from Fox.