By Zach Arnold | June 1, 2008
If there is one other trend (besides relatively neutral or positive broadsheet media coverage of the EXC show on CBS) to watch for here regarding reaction to last night’s show, it’s that a lot of sports blogs and media outlets that normally would never talk about a UFC event are certainly talking today about MMA. Intriguingly enough, it seems that more casual fans or first-time viewers came away with a somewhat positive take on the show, whereas the more seasoned fight writers and fans are coming away from the event angry.
The one point that I will make about last night’s show that will anger a lot of people… I’m not going to defend the EXC show last night necessarily in terms of good technical fighting or production values or for questionable outcomes. What I will say, however, is that in order for the MMA business to grow, you’re going to have to appeal to a larger audience. Larger sports audiences, whether it is Japan or America, want to be entertained. They aren’t necessarily interested in having a heavy emotional attachment to the business like those of us who cover it full-time do. As one person inside the Japanese MMA business told me during PRIDE’s run on Fuji TV and K-1’s run on TBS, Grandma Tanaka isn’t watching MMA because it’s a good technical sport. She’s watching because there’s a lot of cute guys and because some younger family members are also watching to be entertained and have a good time.
- Deadspin: Stop the fight! Stop the fight! The legend of Kimbo Slice takes 38 consecutive blows to the head
- Luke Thomas: Elite XC has a major problem re: Kimbo Slice
- The Sweet Science: Kimbo Slice fights way out of losing
- AOL Fanhouse: Gus Johnson solidifies reputation by questioning stoppage of Kimbo Slice fight
- On Milwaukee: Gus Johnson calling action for Elite XC is like Matt Vasgersian calling action for the XFL
- The Big Lead: Dana White just called to give me an expletive-filled tirade about what a joke Elite XC is
- Awful Announcing: MMA’s network debut doesn’t disappoint – I thought it was flat-out awesome
- The Scores Report: Kimbo Slice got his ass beat and then he beat some ass
- Eat Skeet: Big Kimbo the people’s champ
- Larry Brown Sports: Gina Carano – the face of female MMA
- Fighters Only Magazine: EXC on CBS – a troubled debut
- Kevin Iole: MMA’s network debut mocks true sport (“while it was mostly C-level talent on display”…)