Mark Gilbert ATN founder and CEO is the person who first got me interested in the world of mixed martial arts. This happened during our college days back in the 90s and it is fair to say that back then this was a brutal sport, and rightly called brutal and savage by many critics. Over the years however the sport has cleaned up its act and the biggest business within MMA is without question the UFC. Mark and I had no idea what this sport would become but I do feel very happy that Mark had the foresight to realize just what a great sport it was. The UFC are absolutely massive right now and they have taken the sport to new levels, and this is why.
One reason why any have grown bored and tired of boxing is because fighters just don’t fight with the frequency that they used to. The reason behind this is because they know the damage that a loss can do to their status, and so after a victory they will happily not fight for at least another year. This just doesn’t happen in the UFC and such are the incentives which the organize give to their fighters, these professionals make sure that they are in the octagon at least twice a year.
To go back to boxing again we have seen too many times the big names ducking each other rather than giving the public what they want to see. In the UFC the matchups are not made by the fighter’s manager or by an agency, they are made by the UFC. What makes they organization so special is that they constantly have important fights between two greats, and that happens because they know what the public want and so they give it to them.
Students of the Game
Very early on the UFC made a masterstroke by creating the series ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Not only did this become a massive smash as a show on its own, it also meant that the UFC were able to pick from the cream of the crop when it came to younger fighters around the world. This helped the UFC to grow in stature as well as helping them secure some of the most promising fighters, before their rivals could get there.
With incentives like ‘knock out of the night’ the UFC have set the precedent that this is an organization where fighters actually try to beat their opponent within the time constraints of the fight itself. In boxing we see so many fighters who look to be defensive and win on points, which whilst impressive is pretty boring for the average fan. Fans of these combat sports want blood, they want to see two fighters trying their best to knock the other out and that is what UFC have been able to deliver time and time again.