The Future of MMA

About MMA

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a modern phenomenon. Exploding on the scene with a flurry of feet and fists, people were floored by the intense matches and no-holds-barred method of fighting. These modern day gladiators clash in arenas packed with thousands of screaming fans, all eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of one promise. At the end of a match, one man will have his hand in the air, and the other will be face down on the mat. But how did all of this begin? Who rung the bell on what would become a billion-dollar franchise? Two casino moguls from the deserts of Las Vegas can be credited for throwing the first punch, and giving birth to MMA.

The brainchild of Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, MMA started humbly as the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. While wandering the crowd on Super Bowl eve, Lorenzo took it upon himself to visit the VIP booths and meet the crowds this new sport was drawing. Much to his surprise, famous names and highrollers packed the boxes, all enjoying the spectacle of two men fighting it out in an octagon lined with chain-link fence. The brutality of the match bringing the audience to their feet in cheers of triumphant glee. Each fighter, bruised beyond recognition by fists wrapped in 5-ounce fingerless gloves, had shown the world that boxing was nothing more than flag-football by comparison.

Though initially decried as human cockfighting, the numbers spoke for themselves. Over 10,000 spectators packed the stadium paying $340 a ticket, while another 500,000 paid upwards of $50 to watch from the comfort of their own home. Nine fights, one night, and $25 million in revenue definitively proved that this sport was a real knockout.

Today, the UFC and MMA as a whole have become an unstoppable machine. With billions of dollars in yearly revenue, and over 250 fighters officially employed by the UFC, there is no shortage of combat or combatants. With pay-per-view purchases neighboring the millions annually, and growing exponentially every year, MMA is here to stay.

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Mixed Martial Arts in High School

Harry Dalian MMA

In a small town in Massachusetts, the local high school offers Mixed Martial Arts as a club for it’s students. It all began with a senior at Winchester high school who began campaigning for the program since he was a freshman. In-Goo Kwak has had a passion for MMA since he was a child and wanted to create an outlet for students who weren’t necessarily interested in traditional sports. After much deliberation from the school board, he MMA club at Winchester high school has nearly two dozen participants today.

At a recent class, Kwak arranged for a guest instructor to come in and offer some inspiration as well as world-class MMA skills. Marcelo Siquiera, a martial arts center owner and manager in nearby Somerville, was a national karate campion in Brazil. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and studied at the famous Chute Boxe mixed martial arts academy in Curitiba, Brazil.

“A lot of people think it’s too aggressive or violent,” Says Siquiera. “But after a while, they see different perspective.

He says that the club offers an opportunity for a healthy aggression output for students, in a safe environment designed just for that. Siquiera spoke passionate about the self-discipline and strength involved with being a fighter.

In the early 1990s, mixed martial arts as illegal in nearly every state in the country. Today, things prove to be a little bit different as it is now considered an arena for serious athletes. In order to succeed, a fighter must be smiled in four seaprate combat sports – boxing, kick-boxing, wrestling, and submission grappling – and be able to pull technique from each discipline.

With a main goal of starting the MMA club at his high school, Kwak wanted to offer something to students who were not “the jocks who dominate traditional sports.”
His goal was also to create a Mixed Martial Arts community of clubs to have other clubs to compete with.

Kwok plans to stay involved even after he graduates, as the potential is there for the community he always dreamed of.

MMA History

Anderson Silva

Harry DalianAnderson Silva is one of the more well-known fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA). But currently, the news surrounding his name is not about his success in the ring. Leading up to his main event fight with Nick Diaz on January 31, Silva tested positive for steroid metabolites, and then tested positive again right after the fight.

The Nevada Athletic Commission (NSAC) responded with a temporary suspension of the former UFC middleweight champion pending a full disciplinary hearing this March.

In almost 20 years of fighting, Silva had never previously tested positive for any banned substances. However, within the past year, two of his Black House teammates have tested positive for the same drug, Drostanolone. Silvas teammates, Kevin Casey and Brian Ortega, were fined, suspended, and had their victories overturned and ruled no-contests.

This has led many people to question what exactly happened and if Silva was wrongfully accused of taking steroids. Many UFC fighters, including Jon Jones and Anthony Johnson, are coming to the support of Silva, placing the blame for the failed test on his staff. While other fighters, such as Tito Ortiz and Chris Weidman, have called Anderson Silva’s whole career into question.

UFC President Dana White continues to stand by Anderson Silva and is hopeful for his reinstatement. White recognizes how important Silva has been to UFC throughout its existence and has stated that he will support him regardless of the NSAC decision.

Previously first time offenders have usually only received a nine month suspension. But many are calling for harsher punishments, so the NSAC could potentially impose a harsher punishment on Silva.

Anderson Silva’s defense in this case will certainly need to build a strong argument for why Silva tested positive for these drugs, otherwise a long suspension is very likely. If Silva happens to receive a suspension of 18 months or longer, he could be 41 by the time he gets a chance to fight again. The NSAC decision could potentially decide the end of a career for such a legendary fighter.

MMA and Fighter Sponsorship

As the sport of Mixed Martial Artis progresses, so does the sponsorship organizations and the actual sponsorships that the fighters receive. The UFC octagon is littered with sponsors that would make any other sport quite envious. A few high-profile advertisers are Burger King, Bud Light, and Harley Davidson.

It’s easy for the UFC to sell sponsorship slots int he octagon because it is quite visible throughout the events. Fighters will circle and grapple on the Bud Light advertisement for hours. However, the more difficult feat is for the fighters to obtain the same sponsors that the organization has partnered with. Fighters have limited camera time and some may never even reach televised broadcast.

The UFC has made it even more difficult for some sponsors to advertise with the ZUFFA family. THE UFC is known to charge possible sponsors a $50,000 per year tax. This alone has cost some fighters a sponsorship.

For example, Tim Kennedy is sponsored by Ranger Up clothing brand. When Strikeforce was purchased by ZUFFA, the clothing company had to pay the UFC sponsor tax. The decision was made by the company that the deal was not financially worth the cost.  For brands like Tap Out, Jaco or other companies that have multiple fighters on one card, this is not a tough decision. Smaller brands looking to grow find this decision to be monumental.

It has been apparent that the UFC is doing their best to solely allow sponsors that are considered to be more mainstream. The days when Tito Ortiz has Spanky’s Playhouse adult website on his shorts are long gone. Also, gambling website adverts are gone as well. Gun and ammo advertisers have been nixed as well, and Fox television deal is the likely cause of this UFC decree. Fox wouldn’t allow any questionable advertisements to have airtime during NFL games and they apply the same rules to MMA.

Unaired, preliminary fighters in the UFC can make up to $10,000-15-000, however that amount can double if the fight is aired on the main card. When fights are aired on Spike TV, fighters could earn over $30,000.  Even a non-superstar fighter could earn between $30,000-50,000 on the main card of a pay-per-view. The amount would escalate if they take part in the co-main or main events.

On the other hand, fighters that are on a PPV card can earn well over a six figure pay in the UFC.
Advertisers know the opportunity and possibilities of using MMA fighters to represent and market their products. Only time will tell if fighters will even be considered valuable assets to businesses and other marketing techniques.

Harry Dalian, MMA




DIY Project: “Cork” Board

Harry Dalian

This is an interesting project that anyone can do with all the extra wine corks laying around the house. Collect all your wine corks and make your kitchen, work or desk space less cluttered with a nice display board.

Time: 2.5 hours. You’ll need:

Wine corks.
Picture frames (preferably with a nice frame).
Acrylic paint.
Glue gun with sticks.

1. Gather all your requirements.

2. Paint the picture in the picture frame (or background paper) with black acrylic paint.

3. Let dry, place corks horizontally on the surface and position them so they all fit nicely.

4.Take a few corks out at a time so as to not lose the arrangement of the corks on the board.

5. Glue each one individually on one side and place back in it’s spot not he board.

6. Hang the new cork boards on the wall and start pinning things.

Harry Dalian