There is a creeping sickness in MMA media. As soon as anyone gets a edge of notoriety, or a hint of a following, they start to think they’re version of events is the gospel of MMA, and to be honest I get a little tired of having my Twitter feed filled up with self righteous misanthropists who wilfully choose to ignore practicalities, extenuating circumstances or adopt anything approaching professionalism or reason in favour of courting the acclaim of lowbrow fans, and joining in with such fashionable tropes as ‘its cool to hate the UFC’ and ‘it was better in the PRIDE days.’
I will freely admit that I’ve been guilty myself on more than a few occasions, going off half cocked on booking, drugs and mainstream media bias amongst other things, but I am hereby catching myself and saying NO MORE.
The likes of Ariel Helwani and John Morgan (indeed, almost everyone at MMA Junkie and MMA Fighting) are an example and inspiration to all who seek to report on this sport, combining professionalism, intelligent questioning and a line of moral commentary that never steps over the line from decent to preachy.
I’d like to be more like them. I’d also like to be paid to travel the world watching MMA, have a big house in the country and own a football team. Ho hum, you do what you can.
Sure, I can rant, provide lengthy, detailed arguments against recreational drug use being regarded as acceptable, against TRT, against dubious booking practises, against evident promotional corruption etc. but at the end of the day, what difference does it make?
Is Dana White going to read one of my articles and change a booked title match?
Is Vitor Belfort going to be so moved by my words that he stops taking steroids?
Are any of those fighters who indulge in bigotry or other idiotic stuff going to change?
Are the BBC going to start giving MMA a fair crack of the whip just because one wee Scots lad with a WordPress account got mouthy?
Of course not.
I write about MMA, because I love the sport. It excites me, interests me and entertains me on a number of levels and I would like to play my tiny little part in helping the sport grow.
So why bother venting so much anger and frustration, exposing and widening flaws and divisions in the sport? It’s bad for my blood pressure and doesn’t do any good.
So from here on in, there will be no more lengthy editorials of vituperative wrath, no more trashing of this fighter or that promotion.
We shall promote all the positive aspects of MMA, and if terrible booking happens, we’ll mention it but not labour the point, we’ll report drug test failures, dubious officiating calls etc. in a matter of fact fashion and if a fighter outs themselves as a massive bigot, you’ll only hear about from us by seeing how little we talk about them.
I’m not in the business of praising trash just because they’re good at sports and some knuckle draggers agree with them.
Martial arts is a positive lifestyle choice, good for your mental and physical health, and I want to talk about that. Nothing else.
Well, poking a little sarcastic fun at the idiosyncrasies of the culture will continue. Always.