Mixed martial arts (MMA) is becoming more and more popular thanks to events like the UFC, but according to Ken Marchtaler, Chairman of the World Martial Arts Games Committee, the time will come when it ceases to be such a high-profile sport.
“I believe that UFC style events will continue to be popular for the next few years, but eventually will lose its following.” Marchtaler told the Epoch Times. “When you look at demographics, MMA has a large following of males between the ages of 25 and 35—this group is part of the largest generation since the baby boomers. However, as these males become parents and age, they will naturally become less supportive of violence and the result will be a retreat from activities that contain it.”
UFC and other mixed martial events have been around since the 1990s. Marchtaler said that UFC revolutionized the way people view combat sports, and this in turn helped to increase MMA’s popularity.
“For the first time people saw one fighting discipline matched against another,” Marchtaler explained to the Epoch Times. “A boxer against a wrestler, a Taekwondo champion against a grappler, the rules were limited, allowing for an opportunity for domination and blood and unfortunately, blood sells tickets.”
Even traditional martial arts schools have become more aware of the revolutionary sport, and have started to incorporate it in their curriculum
“They’ve definitely become very popular in the last decade and many martial arts schools are scrambling to add MMA to their curriculums,” Marchtaler said. “Mixed martial arts are found in all complete martial arts systems and when I say that, I mean genuine Shaolin Kung Fu, certain styles of Okinawa Karate, and Kempo.”
As mixed martial arts continues to gain momentum, other combat sports, particularly boxing, remain stagnant. However, many of America’s top amateur boxers still believe that their sport is superior to the UFC.
‘It’s gotten so popular back home where I live and it’s just like everybody, ‘Oh, I’m a cage fighter. I’m a cage fighter.’ And I’m like, ‘If you’re a real fighter, I want to see your butt up at 6 in the morning, putting in road work,” super-heavyweight boxer and three-time national winner Mike Wilson told the Associated Press. “I mean, all these guys train and go to a gym once or twice a month and call themselves cage fighters. Boxing, you’ve got to be in top physical condition, mental condition. There’s just so much more to it. It’s an art. It’s like a fine art. It’s a chess match. It’s a thinking man’s game.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Epoch Times, Miami Herald
(Image Courtesy of Getty Images)