May 18, 2009
On Friday's episode of "Dr. Phil," Forrest Griffin, Dana White and Kenny Florian appeared to warn kids about the dangers of street fighting. Some teenagers thought that the best way to become MMA stars was to beat the crap out of each other in unregulated street bouts. White was very clear in telling the teenagers that it was no way to start an MMA career, saying, "We do not condone street fighting."
That's all well and good, but both Dr. Phil and the UFC representatives completely missed the boat. White said, "This is not the path to being an MMA star," so why didn't they tell the kids about the correct path to an MMA career? Plenty of teenagers are part of MMA gyms, dojos and wrestling teams. That's who will be the next generation of MMA stars. Why not point the kids toward a gym, dojo or wrestling room?
For that matter, White, Florian and Griffin are powerful names in the world of MMA. You're telling me that these three guys couldn't rustle up one-year gym memberships for these teenagers? It would have been an excellent opportunity for White to hawk the UFC Gyms he's so excited about. Let them go to a gym, train like the pros and see if they truly want to be fighters.
Maybe this is Dr. Phil's fault. He's a fan of wagging fingers in people's faces without giving them better solutions. However, I highly doubt that kids will stop fighting without being giving a better option. If the UFC's aim was to look good and responsible on television, mission accomplished. If the overall goal was to change the behavior of these kids, both the UFC and Dr. Phil likely missed the mark.
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