February 26, 2010
Mixed martial arts still has a lot of work to do in breaking that final media barrier. Love them or hate them, the folks at ESPN television are the ones who take this thing to the next level.
MMA Live on ESPN.com is doing a nice job with legitimate coverage of the sport, good insiders and solid fighter insight. Hopefully, someday the show will be given its shot on ESPN2.
In the meantime, it seems like the only things that get the attention of shows like "PTI," "Jim Rome is Burning" and "Sportsnation" are the sensational, freakshow MMA.
Frank Mir's comments about wanting Brock Lesnar to die in the Octagon got pops on both PTI and JRIB. And there's the case of Canseco. What we thought was a throwaway interview with Jose Canseco at the start of the week, was aired back-to-back days on ESPN2's Sportsnation. Cagewriter loves the exposure but it's a wakeup call to all of MMA, there's still an education process ongoing to get the mainstream folks aware of the legitimate things happening in fighting.
UFC president Dana White has exploded several times over the coverage of a potential Canseco versus Herschel Walker fight. This may serve as a wake-up call that heat between fighters (like Mir and Lesnar) and the sensational is what sells as a sport is growing.
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