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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

UFC & The 7th Deadly Sin...

What is the seventh deadly sin?

From Wikipedia:

Pride (Latin, superbia)

In almost every list Pride is considered the original and most serious of The Seven Deadly Sins, and indeed the ultimate source from which the others arise.

It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to give compliments to others though they may be deserving of them, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God).

Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor."

In Jacob Bidermann's medieval miracle play, Cenodoxus, Pride is the deadliest of all the sins and leads directly to the damnation of the famed Doctor of Paris, Cenodoxus.

In perhaps the most famous example, the story of Lucifer, Pride was what caused his Fall from Heaven, and his resultant transformation into Satan. Vanity and Narcissism are prime examples of this Sin.

In the Divine Comedy, the penitent were forced to walk with stone slabs bearing down on their backs in order to induce feelings of humility.

OK, I realize that some readers don't appreciate information that doesn't directly relate to someone getting Knocked The Fuck Out or pictures of a former porn actress with a former MMA star (sorry Tito) or soft porn shots of the current UFC girls; all have their place for sure however, give this a chance and you'll see where this takes you and likely others that may not be fans like you of the UFC and MMA... yet.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has seen monumental growth over the past year or so and it continues to build momentum with the combat sporting fanatics who are wiling to thoughtlessly part with their $40 for every UFC event on pay-per-view.

I say thoughtlessly because the UFC has done more than built a brand to be sold to the sporting viewer masses, they have built a Cult following of hungry fans who consider buying any and all UFC PPV events as "a given".

That is huge! (that's what she said ;)

The sport of Boxing also once had its Cult following when pay-per-view jumped on the scene back in the day when "Iron" Mike Tyson would KTFO any and all opponents in 90 seconds or less and people wouldn't think twice about parting with $50, $60, $75, whatever, just to see mighty Mike snuff out another shaky-kneed opponent with the ferocity of a Lion.

Vince McMahon and the WWF, now the WWE also followed suit with realizing the jackpot at the end of the rainbow however, Vince did it a little differently and a lot more effective than HBO et al. Vince told and sold an ever growing never ending storyline about the wrestlers that reached a fever pitch between good guy vs. bad guy that had to be settled live on pay-per-view.

The Wrestling PPV numbers poured in and Vince had created a sports entertainment empire and cult following for young and old kids alike. Wider market (demographic) than Boxing and also touted (branded) as fun for the whole family.

Hulk Hogan was the catalyst and the tipping point that changed the WWF from a low rate fringe Saturday afternoon sports entertainment wrestling show to a publicly traded company that saw the wrestlers finally get a piece of the cheddar that they deserved for a long, long time.

The UFC (Dana White) knowing the successes of both organizations did something one notch over and above both...

He sold the people PRIDE.

Dana White and his band of merry men which includes Joe 'Rogaine' Rogan have been on a tear ripping into anything that appears to be in direct competition with the UFC machine. Dana White has been giving a few "low blows" to the sport of Boxing for the purpose of stealing the PPV boxing fan away and over to the UFC by branding it as more exciting, more technical, more fun to watch, more pure, more, more, more...

Boxing pundits' common rebuttal is nothing more than the use of the stale moniker about Boxing that has been used since the dawn on man - "It's the sweet science."

Dana calls boxing gloves 'weapons' that are big enough to avoid immediate damage to a fighter instead, prolong the damage over the course of many rounds with each fighter receiving in excess of a few hundred punches to the head in any match that goes the full distance.

In contrast, MMA gloves are smaller, 4Oz. gloves with the primary purpose of protecting the fighters knuckles from cuts... not necessarily damage to the knuckles or the opponent on the receiving end. Dana White considers this to be more humane than Boxing.

Dana's crusade is against the Boxing establishment (not the sport particularly) and indirectly in clever disguise for the recruiting of the paying boxing fanatic was and still is a resounding success but that wasn't enough; he wanted to brand mixed martial arts as "fun for the whole family" and also take a swipe at sports entertainment wrestling to siphon the WWE pay-per-view fans over to the UFC via Spike TV's reality series, The Ultimate Fighter.


Why watch scripted, juiced up "fake" wrestling when you can watch real athletes with real background stories with real fighting all under the close watch of the local State Athletic Commission, the same one that sanctions the sport of Boxing? - guilt and credibility in one package with a shiny red bow.

These new UFC fans, also known as 'TUF Noobs' are the reason for the rise in popularity, current success and also, the future success of the UFC. The Ultimate Fighter series indoctrinates new MMA fans on a weekly basis, builds up anticipation with the pre-PPV hype previews and also does another brilliant thing... broadcast past UFC events through a series called "UFC Unleashed".

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for any new fan to the sport is to learn the sport itself. The second challenge is to recognize and understand the fighters and their styles. UFC Unleashed prepares the new MMA viewer with a history lesson of the UFC and thier fighters, gives them something to study to "sharpen their saw" (shameless Stephen Covey reference) which ultimately prepares them for the battle they purchased on pay per view.

In addition to UFC Unleashed, The Ultimate Fighter series has allowed MMA to be experienced by new fans (and old) for free on Spike TV; a channel who's demographic parallels that of the UFC. This series allows the new fan to watch the up-and-comers to the UFC so they grow together at the same rate and the fan that watched TUF 1 is likely to continue to buy PPV events that showcase their favorite TUF fighter for years to come as well as TUF 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on.

This brainwashing via free Spike TV exposure lends itself to the viewers indoctrination into the UFC's world of MMA and pay-per-view. The UFC is a Cult that has built itself on the platform of Pride to attract sporting fans from a wider demographic range than Boxing and Wrestling and also away from both Pay-per-view competitors into the UFC's collective consciousness that Mixed Martial Arts is the greatest sport of the 21st Century and the UFC is the greatest promoter of MMA in the United States and the rest of the world.

Pride has given rise to the exponential success of the UFC to date. Ironically, the UFC finalized the purchase of rival MMA organization, Pride FC a few days ago. Dana White has been unapologetic about extracting the best fighters from the Pride FC organization over to the UFC.

Taking the best out of Pride FC will ultimately be Pride's imminent demise which may have been the Fertitta brother's (owners of Pride FC and the UFC) plans from the get go. Regardless, Dana's intention is to get the best in the world fighting the best in the world and that is a good thing for UFC and MMA fans alike.

Is there room for a contender to the Juggernaut that is the Ultimate Fighting Championship?

Only time will tell if the UFC's Pride built platform will stand the test of time against the impending Sin of Greed chased down with the contrasting virtue of Humility that could topple the MMA Goliath like it did with the once greatest MMA organization on the planet, Pride FC.

Say goodbye forever to Pride FC and hello to UFC Pride... as if you didn't already know you were in it :)

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