Why is It That MMA Has Become So Popular as a Sport?
Mixed Martial Arts, often shortened to MMA, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. However, two decades ago, this certainly was not the case. It was largely ignored by society and the media, most likely because of its violent nature. So, just why has this changed all of a sudden? Why is now a very popular sport? Well, keep reading and all will be revealed.
Regulations Have Changed
When MMA first arrived on the scene, due to its violent nature, it was refused entry to the pay-per-view, which meant that it struggled to improve its viewing numbers. John McCain, a Republican politician, agreed with this decision, and it was believed that this sport had no chance of being exposed to the wider society. In a response to this rejection, the majority of MMA leagues decided that it would be best if they changed a number of their protocols and put in place certain regulations (such as 5-minute rounds) that would make it more appealing to a wider audience. These changes ensured that MMA became more of a sport and not just two people trying to knock each other.
Nowadays, people love to bet on sports and MMA is a really entertaining sport to bet on, and not only in the USA, but also across the world. British gamblers themselves have even discovered a passion for this! This is due to the fact that there are so many different markets that you can bet on for an MMA fight. For example, you can bet on the fighter you think will win the bout, what round the fight will end in, the number of rounds in the fight, whether the fight will go the distance, and the method of victory. When a sport has plenty of different things that a sports betting fan can bet on, you can be certain that it will be a popular one.
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The Popularity of Boxing is Declining
One of the main reasons that is often cited for MMA’s increased popularity is the decline of boxing. Two to three decades ago, boxing was one of the world’s biggest sports. Fights between some of the best boxers in the world would attract millions of viewers from all over the world and rake in hundreds of millions of dollars. Match ups between boxer such as Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson or Vitali Klitschko and Lennox Lewis had boxing fans all over the world purring. However, nowadays there is a huge emphasis on money in this sport, and they have alienated a lot of audience members. Furthermore, there has not been a great heavyweight champion since Lewis, although the likes of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are good fighters in their own right. People have lost interest due to the lack of competition and the emphasis placed on money, meaning that a lot of boxing’s audience have shifted their focus to MMA.
Conor McGregor Has played His Part
They say that no individual is bigger than their sport, but if there is one man out there who has transcended their sport it is Conor McGregor. The loud-mouthed man from Ireland can be given credit for doing more to raise MMA’s profile than anyone else out there. The outspoken McGregor, as well as being a great fighter, knows how to draw in a crowd. His press conferences are a joy to listen to, and his enjoyment from winding up other fighters is something that captivates people.
In fact, he has such a huge profile in the fighting world that he even managed to secure a fight with Floyd Mayweather. Okay, he went on to lose, but he does seem to have his eyes set on conquering the boxing world. All sports need characters like McGregor to keep the fans engaged.
The Invention of Social Media
Thanks to the creation of social media platforms, MMA is now being spoken about all over the world. There are a number of official MMA profiles on the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. A number of the MMA fighters also have their own social media accounts, which means that they can now communicate with their fans a lot easier than they could ever do before. Furthermore, if fans want to know what their favourite fighters have been up to, they can just log onto social media and find out instantly.