Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Quest for Legitimacy, Part II


There is no question that Mixed Martial Arts is extremely well-represented online, with countless exceptional blogs and sites devoted to the sport. In print, however, it's a bit of a different story.

While there are certainly a number of publications out there dedicated to the sport, it's my opinion that we're lacking a signature imprint to further bridge the gap from small-time sport with a fanatical following to full-blown mainstream monster.

Of course, the fact that print publications are beginning to go the way of the dinosaur and even storied mags like Rolling Stone are changing format to better suit today's market doesn't really aid in the matter, but that shouldn't prevent our sport from being represented at the highest level imaginable in print.

In North America, Fight! Magazine is recognized as the best Mixed Martial Arts publication going, especially with Ultimate Grappling undergoing their recent transition to Ultimate MMA and many of the smaller titles are simply pages of advertising stapled together with the odd interview or story tossed in for good measure.

My problem - one that I have expressed in writing to Fight! Editor-in-Chief Donovan Craig - is that while Fight! certainly offers the best all-around coverage of any publication out there, having a magazine littered with errors doesn't do the sport any justice.

If you're the best-selling MMA magazine on the planet, shouldn't you spell fighters names correctly, use the proper there/their/they're and ensure that all articles utilize proper grammar and run with the right photos?

Hell, I even offered to work for Fight! in this regard and ended up having my first and only proof go unused because I made a couple comments on the quality of the work I was given on my blog, a site that receives a whopping 47 page views a day from friends and family who have zero interest in Mixed Martial Arts.

Personal situations aside, am I incorrect here? Can you expect this sport that we love so much to be accepted by the masses when the people who earn a living covering it refuse to take the proper care and ensure all their information is correct? Sure mistakes happen, here and there, but one previous article had the names of four prominent fighters incorrect.

You can see the impact that one television show has had on the industry in North America, as The Ultimate Fighter took the sport from the backyard to the boardroom so to speak and having high quality publications can do the same.

With as many outstanding websites and blogs as we have, why do we still have some decidedly sub-standard publications?

Until only the absolute best is being presented time in and time out, we'll continue to remain unaccepted and misunderstood.

Note: As we go, anything that comes up in the world of MMA that challenges the sport's acceptance into mainstream culture will be discussed here under the same Quest for Legitimacy banner. We're not done at two...

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