It used to be that the slam pieces thrown together by mainstream media outlets – pieces that took the UFC to task for being a magnet for degenerates or decried the sport as something less than nonsense – were thought-out. Or at least constructed with apparent effort. But alas, such is no longer the case. Take this Forbes article as an example. Titled, “If You Wonder How Close UFC’s ‘Irish Ali’ Is To The Real One, Not Very’, the piece sort of attacks the hype surrounding UFC Fight Night Boston’s star attraction Conor McGregor and the comparisons made between him and boxing legend Mohammed Ali.
As per author Mark Heisler:
Passionate as UFC fans are, they’re not numerous. TV ratings have levelled at less than hoped-for levels in the third year of the Fox deal. Sunday’s card drew 13,828, the most of this season’s three UFC events in the TD Garden where the Celtics, the No. 12 team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, have averaged 17,436 for 22 home games.
Okay buddy, you should definitely compare attendance figures for a fight show that comes around to that venue once every couple years to a huge local sports franchise. But why am I nitpicking this comparison method when the author doesn’t seem to have his facts straight to begin with?
I’m not making judgements about mixed martial arts; on the UFC’s competiton or lack thereof with the other MMA league, WWE; or with boxing.
Heisler further demeans the UFC’s popularity (or seeming lack thereof) by listing the annual rights fees of all the major sports properties, including the NFL and Major League Baseball, and showing that ultimately, the UFC is small potatoes.
Again, why contrast those numbers when those sports are very much unlike the UFC – especially in terms of longevity and fanbase?
There’s nothing like a good slam piece to make us want to fervently defend the athletic endeavor we love.
And this is nothing like a good slam piece.