— There is little doubt that the UFC (and MMA in general) has crossed the chasm in terms of popularity and has garnered a fan base and following that sports organizations like the NHL are envious of. A recent MMA event at the Los Angeles Coliseum drew 54,000 fans. An IFL event in Everett, Washington took place in front of a sold out crowd of nearly 7,000 spectators. Ultimate Fighters like Chuck Liddell are being asked to make appearances on David Letterman, for example, and at any given event, nearly 40% of the fan base is female. The UFC is even being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, and is talked about regularly on ESPN.
This popularity is fueled by a very diverse fan base. As many plumbers and electricians watch The Ultimate Fighter Reality TV series as do professional wrestlers and Muay Thai specialists. The sport clearly transcends race, gender, profession and age and appeals to a wide array of fans eager to watch two warriors battle it out in the octagon.
Given this, why does it seem that all current UFC announcers are either ex-fighters or merely self-proclaimed MMA experts? Isn't it time for the UFC to make some investments in commentators and reporters that appeal more to the everyday fan rather than the MMA practitioner? Goldberg and Rogan are fine at their craft, but when the UFC flips over to Frank Mir or Randy Couture (god bless them) for octagon-side analysis, they couldn't be moving farther away from appealing to the fan base that made the UFC what it is today. I am not saying that we should ignore insightful commentary on technique; this is important and interesting while watching a fight. But let's consider adding a more human element to the mix. Marv Albert never played basketball and Vin Scully never played baseball. For the UFC, it's time to usher in a new age of professional commentating. The sport deserves it.
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/with_the_ufc_going_mainstream-7095.aspx