MMA is NOT Pro Wrestling

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Local MMA, Marketing, PR

This post was inspired by a colleague, and is about a month late from when I wanted to write it. The above video is the epitome of pro wrestling.  Loud, brash, over the top personalities on a staged scenario of battle. (Yes, I could have found a more recent clip, but c’mon – admit that is funny.)

Despite what you may think, MMA is not the same as pro wrestling!

Now, I can see why some people get confused.  Some WWE wrestlers have made the transition to MMA.  Some MMA stars are flamboyant and can work the microphones as well as some pro wrestling entertainers.  MMA can take place in the ring or a cage, similar to pro wrestling matches. Yet, there are some very definitive differences:

  • MMA in not staged – these fights are very, very real*
  • MMA fights remain in the ring, not outside of it
  • MMA does not allow weapons (chairs, etc)
  • MMA fighters will likely never reach the 10-16x champion status
  • MMA fighters will not be jumping off the top of the cage to hurt an opponent (For those trying to argue, Pettis was off the wall, not the top of the cage)

This post could easily become a 10-page essay, but I’ll keep it short.  What other differences help you distinguish these two forms?

*Pro wrestlers take real hits, and real chances with their lives, but the outcomes of “fights” are predetermined. If anyone is still confused, there is the chance to watch the differences in real-time in March.

  1. I see a big difference in the target demographics. It used to be that the 80’s and early 90’s WWF/WWE was aimed at a younger audience (think of the height of Hulkamania). It switched in the ATTITUDE ERA of the 90’s and only recently (last few years) has WWE made clear its target demo is now a younger audience again. Though they tap into a broad audience they are clearly focused on youth right now. One of their top draws, John Cena, changed his finisher name from the FU to the Attitude Adjustment to reflect this transition. On the other hand, MMA has the young adult demo of 18-30’s (I think that’s it) and will likely always have this group in mind I believe. Do you see that changing as time marches on?

    However, I do think MMA could prepare their fighters for speaking in front of the camera. I don’t mean Pro Wrestling promos a la Macho Madness insanity rants but let’s face it Koscheck hyped his fight with GSP. I wanted to see him get pounded and I think he ended up lining his pockets a little more by running his mouth (though he paid a dear price with his face). However, Miller who impressively finished Hazelett last UFC can’t seem to get anyone (fanwise) to want to see him fight top tier people because he had ZERO speaking ability. He’s very talented and as a grappling afficinado I want to see him do so but honestly – his speaking skills are hindering this more than anything I think. What are your views on fighters being taught how go present themselves/speak on camera in post fight interviews and post fight conferences? I don’t think it needs to be like WWE promos but clearly some guys need help. Thoughts?

  2. Amanda says:

    So Mickey Rourke wasn’t an MMA fighter in that movie?

  3. Ryan – all great points and exactly why I said this post could be an essay.

    Amanda – Mickey Rourke can do whatever he wants whether it be movies or real life.

  4. Mike says:

    Stuff like this video makes me wish that pro-wrestling was relevant again. There’s not question that modern day wrestlers are better athletes than their predecessors, but the stories and characters are sorely lacking…or maybe I just got old.

    Since the outcome is staged, the stories really have to be compelling and that part of the product is not up to snuff at the present time.

  5. […] closing, let’s not pull a Wrestlemania here.  We all know we wanted to see Mr. T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper when we were […]

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