WWE in MMA: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the sport

Sam Cupitt Roar Rookie

By Sam Cupitt, Sam Cupitt is a Roar Rookie

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    Chael Sonnen attempting WWE in UFC

    Chael Sonnen attempting WWE in UFC : Credit: Esther Lin

    On Wednesday, Karen Touma posted an article here on The Roar that dealt with the Pro Wrestling style promo Chael Sonnen cut following his arm triangle choke submission win over Brian Stann at UFC 136 on Sunday.

    “Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck,” Sonnen proclaimed in his post-fight interview before going on to challenge the middleweight champion to a rematch.

    He didn’t stop there though.

    He then raised the stakes of the rematch to what is known as a “loser leaves town” match. If Silva loses he is to leave the middleweight division, if Sonnen does then he will leave the UFC forever.

    It was this last part that didn’t taste nice in the mouths of many MMA fans and prompted the writing of the article I mentioned earlier.

    The basic rationale behind the dislike is that Pro Wrestling is fake so bringing WWE-theatrics to MMA, as Touma puts it, “hinders the integrity of the sport.”

    As in if you have fighters saying what sound like scripted promos out of the cage, it may translate to the casual viewer thinking what’s going on inside the cage is scripted as well.

    I’ve never understood this line of thinking.

    I can’t say I’m a fan of pro wrestling in the slightest but I have seen a match or two before and for anyone to think that someone could get confused between MMA and the WWE is pretty crazy.

    If you watch either event for any small amount of time you can tell very easily that one is real and one is very fake.

    Mixed Martial Arts fans get very protective over the sport. So much so that they think they have to eliminate anything from the sport that could possibly be nitpicked by the mainstream audience.

    They usually forget however, that firstly, this sport is not for everyone and secondly, the world is filled with crazy and irrational people who like to nitpick at things regardless of if there’s no evidence to support their claims.

    Trying to cater to the latter by doing something like trying to stamp out WWE-style promos in the sport because some ignorant people might blindly start believing MMA is fixed is just pointless and exhausting.

    For better or for worse, promotion is a big part of the sport and if fighters want to borrow some promotional tips from an industry that is centred around promotion in order to boost their notoriety then what’s the harm?

    There was a time when MMA was outlawed for being too brutal and it’s understandable why fans would not want to see that happen again.

    They have to remember though that this is a different sport now.

    This isn’t the mid-nineties where the UFC is battling the label “human cockfighting” and putting on shows in the backwaters of Alabama.

    This is 2011, the UFC is about to debut on US network television.

    It’s time to take off the bubble wrap. The sport can stand on its own two feet.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • October 13th 2011 @ 10:30am
      Weatherman said | October 13th 2011 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Hehe, this is great stuff. Sonnen has got us talking more about him, it’s working 😉

      There’s always so much more interest when two guys do some talking. Not just Tito Ortiz trash-talk, but actually I-don’t-like-you-or-your-mother.

      Go go UFC.

    • October 13th 2011 @ 1:34pm
      Big I said | October 13th 2011 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

      It was pretty unusual, but it’s not uncommon for fighters to call out other fighters after a win. I was surprised they didn’t try to get Silva into the cage with him to promote something.

      Has been some great fights in the last few months, and some awesome ones still to come.

      GSP v Condit
      Overeem v Lesnar
      Velasquez v JDS
      Jones v Machida
      And now hopefully Silva v Sonnen 2!

    • October 13th 2011 @ 1:47pm
      apaway said | October 13th 2011 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

      Most of today’s UFC fans grew up watching the WWE’s attitude era with larger than life characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. “Cutting a promo” was a very important part of the business, and far from being turned off by Sonnen’s post-match antics, I’d venture to say most fans probably ate it up. It certainly doesn’t cast a pall on the legitimacy of what goes on inside the octagon and really, pro wrestling got the idea of promos and hyping big fights from boxing. I have no problem with UFC doing the same – in fact, going back to guys like Ken Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, and more recently, Michael Bisping, UFC fighters have been cutting promos for a while now.

      • October 16th 2011 @ 5:21pm
        Carlyme said | October 16th 2011 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t say most of pro wrestling fans have gone to the UFC. When wrestling was at it’s height, About 15 million people watched pro wrestling every Monday night. The UFC is still underground, UFC only has about 2 million fans. So most WWE fans haven’t went anywhere. And there are more grown ups than kids watching the WWE.

    • October 13th 2011 @ 4:43pm
      Sledgeandhammer said | October 13th 2011 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

      I think you guys are underestimating the commercial realities. While the fights will always be real, I can envisage fighters being under pressure to fight in an entertaining style. We all know everyone loves a slugfest, and I can image a few wrestlers giving up the ground game to put on a show.

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2011 @ 5:33pm
      all7days said | October 13th 2011 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

      Agree
      Like I said in the last article. As long as they still kick and punch each other really hard in the head, I’m happy

      • October 16th 2011 @ 5:23pm
        Carlyme said | October 16th 2011 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

        You must live in the suburbs. If kicking and punching to the head excites you that much, something is wrong.

    • October 15th 2011 @ 2:28am
      Neil said | October 15th 2011 @ 2:28am | ! Report

      Remember Rocky 1 when Apollo Creed comes to the ring dressed like Uncle Sam? How about any Ali fight. In fact, Mohamed Ali said he got his promotional style from Pro wrestling….all of this was 30 to 40 years ago. Sonnen is doing nothing new with regards to fight promotion he is however doing it very well plus he can back up what he’s promoting with incredible fighting skills.

      I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.
      Muhammad Ali

      I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
      Muhammad Ali

      • October 16th 2011 @ 5:25pm
        Carlyme said | October 16th 2011 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

        Good comment. If Muhammad Ali likes wrestling, i don’t see why a angry 15 year old can’t.

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