Originally Posted by Will Cooling
They're are similarities but there is also a crucial difference - pro-wrestling is entertainment when the creativity of the promoter is in many ways the most important aspect of the show. One man controlling all of pro-wrestling is as much a drag as one studio controlling all of movie production - the lack of competition allows the producers to become complacent and write according to their own preferences instead of what different groups of fans want.
MMA is a sport and there's no evidence that there being a monopoly is a bad thing. Indeed the evidence is that rival leagues claiming to be the same thing is actually a bad thing in the longterm because it ups resource and turns the focus of everybody inward. But leaving that to one side the fact that its a sport does mean that Dana White does not have the freedom Vince McMahon has to control the product he has. Whereas McMahon can reject the best pro-wrestlers in the world because their small and don't speak English, White has to put challengers into title matches that are uncharismatic because they've won enough matches to deserve their chance. And because the UFC's brand (and Dana White's ego) relies on being seen as the elite level of the sport they need to sign fighters that look good outside its confines. Its like you said in the 80s and 90s there were pro-wrestling magazines ranking the different wrestlers across the organsiations. Today MSM sports publications are doing the same and it bugs the hell out of White when they reference non-UFC fighters with his reaction being to do his best to sign them up.
I agree with you completely about the fact that MMA is 'real' and pro wreslting is 'fake' (not gonna even get into the arguments about the athleticism of the wreslters, etc.), but don't you feel that UFC has a very distinct WWF feel to it when compared to say boxing (and maybe even other mma organizations)? The in ring interviews with the crowd is a big thing for me, and the call outs for other fighters, and the challenges. The charisma of most of the UFC fighters is leaps and bounds beyond those in boxing (ok, yes, I'm a boxing fan, but I really do enjoy watching UFC), and I wonder how much of an influence Dana White has behind the scenes in choreographing the UFC fighter's character beyond the actual fighting.
Just out of curiosity, has any UFC fighter called out a non-UFC fighter after a fight in the Octagon, or praised a non-UFC fighter in an interview, either in or out of the ring? I'm sure they have, but I wouldn't be surprised if that has never happened, or if it has, dya think White might secretly fine the UFC fighter for promoting another organization?
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that MMA and UFC is a lot like 80's wreslting, whereas other sports not so much. You regularly hear CFL players talking about the NFL and vice versa. Hell, when players don't make NFL, they are welcome to play for CFL, and usually even have a stipulation in their CFL contract that they can leave if they are offered an NFL contract. On NHL broadcasts, you hear mention of all the European Leagues, Soccer MSL they talk about European Football, and the list goes on and on for most professional sports. Even in boxing, you can have a WBA title match, and they will talk about other organizations. David Haye is fighting Wlad. Dya think you's ever see The Strikeforce or whatever champion fighting the UFC champion in a UNIFICATION match?
I think that may very well be the crux of my point. White seems to protect his fighters from other fighter's in other organizations to keep up the illusion (?) that his fighters are the best in the world, much like Vince did in the 80's. Please don't think I'm saying that the two organizations (UFC and WWF) are comparable on an actual fight talent level. Just the marketing and presentation to the media and audience. Does White normally even acknowledge that there are other champions other than his?