Back in January I gave my opinions on what we can really use as markers to definitively say that MMA has reached widespread acceptance in American culture in a post titled 11 Signs That Mixed Martial Arts is Mainstream.
We’ve seen a couple of those markers reached in the meantime. We have seen:
- An MMA fighter on the arm of a hollywood actress at the Oscars awards ceremony with Tito Ortiz and his lady-friend Jenna Jameson
- ESPN has begun formally covering mixed martial arts
While no other of the criteria I gave have been met to my knowledge, a couple have come very close.
- I required that an MMA fighter would host Saturday Night Live. We’re still not there yet, but we’re getting close in Chuck Liddel’s appearance on David Letterman Thursday evening.
- While we haven’t seen Sports Illustrated grant Sportsman of the Year to a fighter yet, we have broken the seal with both Sports Illustrated and ESPN featuring cover stories on the sport of MMA.
We’re getting there slowly but surely. Dana White recently was quoted as saying that MMA is nowhere near mainstream (sorry, I don’t know where I saw that to link you to it). What do you think? Have we crossed that threshold?