MMA in the Mainstream Watch

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?

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