The Golden Age of MMA (2000-2010), the Present, and the Future

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Kick Strickland, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    The foreseeable future of the UFC/Unified Rules MMA is bleak in North America. The UFC is stripping itself of all it's flavor and individuality. They seem to have adopted a military mindset: Make everybody the same. That's a mistake.

    What made mma so great in the golden age was that fighters were like video game characters. Everybody had a unique look, unique back story, unique personalities, and unique fighting styles. Now? Most UFC guys fight the same way (which is a product of both the evolution of the sport, plus the fighters adapting to exploit the damn Unified Rules and the cage), most fighters look similar (lots and lots of tats, shaved heads), and with this Reebok deal, gone are the days of fighters having their own shorts that are part of their image:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    ^ you know exactly who wore those. Most of us do. Making everybody wear basically the same shit is like telling Rocky he can't wear his American flag shorts. It's just wrong.








    Zuffa seems to think that people watch fights, just to watch fights. Seeing a mixed martial arts fight on tv back in 2005, WAS the shit! Most of us didn't care who was fighting. We just wanted to see some martial arts fights. Times have changed, boys. Now there are fights on every other day, between "fighter A!" and "fighter B!" and nobody cares anymore.

    Dana, Lorenzo...listen good. I'm about to tell you what movie/tv show producers have known for decades. CHARACTERS are what keep people invested!!!!

    You ever watch LOST? Ok, weird shit happens on an island. Cool. But you cannot sustain fan interest in that alone, if you have a metric fuck-ton of characters that we don't know well, we don't give a shit about, and very shortly they are killed off. You would say "well what was the point in THAT?" The LOST crew knew this, so immediately they made sure fans got to know Jack, Locke, Hurley,etc. You get to know their back stories. You get to know their personalities, their strengths, their weaknesses, their motivations. You begin to care what happens to them. You become invested.

    That applies to any show/movie/entertainment product. It's really fucking simple, you goofs! :D Pride knew this, which is why most of us can still name half the Pride roster off the top of our heads, even the obscure guys. And Zuffa USED to know this. But they've gotten away from it.



    [​IMG]



    And before you start in on me about recent ppv numbers being "the best ever!" hang on a sec. Yeah I know the recent ppv numbers, but those figures can be manipulated. A company can buy ppv's on it's own to falsely inflate the sense of value of a product. They can also quietly purchase seats in the arena, to inflate the gate figures. Why would they do that? To raise the market/sale value of a product. ARE they doing that? Don't know, but I have a hunch.

    The REAL gauge of fan interest is to ask ANYBODY you know in real life if they know who Connor Mcgregor is, or if they still follow the UFC at all. Most people you know will NOT...I would put money on that. Another indicator: if you were on this forum around 2005-2010 you will notice the number of members here...the hardcore die-hard mma fans....has dropped considerably. The reality is, interest in mma is down, people. I believe we are in a new Dark Age. And that's odd, considering mma is shown now more than ever before. Yet most people you will come across in daily life simply don't give a shit about mma anymore, or have any idea who the fighters are.
















    But there is hope on the horizon.





    Play this song as you read this next part of the post

    [YT]1BeRpAORAps[/YT]




    I've always held the opinion that the 2000-2010 era of mma was the golden age, the high water mark, and that mma will NEVER be like that again. I always figured with the Unified Rules, the things that made Pride so different from western mma....the one-night tournaments, open weight tournaments, soccer kicks/stomps, freak show fights, crossover fights, the lax drug testing, etc....went the way of the dinosaur and could never legally happen again. Not with the sanctioning of mma.




    To me, what made the "golden age" of mma so golden, was having 2 completely different flavors of mma to satisfy us. The UFC is chocolate ice cream. I love chocolate ice cream. We all do. But dammit man I don't want to eat chocolate ice cream every week. Sometimes I want some vanilla. Pride is vanilla ice cream. It's delicious. It's refreshing. I like to switch it up every few weeks. And mixing chocolate and vanilla together? That's the best.








    Scott Coker taking the reigns at Bellator got me excited about mma's future for the first time in years. But Bellator is still under the unified rules and even if they rise to say, Strikeforce level, and can marginally compete with the UFC, that would be terrific but it still will NOT be anything even remotely close to what the epic UFC vs PRIDE wars were back in the mid-2000's.

    Awhile back I read that Sakakibara is getting back into the mma game also, and was planning a show for new years this year. No clue what the latest news is on that, or if it's happening at all, but that also gave me a twinge of excitement about the future of mma. Sakakibara and Coker have worked together before, are friends, and would absolutely co-promote and both have stated they are more than willing to do crossover fights between their 2 promotions. THAT is the only thing that is going to be able to dethrone the UFC....a coalition between Sakakibara, Coker and anyone else they would be willing to work with.

    So why can't Sakakibara, or anyone else, create another PRIDE in Japan, in this day and age? It wouldn't be Pride, it would be something new. But why couldn't they follow the Pride blueprint? -minus the yakuza element of course.

    Japanese orgs won't have to follow the Unified Rules, so couldn't they use the exact same rules Pride used? And the epic Pride presentation. Why couldn't they hire the exact same people/firms that handled those things for Pride? Get some tyko drummers, giant screens, blue lights, screaming Pride lady (I miss her), get back quadros/bas/mauro/once in awhile throw in Frank Shamrock, Pat Miletich, Randy Couture, etc. to commentate.

    [​IMG]









    So what's preventing this from happening in the future? What are the hurdles?



    - 1. I figure Japanese interest in mma has dwindled, much like western interest in mma is dwindling So the promoter would have to find a way to rekindle the interest, at least somewhat.

    - 2. Japanese steer clear of anything have the stink of yakuza scandal attached to it. That image could be shed over time with strong and clever marketing strategies, I'm guessing.

    - 3. No tv deal in Japan. Well surely there is a way to get another tv deal over there. And if not, why not explore other mediums? ppv, internet, get movie theaters to show fights, something!

    - 4. Financing. I know very little about how that works. But I know smart businessmen can find ways to get backing. It might take several years, but I imagine it's doable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  2. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Oh I am a happy camper now, folks!

    Haven't been THIS excited about mma in years! :D
     
  3. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    me too man
     
  4. yuba84

    yuba84 Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,738
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    South Ogden, Utah
    It's not doing bad. Yes the individuality sucks, but I think more casual people know who Ronda Rousey is even more than Chuck Liddell.
     
  5. King of Fists

    King of Fists Mobile Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    8,909
    Likes Received:
    4,883
    Pride was like PhD level fight entertainment. UFC is like B.A or B.S. level fight entertainment.

    The thing that made pride so great for me was the EPIC feel you had leading up to, and then watching a card. You just don't have that with the UFC but I blame part of that on the unified rules -- the other part is that ufc execs aren't as good as pride execs were at the spectacle/entertainment aspect. To be fair it's a very high bar to reach.
     
  6. johncola

    johncola Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    8,291
    Likes Received:
    6,696
    I think 2006-present is the golden age. We're in it. UFC's better than Pride. And 2006 is when the UFC picked up.
     
  7. BisexualMMA

    BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    38,021
    Likes Received:
    78,017
    Location:
    Super Fight League Corporate HQ
    Interesting read. I actually read the whole thing.

    I think the UFC can't be overtaken now. Their strategy for the last 10 years hasn't just been expansion, but complete market control. They seem to have succeeded in being the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA. I don't know if that can be reversed, barring some absolutely incredible mismanagement by Zuffa.

    Whatever is left to be squeezed out of MMA in terms of market and growth, it will be the KHL or CFL or Arena Football...

    As for the stuff about characters to invest in, I agree. But the UFC isn't completely ignoring this. They're just treating it like a Tom Hanks / Meg Ryan rom com (Conor and Rousey), where all of the salary and investment is in these two characters and you can't name one other actor in the movie.

    The UFC in 2005-2010 or PRIDE were each like the Godfather or Heat, like you said, with a shit-ton of interesting characters. Nowadays, seems like it's one basket with only two ostrich eggs. Better hope they don't break.
     
  8. Joe

    Joe :l

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Messages:
    15,402
    Likes Received:
    19,497
    Location:
    Newport Beach,CA
    have you ever been accused of living in the past? lots of shitty striking in those years. not that its that much better but holy crap is it terrible in those years.
     
  9. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    You prefer things the way they are now compared to how they were back when Pride was around?
     
  10. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    I strongly disagree on that. Chuck was a gigantic star during his reign. Hell my grandmother knew who Chuck Liddell was.



    Haha thanks for reading it bro! Turned out way longer than I meant.

    Good point about them being the NBA, NFL, etc. combined. I'd say that's pretty damn accurate. The only way I see them being overtaken is for a giant coalition of a lot of promoters to combine, form Voltron, and defeat them.

    But they might not need to be overtaken. They hopefully can course-correct, but it'll be years if that happens. After the FOX deal expires (I bet money FOX won't renew that contract...at least not at the original price). The FOX deal is when it really started going downhill fast. That's when they started flooding the market with shit fights. But they are kind of stuck having to do that until that deal changes or outright ends.

    Zuffa could also conceivably sell the UFC. And tbh, some of their recent behavior has made me wonder if they aren't getting ready to do that.
     
  11. MMA

    MMA Silver Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    13,499
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Golden age is now.
     
  12. johncola

    johncola Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    8,291
    Likes Received:
    6,696
    Yes. Skill level is higher as the sport continues to develop. Fighters are better now than they ever have been. The UFC has improved their production over the years. And there's more events now. Pride was special but it wasn't the pinnacle of MMA.
     
  13. KaneThePhoenix

    KaneThePhoenix Green Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Parts Unknown.
    You make many great points but I have also noticed the product become more homogenized the past few years. Especially after the announcement of the Reebok deal.
     
  14. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Exactly. Part of that excitement was also about anticipation. UFC has spammed out shit card after shit card for so many years now, that I just don't care about them anymore. "we want to be like the NFL" or whatever Dana said. OK Dana, you know that almost every other major sport has an off season, right? So fans of those sports get to anticipate their seasons and get pumped for them. We used to have that, but now it's crap cards every couple weeks all year long, with 1 decent fight and a bunch of fighters we've never heard of.

    Pride cards were stacked. And as a result, so were UFC cards back then. Hopefully the UFC will raise their standards again to compete with the new Sak/Coker combo.

    I'm excited about mma again. holy crap! :eek:


    yeah.

    Cro Cop
    BJ
    Diaz
    Shogun
    Gomi
    Pulver
    Chuck

    that's just off the top of my head. I could go on and on. Overall today, yeah most fighters are a little better in every area of the game. But back then, guys were fucking fighters who fought not to get famous, not to get rich....they fought because they liked to fight and they were great at it. When those guys started out, nobody was getting famous. Today, we have athletes, and very few real fighters. There IS a difference.
     
  15. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    But do you get excited about mma now, other than once in a while? Do you see the top fighters as larger than life heroes?

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and just assume you didn't watch mma back when Pride vs UFC was the thing. Am I right?
     
  16. stillm93

    stillm93 Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,744
    Likes Received:
    732
    Great post. It would be cool if more fighters partake in co-promotions. For example, the Diaz Brand could put on a show theoretically w/ someone like Cooker and it would be an MMA show overseen by the Diaz Crew: you would get the Diaz flavor, what appeals to Diaz fans, different promotional style.

    You could also have the Penn promotion, St. Pierre promotion, etc.,etc. It would be like going to a music concert to see your favorite Artist and getting the full experience. Why watch the UFC show to get a small dose of your favorite fighter when they could cross-promote w/ a larger company and you can get your favorite fighters show! Think about it: The UFC show or the Nick Diaz show?

    This would be great because it will give the viewer variety, each promotion would run slightly different. It would give fighters an oppertunkty to have competitive salaries- the oppertunity to have a different boss- the possibility of being more of your own boss.


    If a considerable amount of fighters w/ followings started making their own promotion the world of MMA would come alive again to the fan and the Athlete and everyone inbetween!
     
  17. JudoThrowFiasco

    JudoThrowFiasco Charming Quark Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    26,684
    Likes Received:
    31,583
    this is a community college post.
     
  18. johncola

    johncola Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Messages:
    8,291
    Likes Received:
    6,696
    You're correct. I wasn't a hardcore fan back then. I was a very casual fan until 2009. But I own and have gone back and watched old UFC and old Pride events.

    Yeah, I'm probably a bigger fan of MMA than I've ever been. UFC 189 was my most anticipated event ever, and 194 is even bigger. I'm a big Conor fan, which explains why. But aside from Conor, I like MMA as much if not more than I ever have.
     
  19. Barge

    Barge Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    847
    Location:
    Reactor 4
    Don't make me miss Pride more than I already do
     
  20. King of Fists

    King of Fists Mobile Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    8,909
    Likes Received:
    4,883
    I guess that's why you gave it a high school level reply huh.
     
  21. BisexualMMA

    BisexualMMA Don't Put My Name in the Name of Steroids!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    38,021
    Likes Received:
    78,017
    Location:
    Super Fight League Corporate HQ
    Other than being headlined by GSP, what would a "St. Pierre Show" look like?

    I can see a BJ Penn show being filled with size mismatches or something, but I am curious what would make something a GSP card.
     
  22. Racer3x

    Racer3x Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    3
    This thread should be a sticky
     
  23. Guernica

    Guernica Double Yellow Belt Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,963
    Likes Received:
    4,796
  24. JudoThrowFiasco

    JudoThrowFiasco Charming Quark Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    26,684
    Likes Received:
    31,583
    [​IMG]

    you're right, this is some doctoral candidate level of entertainment.
     
  25. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Why thank you, sir!





    ^ lol dude, just LOOK at that! High skill level or not, if you aren't entertained by that pic alone, than you and I are very different kinds of people.


    And that was from Pride 34, a card that had Butterbean, Gilbert Yvel, Akira Shoji, Don Frye, Shinya Aoki, Sokoudjou famously ko'ing Arona, Monson, and Fujita. And was supposed to have Wanderlei and Shogun, but both fell out due to injury. So fuck yeah that is a great card by today's standards, and was just an ok Pride card back then.
     
  27. Jin Akutsu

    Jin Akutsu Gengar Belt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    16,265
    Likes Received:
    19,166
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD, USA
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Conor Bless you TS.
     
  28. kcfman

    kcfman Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Messages:
    6,024
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    hawaii
    Great OP Kick Strickland!
    As you can see, many miss the Pride Days.
    Their promotions and Lenne Hardt (I miss her too), opening ceremonies, etc. was memorable. Bas and Mauro. Classic.
    The Sakakibara announcement jolted my memory and I got excited of once was.
    Havent been here in years.
    Thanks for a great post and discussion.

    Pride never die!
     
  29. Blackened

    Blackened It is a new era! Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    12,017
    Likes Received:
    9,047
    This is all true. I agree 100%. TS gets it.
     
  30. Sherm

    Sherm Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,895
    Likes Received:
    599
    Affliction shirts were soooo cool. Same with Tapout. These Reebok "kits" are not as cool. I'll probably only wear them like 4 days a week.
     
  31. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Right on




    Connor is kind of proof of what I was saying about people being invested in characters. We learn their back stories, their strengths/weaknesses, their motivations, their personalities, and we are invested. I'm glad to see the UFC putting his name out there the way they are. But he and Ronda can't be the only ones they do that with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
  32. EmpireShallFall

    EmpireShallFall Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Messages:
    4,176
    Likes Received:
    3,075
    Location:
    Bay Area
    MMA died the same day Pride did.
     
  33. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Thanks bro!
     
  34. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Thank you, brother! Did you see the Bellator show last night? Pride lady came back! Plus they did a Pride style opening sequence about Samurai warriors....it was freakin awesome! I heard they might call the new promotion Samurai FC, and I kinda dig that.

    Plus last night I really dug the 1 night tournament format (I didn't even realize they could do that in the states anymore!), and I loved the incorporation of kickboxing fights. I hope the new promotion will continue to do that, and even all grappling fights once in awhile, between aging legends that don't need to take any more punches (sakuraba vs BJ Penn in a grappling-only match, anyone?).

    lol yeah man I haven't been this excited about mma in years. So tired of the UFC template. With another competitor around, UFC will have to start raising their game again. So it's win-win for us fans.
     
  35. octagon888

    octagon888 loser

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Messages:
    2,271
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Location:
    loser
    yeah it's lookin bad with those poor ppv buys
     
  36. BokaBokte

    BokaBokte Yellow Card Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3,239
    Likes Received:
    6,067
    Location:
    Split, Croatia
    Great read TS.
    Referring to your last post, the UFC template is killing me to. It's so boring and predictable.
     
  37. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    ask me how I know you didn't read the post
     
  38. Black Joto

    Black Joto Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,677
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    NYC
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
     
  39. kikikhan

    kikikhan Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9,667
    Likes Received:
    819
    Location:
    Slovenia
    I applaude you. Well written.
     
  40. Mixedfights

    Mixedfights Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    14,678
    Likes Received:
    14,267
    I wanna see somebody rocked as all hell on all fours trying to get up soccer kicked in the face...like on WorldStaaaarr!

    Or a dude trying to secure a triangle stomped to all hell.
     
  41. Winstone

    Winstone Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    485
    some good points but the ufc have the rights to pride.they wouldnt let anyone have it as they know it would be a massive rivalry for them as it was before.
     
  42. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Thanks dude!



    I wanna see yellow cards for stalling, no more cage grinding, no more elbows on the ground (elbows on the ground allows top guys to do JUST ENOUGH to keep from creating space to allow for subs or stand ups), no more stomps to the knees, 10 min 1st rounds, a quiet audience so you can actually HEAR all the in ring action......I wanna see Pride again, basically.
     
  43. Mr. Hammer

    Mr. Hammer Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    12,247
    Likes Received:
    1,680
    I don't think the future is bleak. UFC is still putting on quality shows and McGregor and Rousey have broken the glass ceiling that had previously only been broken by GSP and Brock.

    I do miss the gladiator intro though. :(
     
  44. danny23

    danny23 Black Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    7,014
    Likes Received:
    11,773
    Location:
    London.
    I agree.
    But 2011 was the last great year for MMA with some great fights,so it should be 2000-2011.
    Everything since then has been a let down.
     
  45. Kick Strickland

    Kick Strickland Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    8,185
    Likes Received:
    4,294
    Location:
    Purple
    Thanks man!

    Didn't mean to be so long-winded, but when I started writing I got nostalgic as hell remembering what mma USED to be.
     
  46. Redhawks100

    Redhawks100 Gold Belt

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Messages:
    21,488
    Likes Received:
    8,174
    This thread lol

    ultimate hipster thread for sure

    8 years and still cant get over it lol
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.