The U.K M.M.A scene is a hive of activity filled with passionate people from show hosts to photographers, writers, videographers, interviewers, trainers and of course the fighters. Yet there is a serious lack of money flying around on all levels.
We have whole teams of media putting in work from their heart hoping that one day they will secure a sponsor or a contract of some kind and make some money out of it.
Even fighters turning up and breaking out sweat and blood for no purse or some commission on ticket sales here and there.
All in all the scene if beautiful as it is full of people who have genuine love for the sport and its thriving with passion. We all want to see it succeed and grow and we are all putting our work in to help it happen and especially not ignoring grass roots M.M.A. That gives the U.K scene something really special and it is just addictive to be a part of!
The problem we face is that as much as we all love it and see it as a sport we live in a place where it is still very much seen as something vulgar, dangerous and gratuitously aggressive.
Safe M.M.A is our first real step to showing people that it is safe and is well looked after. The joke of it all is that boxing and other sports have more deaths per year than M.M.A has broken bones!
In fact when we attend U.F.C as press we are given fact sheets and one that really stood out was that statistically M.M.A is safer than cheerleading!
What people do not realise is that it is safer to actually be knocked out and end the fight than to be bashed around for countless rounds.
You see the damage comes after you have been knocked down and dazed but are allowed to get up and continue in a daze, that is when brain damage happens, but if they let you get knocked out properly and then end the fight completely it is much safer.
So with Safe M.M.A testing fighters and promoting safety within the sport it also gives a more professional and sport like feel to it all. Companies in the U.K are very cautious and need as much reassurance as possible.
This is not where the buck stops though, we all have a responsibility and role to play, as there is still a lot of people setting us back in the game. If you are press the cover it professionally as a sport do not depict it as some barbaric event using trashy headlines and giving it an aggressive cave man feel.
Most of all it is the fighters themselves along with the show hosts. I have seen a lot of fighters with big mouths feeling really cool hurling insults and what not across the conference table at weigh-ins.
Quite frankly its shameful because that only makes it entertainment to a certain audience who all share a single brain cell and are most definitely NOT the people that companies with the money to sponsor you are marketing to!
It can be entertaining without the schoolboy shit talk, go and do some English classes if need be, and quite frankly as fighters you should not even be talking like that as in the U.K we know that anyone who is a lad and is worth his salt knows that the ones who can do it don’t talk it they walk it.
Being a humble warrior will get you far and get you respect among people who’s respect is actually worthwhile and can be turned into money thus attracting large sponsorships and contracts which will in turn attract purses and fight bonuses!
So saying things like eff your mum and “no homo” really is not going to get you anywhere that is just juvenile and gives the whole sport a trashy feel to it.
I feel sorry for promoters who work their nuts off to put on a big entertaining show and have a handful amidst the fighters who behave like the class clown and lower the tone of the whole thing thus setting us all back meaning prolonged work and effort for little or no pay!
I am proud to be part of something in its infancy where everyone is actually chipping away with it and yet still working on their personal jobs to put food on the table hoping this will turn into their main bread and butter. That says a lot about the people we have involved as it shows we have real passion not just commercial goals.
However at the end of the day love don’t pay the bills so lets pull our socks up and start by all signing up to Safe M.M.A and improving our general attitude especially the front-line fighters we need you to be professional superstars as well as the bravest men in Britain!