I was watching an episode of Friday Night SmackDown when it dawned on me why WWE has still held an edge (no pun) on MMA: It's all in the promotion.
I've noticed that even though WWE is fake and MMA is real, people are willing to pay money to go see a staged fight as long as they can interact with the "combatants."
For instance, during a live event in Muncie, someone decided to heckle Shelton Benjamin by saying, "Hey Shelton, what happened to your mamma?" Now I was never able to quite understand what Shelton said back, but I do know it sent the whole Worthen Arena in a sea of laughter.
MMA really doesn't interact all that much, and it seems to me like everyone is there just to look like hardasses. I went to a recent UFC in Texas, and the atmosphere there was miserable enough that I got up and hung out in the lobby of the Toyota Center until deciding to watch another boring fight.
Unless MMA finds some way to make its shows more fan-friendly and not hype the fight so much, Vince McMahon and Ted Turner Allied wouldn't be able to stop the growing phenomenon known as MMA.