MMA Is Mainstream and It's Here to Stay

Nate DoubleAnalyst IMarch 25, 2009

CHICAGO- OCTOBER 25:  People attend the UFC 90 at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

As Mixed Martial Arts began its meteoric rise I began to worry if it might burn out rather than explode.  Many believed the sport would become a fad rather than a tradition.  Over the last few weeks its been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that MMA is here to stay.

First, the number of standout collegiate wrestlers that are quickly becoming targets for many MMA promotions.  Not so long ago a wrestler could either become a coach, an Olympian, or an entertainment wrestler to pay the bills, but now they have another lucrative outlet for their skills, MMA.

Secondly, crossover stars are finding success in MMA.  This past weekend former WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley was featured on a PPV card and won over the more experienced albeit smaller Jason Guida by unanimous decision.  While he hasn't garnered the fan fare that current UFC Heavyweight Champion and former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar has. Lashley has so far been a success.

Also related to athlete crossover is the move of MMA stars into mainstream sports promotion.  Georges St. Pierre recently inked a deal with blue chip sports drink manufacturer Gatorade.  GSP will be featured alongside other well known Canadian athletes in a "G" commercial spot that will run throughout Canada.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, MMA web blog/community Bloody Elbow has partnered with the largest daily newspaper in the US, USA Today.  The site will be contributing meta-rankings every month for the print edition of the newspaper.

The saying, "the best is yet to come" might be applicable here.