What Makes an MMA Fan Hardcore ?
Hi, my name is Mel and I’m addicted to MMA. Just ask my close friends and family, friends on facebook, even my boyfriend says I’m obsessed with it !
BUT, if you go by forum posts or opinions on facebook groups, I’m a TUF noob, a nuthugger, a hater, a keyboard warrior, clueless because I’ve not fought in a cage oh and my favourite of all was that I should leave watching MMA to the boys and get back in the kitchen ! Yep that’s right, chauvinism is alive and well in the MMA world even in this day and age ! Thankfully though not ALL men have that opinion.
So all of this got me to thinking…what does make a fan Hardcore ?
Is a guy who’s been watching the sport from the early days of the first UFC more hardcore than a guy who has watched since being introduced to the sport through the highly popular reality tv series, The Ultimate Fighter ? I personally think it shouldn’t matter when or how you became a fan, I say to any new fans welcome to one of the most rapidly growing and exciting sports in the world.
Is a guy who knows about other promotions such as Strikeforce, Bellator, Dream, Sengoku, Dynamite and so on more hardcore than a fan who has only been introduced to the UFC ? Debateable in my eyes to be honest, having been on both sides of that fence. The only reason I became aware of other organisations was because I was lucky enough to have some awesome guys on one of my favourite forums, that didn’t mind the fact I had no idea who they were talking about and when I showed an interest by asking questions they always gave me links to videos and articles of these fighters and shared their knowledge about these organisations.
Is a guy who trains in any form of martial arts more hardcore than a person who doesn’t train in anything ? Are they less of a fan if they’ve never stepped in a ring or cage ? Is it really not at all possible to admire and respect a fighter if you’ve never been in the same position as them ? Again, I like to believe that as a person who has never stepped into the ring or cage or trained in any martial arts, I still have the capacity to admire the hard work and dedication these incredible athletes/fighters show. I will admit I don’t know as much as them technique wise, but I know what I like to see and what gets me excited when I watch them fight.
Am I a nuthugger just because I believe it wasn’t the vaseline that held BJ Penn down and pounded on him for four rounds ? Am I a hater because I believe Michael Bisping isn’t the greatest of ambassadors for the sport after throwing water at a contestant in TUF 9 as a coach, flipping the bird at Wanderlei Silva at the weigh ins and his recent antics at UFC 127 ? Is my opinion about the sport unimportant because I’m female ?
I’m sure alot of fans out there can give me very valid answers and arguments to the questions I’ve just asked, but in my humble opinion I believe that if a person loves the sport, watches the sport, supports the sport and is willing to educate themselves on the sport, then whether they were introduced to it through The Ultimate Fighter, they love or dislike certain fighters, they’ve never stepped into a ring or cage, the fact they are male or female doesn’t really matter does it ? Shouldn’t being a hardcore fan just be as simple as loving and enjoying the amazing, exciting, always evolving and growing phenomenon that is Mixed Martial Arts !
Written by Mel Howard.