The hardcore MMA fan: A special breed of sports fanatic


MMA fans are an interesting breed of sports fan, unlike any other. Hailing from all different areas of the spectrum, ranging from the most cynical, pessimistic,  over-opinionated, disrespectful, hate-filled, blood-thirsty, Tapout-wearing, profane spewers to the wiser, calmer, more respectful, more honorable and passive, technique-appreciating fans.

Neither group is necessarily more valuable to the discussion than the other, more correct or even more legitimate for that matter. But the contrast does make things interesting and helps us paint a picture of the landscape these fans have formed, who of which have proved to be as dynamic as the sport itself.

But if there’s one thing that time and experience has taught me about this sport, it’s that the fans run it more than the fighters or even the promoters do. The fans are the unpredictable variable controlling everything that happens, while ultimately shaping the sport itself in the process.

Organizations like Pride and the UFC exploded because you watched and talked about them. And as far as the fighters go, if no one was watching and talking about someone like Fedor for example, he’d be no more than just another scary Russian destroying the faces and bodies of mortal men with his bare hands for a living.

You love and hate fighters. The fighters you hate on make those who love them, love them even more, and the fighters you love and support, make those who hate them, hate them even more. It’s a fascinating cycle that can be attributed as a very large, essential and prominent reason for MMA’s growth and success.

If the fighters were the engine and the sport itself was the car, then the fans would be the fuel  getting everything from point A to point B. One person that knows this better than most is Mr. Dana White himself. Dana has never been one to care for stats and rankings, but values popularity, success, achievements, fame and the consensus of fans above all else.

Always one to have his finger on the pulse of MMA, Dana knows full well that no matter how crazy, ridiculous or extreme we are, ultimately we are the ones who pay the bills, we are the ones who fill the seats and we are the ones who make all the noise.

With that said, the sport continues to grow at a rate few other sports have ever seen in history, and because of that I’d go as far as saying, that there are a growing number of people out there who are becoming increasingly envious of us our passion and what it’s accomplished.

I love this sport, as I’m sure many of you would say the same. And as it grows, so does this crazy tight knit family we call the MMA Community. On that note, don’t ever forget the power of the fan, our voice’s mean something, we’re capable of pushing things to great heights with our undying support.

Just always remember why we’re all here, why we scour all of these news sites for information on such a frequent basis, bordering on obsessive. It’s because we love it, and that’s one thing we can all agree on.

Heated discussions are great! But try your best to have respect for both your fellow fan and the fighters themselves. You never know who could be reading and who will be affected by your words.

Thanks for reading!

  • Bryan, that was excellent.

  • Im assuming this article has nothing to do with you screaming you fookin hate UFC fans the other day? Transparent Bryan, transparent. The Machida rant as I remember.

    • No I stated that I hate douchebag UFC fans as I'm sure everyone can agree that douchebags are not fun to talk to.

      In fact this article had nothing to do with my love of technique and my respect for fighters. It had everything to do with the importance of the fans and them being an integral part of the sport.

      Next time read more than just the first paragraph please.

      • nothing worst than a fan who throws a great fighter under the bus the second they lose or those who hang on every word Dana says as if its god speaking. Dana says fedor ***** everyone believes it

      • I did, but the whole Fan disection made me think about that specific instance. No hard feelings.

  • Great article, as it definitely describes our people/community and as matter of fact this is the only website that i come to at least three or more times a day to check on lol
    Love the people on this site as they always give me a laugh and some great insight and knowledge every time.

  • The thing about many modern fans is that they are fans of a, or some fighters, not fans of mma. Me personally, I love the sport of mma. My life revolves around it. And I don't have a favorit fighter, but there is some fighters I don't like. And I don't like them because they are no good for mma, or the image of the sport of mma. Brock Lesnar is one example, he sold a lot of ppv, but he was just a freak show. He wasn't one of these fighters that would be doing mma/fighting eventhough they wouldn't get payed and no fans would be watching. In other words fighters that love to fight, that would be doing it just because it is a great way to test yourself,

    Nothing wrong with being some fighters fan, but love the sport first, then respect the guys/girls who do it well. I know every fan can't be a fighter, but now a days it feels like the fans don't undrstand what it is, what it takes to get in to the octagon. So they lack respect for the sport of mma. It feels like mma is just entertainment for them. They wan't to see as much blood, broken limbs and brutality as possible, A great submission is nothing compared to a knock-out. So be a fan of the sport, respect the fighters and hope that both fighters come out safe after a fight.

    • how you can weak his post?

  • This article made me remember why I became an MMA fan. Great piece.

  • Great article.

    WAR US!

  • this is the only sport i watch. in no other sport do athletes have so much on the line when they step out to compete and if they lose they have only themselves to blame

    • Actually there are more dangerous sports when it comes to injury. Bike racing has many serious injuries every year and the dudes in that sport ride with multiple fractures/breaks all the time, they're insane. Sadly their sport is always prone to fatalities and always will be. If a fighter gets it wrong he gets KO'd if a racer gets it wrong at 180mph he can be toast.

      • PS I used bike racing as one example. there are plenty more as well.

        • I agree azzkika, I was a mechanic on bikes for years(years ago) I loved riding dirtbikes at a friends house in Conroe..maybe you've heard of him..Colin Edwards 😉

      • its not only the danger aspect its the time away from the family, $ to pay rent, months spent training put into 15 minutes, the possibility of being cut with any loss and shoved down to local matches. sure some sports have this aswell but they arent nearly as exciting as MMA and you cant connect with a guy on a bike whose face you barely see

        • yes, Griffin but there are MANY more who will step in a cage than take corners at 160mph on a 200 Hp 275 lbs motorcycle 8))