During a recent appearance on CNN to talk about bullying and promote his involvement with the new Enduracool Instant Cooling Towel, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre ran into the typical mainstream questions regarding his work.
Mainly, how is UFC all that different than WWE and pro wrestling?
One of the show hosts remarked that it appears as though a lot of what fans see is fake. This prompted yet another host to correct her but expand on the idea that there are most certainly aspects of the fight game that are decidedly like pro wrestling:
"A lot of the misconceptions, I think, among non-fans of UFC is that it is staged like wrestling, but I think that's people who don't understand that there is a lot of, let's say, wrestling style theatricality attached to this very real sport."
Indeed, whether mixed martial arts (MMA) fans want to admit it or not, pro wrestling -- and more specifically World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the premiere pro wrestling organization -- is far more deeply rooted in the sports and entertainment world lexicon.
That means superstar fighters like St. Pierre are going to face questions like this for now. What's always interesting, though, is how they decide to answer. Here's what "Rush" had to say:
"My revenue... I have a fight purse and I also have a pay-per-view bonus. The more people who watch my fight, the more money I will make. So a lot of people, they use stuff to promote their fight. People don't want to see two guys fighting who like each other. It's better if they have some sort of animosity."
Essentially, St. Pierre is outright admitting that UFC fighters incorporate WWE style theater in the build-up to their fights. For the bigger stars, that's because they get a cut of the pay-per-view (PPV) revenue. For others, like Chael Sonnen, it's so they can get the big money fights and eventually get to the point in which they, too, get PPV revenue.
Manufacturing drama to hype a fight, while potentially upsetting to purists, is hard to argue against when one considers the bottom line. After all, there's a reason Sonnen has been so successful in the UFC and it's damn sure not his fighting style.
How do you feel about this, Maniacs? Are you okay with WWE theatrics in the lead-up to a fight just as long as it doesn't invade the fight itself? Or do you want to see any pro wrestling influence gone from the sport altogether?