Couple of years ago Dana White president of the UFC- was saying that Mixed Martial Arts will become the best sport in the world and almost everyone started laughing. Fast forward to 2012 and no one does anymore. This month marks the 19th birthday of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the biggest MMA organization and the sport with the biggest rising popularity all over the world. Nobody really expected that the organization would survive for so many years especially when in the early days it was characterized as human cockfighting couple of years ago by Senator John McCain in the States. However, many things changed since then and UFC has gone from strength to strength. Last year they signed a seven year broadcast deal with FOX network essentially going mainstream which was an unbelievable success for the company. That was only the beginning, as the company found a big network with huge reach to show the fights, that had as a result to attract huge audiences and new sponsors for the athletes. One of them was the famous sports brand NIKE The American company after signing deals with John Paul Jones and Anderson Silva, announced a new deal with the heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos. Not something that he could easily imagine the champion when he was growing up years ago in Salvador, Bahia of Brazil. However, all the good things end up there for the Las Vegas organization, as since they signed the FOX deal the cards were not of the same standard as previous years. That is something that is apparent in the TV ratings that have decreasing since the first FOX fight of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos exactly a year ago. Like every company that has grown as fast as the UFC has in the last few years, the organization has problems capitalizing on the popularity that they have earned. It seems that the increased numbers of fights every month has lowered the interest of the fans. On the other hand the constant injuries of the fighters hasnt let UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to make the fights that the fans would like to see. All these are part of the game and I am betting that the people in FOX and UFC had that in mind when they were signing the deal a year ago. On the other hand they need to get it right as the next years/months are important for the organization. New rival organizations are coming up around the world and are putting more fights and gaining a part of the pie from the MMA fans. Dana White is hoping however those things will get better on the coming months and he has some good reasons. George St. Pierre, one of the best UFC fighters (in terms of tv ratings and fighting skills) is returning to the octagon after a year off next week and a lot of fans are waiting to see him again. On the other hand the possibility of starting a womens league with the recent signing of Rhonda Rousey and Miesha Tate will bring a range of new fans in front of the TV. Now all that they need is the fighters to put some good fights, starting with George St. Pierre vs Carlos Condit next week
Antonis trains Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for almost 4 years now at the Roger Gracie school in London. He fall in love with the art from the first moment and subsequently with MMA fights and the UFC where he rarely misses a card amongst all other sports that he watches every weekend on tv.