Friday, 05/18/2012, 09:12 am

King Mo Bellator/TNA Deal Good for MMA | MMA NEWS

By Ryan Busuttil:

A common complaint of MMA fans, especially when Brock Lesnar made the jump from the WWE to the UFC in 2008, is to not associate Mixed Martial Arts with professional wrestling. “Wrestling’s fake”, “Only idiots watch wrestling”, etc. are among the comments that I’ve read over the years anytime professional wrestling is mentioned on an MMA news site. Fans had another opportunity to express their frustrations last week when Spike TV announced that former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, Muhammed “KingMo” Lawal had signed a contract to compete in Spike’s professional wrestling promotion, TNA, this year before moving over to Bellator when the promotion debuts on Spike in 2013. An MMA fighter going to professional wrestling and then back to MMA? What’s that about?

It’s called good promotion.

MMA fans need to come to grips with something: professional wrestling is more popular than MMA. More than 4 million people watch WWE’s Monday Night Raw weekly. The UFC still has a ways to go before they can get 4 million people to watch one of their cable events without Kimbo Slice being involved. Even TNA’s weekly show “Impact” earns more overall viewers than the Ultimate Fighter Live on FX. While MMA is a fast rising sport, professional wrestling has been near the top of cable ratings for over 15 years at this point. The WWE consistently has more Pay Per View buys than the UFC. The UFC’s most purchased Pay Per Views were when Lesnar, a former WWE Champion, was headlining. Coincidence? Probably not.

Where does all the hate for professional wrestling come from? Most MMA fans will tell you that they used to watch Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage before they watched Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. Fans of both are looking for the same thing: entertainment. When we watch a UFC fight, we want it to be entertaining or we’ll blast the fighters for not delivering. Professional wrestling is fake? Of course it is. That’s not being denied by anyone these days. Wrestlers are trying to entertain, just like Mixed Martial Artists. The only difference is their outcome is predetermined. It doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

Aside from Lesnar’s time in the UFC, professional wrestling’s influence on MMA can be seen in other forms, such as Chael Sonnen’s and Josh Barnett’s promotion style and the fact that the first edition of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV was on after WWE Raw. While Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar’s fight helped make the UFC, the viewers who tuned into The Ultimate Fighter were probably those who stuck around after watching WWE Raw. The UFC got some help from the WWE in more ways than one.

So, Spike TV signing King Mo was a smart move. Mo can stay in shape, entertain people and make some money in TNA until he can get back into a cage in a year.  And Bellator, who are trying to find their own place in the MMA world, can benefit from the exposure that this deal brings them. Wrestling fans that follow King Mo for the next year may be inclined to see what he does in Bellator in 2013 and help the sport gain more popularity.

So MMA fans and pro wrestling fans, I ask you “Can’t we all just get along?”

Follow me on Twitter @MMARyter


16 Responses to “King Mo Bellator/TNA Deal Good for MMA | MMA NEWS”

  1. A.James says:

    The man has got to eat. This was a smart move on his part.

  2. beag says:

    ” The only difference is their outcome is predetermined. It doesn’t make it any less entertaining.”

    I call bullsh*t on that Mr.Editor

  3. Xaninho says:

    Bullshit story. WWE sucks ass because it’s fake. So what 4 million morons watch it? I couldn’t care less!

    UFC and MMA in general need to keep MMA a serious martial art. What if this whole line crossing between WWE and MMA results in predetermined outcomes of MMA-fights? Who the fuck wants that? Yeah “it’s entertainment” right?

    • dr Kildare says:

      What is fake about the WWE. It is entertainment, all movies are fake hope you dont watch none of those either.

      • Xaninho says:

        At least in movies they can act. If you watch closely you can even see the WWE fighters discussing the next move during their ‘fight’, and I noticed that back when I was a 9 yo.

        It’s so fake it’s ridiculous that thousands of grown -up people pay good money to see that shit.

        If you’re a kid I can see it might look exciting, but as a grown-up?

    • aaxantonio says:

      ah it happened way before brock came to ufc, watch dan severn fight shannon ritch, and it happens all the time in boxing too, and mma couldnt do that because of the license’s, the two are completely different, the only thing thats the same you need to be athletic

  4. DMAC says:

    Get that money Mo! Only thing i’m worried about is him being healthy to compete in both, he only does MMA now and can barley stay healthy. But for all the haters that think lines will be blurred LOL goes to show how long you been watching MMA if you can’t determine between the two.

    Good luck with these future endeavours Mo, i don’t watch TNA but i’ll check it out once we get a date for your debute.

    Team Thirsty chasing that cheese!

  5. Dave says:

    Wow this article demeans the sport of MMA by comparing it to professional wrestling. Tennis is more popular than MMA too but that doesn’t make it in any way comparable. Vampire movies are popular but that doesn’t make them real.

  6. Keep Fitch (Forever) says:

    I crossed over from WWE to MMA but I dont dislike WWE. I still watch WWE here and there when im flipping through channels. They are completely different sports its okay to be fan of both.

  7. Faaris Sheikh says:

    Why is everyone complaining about the WWE, it is called World Wrestling Entertainment you watch it for entertainment purposes only even though you know its fake.
    Its the same with Films I’m pretty sure everyone here has or watch films even though you know its fake you watch it for the entertainment and the storyline
    Why complain about Pro wrestling? Theirs enough of us to enjoy the sports we want without hating on other sports

  8. Calvin says:

    Finally someone who gets that wrestling is all about entertainment when was the last time wwe didnt deliver when was the last time ufc didnt guarantee ufc was the more recent

  9. Kingsforge says:

    I don’t watch wrestling any more but loved that shizz as a kid. I’ve got no hate for WWE, yeah it’s scripted and fake, but they still put some serious work in to be able to pull off some of those moves without crippling themselves, not to mention the gym time (and yeah I know, steroids help them, alot)

    As far as I’m concerned if WWE in any way helps the MMA world grow then I’m all for it, as long as MMA is still MMA it’s all good. And if wrestling fans help make UFC free to watch? I’ll join those drunken dudes in watching some scripted shizz any day!

  10. STEPHEN HORGAN says:

    well xaninho i see your point,but wwe is a culturised entertainment sport so its more acceptable,,still a rey mysterio move is nothing you see in a cage but its the fact wwe was there before mma was popular so a taste for entertainment is the future no doubt,,,wwe is not real combat sport but more dangerous,, which its a wonder new york dont legalise it the end i fukn love mma warr bj penn ,,but mo needs to make a livingso enough said

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