Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MMA Market Analysis: Same Old, Same Old

Rumors abound concerning EliteXC's dire financial straits, Afflictions impending doom, the demise of the newssource FightNetwork and what-have-you. But this is really nothing new. Like the stock market, the MMA market cyclical, and after every boom comes a period of economic downturn. Back in 1996, when the UFC's original incarnation was pulling in Earth-shattering pay-per-view buy rates, the industry was flush with money and people angling for a share of it. Remember Extreme Fighting and the World Combat Championship? I do. They were nice, big alternatives to the UFC that bled money like crazy. A market downturn killed them off, enabling the strong to live on. In 2001 Zuffa bought the UFC and began making strides in getting the sport back on track, and the industry took off again. Remember the WFA? Or Ultimate Athlete magazine? I do, and I remember the inevitable market downturn once more rearing its ugly head. The Ultimate Fighter came along in 2005, providing yet another infusion of consumer dollars which in turn prompted the creation of the IFL and BodogFIGHT. Are you sensing a pattern here? You should be. It's the "same old, same old", and if the market demands that EliteXC folds (doubtful), Affliction dies (likely), or that the FightNetwork goes bye-bye (see ya!), well... that's just part of the cycle. Trust me, MMA will get "huge" again - and flush with fools and faulty business models just like it always does.

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