Tough Guys

When one thinks of Mixed Martial Arts, it being a newer sport that was first established in the U.S. around 1993, some might not even consider it to be a sport for various reasons concerning athleticism and professionalism. It lies in between boxing and wrestling so many don’t take MMA serious as its own sport but neither boxing nor wrestling has ever been that popular either. It also may not be considered to be a real sport because of it being seen as having an unstructured format, there not too many rules, and because of the extreme violence that is practiced in the cage. MMA also doesn’t get as much publicity or money as the mainstream sports in the U.S., which I think a huge aspect is the violence and its graphic nature that doesn’t make it family orientated. The target audience of MMA is 18-35 year old males so that leaves out lots of other types of viewers. MMA fighters are stereotyped to come from a low-class, they are seen as uneducated, tough, heterosexual, and normally all fighters in the public eye are males. MMA is seen as a low-cultured sport for the lower class. Fighters are seen to have anger issues or to be big bullies, where their violence goes beyond the cage. In order to be the best and win they train hard, having strict diets and fitness routines, having their weight balanced to a perfect number to match opponents in their class. I have seen that there are a few exceptions to this stereotype, a few fighters are women, they don’t receive nearly as much publicity as the male majority in this sport. White males dominate this sport with latinos, blacks, asians, but one thing that they do have in common are their defined bodies. A fighter would not be seen without a body that is in tip top shape. So when it comes to comparing myself to a typical representation of a MMA fighter, I would be a challenge as I’m female, I’m educated, I don’t have a perfect lean muscular body, and I’m not outwardly tough, angry or violent. Some examples of the stereotype or typical representation of fighters can be seen in films, like “Warrior” and on some angles against the stereotype we see a female boxer in ”Million Dollar Baby”.

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One Response to Tough Guys

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    Good analysis of the varying subject positions of MMA. Looking forward, it will be productive to think of the intersectionality of these various categories of difference. For example, how does class intricately affect representations of masculinity? And perhaps race? How are all three tied together, in a sense?

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