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Forget imitating pro wrestling, MMA might see the real deal

Zach Arnold reports that the WWE is seriously considering promoting MMA events.

Vince McMahon and the WWE ought to be very wary about getting into MMA since they have failed miserably when they have tried to promote anything other than professional wrestling. Most people probably remember the WWE’s failure with the XFL, but many may not recall that McMahon also bombed with a professional body building association in the early 90’s. Plus, the WWE’s experiment with the “Brawl for it All” (real fights with toughman style boxing and take downs) did not go over too well with wrestling fans.

However, MMA promotion is not too different than professional wrestling (definitely closer to professional wrestling than football or body building). While I would put the WWE’s chances of being able to dethrone the UFC at less than than 50%, it would definitely be a force to reckon with – one that the MMA promoters could not easily ignore.

Zach goes into great detail about how this will affect Pride, but I think another interesting question is how it will affect the UFC. If the WWE gets into MMA it not only gives the UFC a new formidable competitor, it also puts the UFC in a funny position.

The UFC has been spending its time and energy promoting itself like a professional wrestling promotion without pre-determiined outcomes (anyone know how the Dana White vs. Tito Ortiz boxing match went?), but its natural spin would be that the WWE is a pro-wrstling promotion trying to put on “phony” shows without pre-determined outcomes. You have wonder whether the UFC would counter the WWE by increasing its theatrics, or by treating MMA more like a serious sport.

In any event, regardless whether the WWE entering MMA would be good for the sport (it would not be in my opinion), this is certainly an interesting development.

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