In light of recent events and discussions, in particular fighter pay and UFC 162, we have seen a very vocal segment of the MMA fan base up in arms. We have been bombarded with chatter from a group that is fairly closed minded and stubborn, but poses a strong sense of passion for the sport that has led to the UFC’s explosive growth in the 21st century. I am not unfamiliar with diehard sports fans, the men who will talk your ear off and recite every statistic ever written on the back of a baseball card. Although vocal, they don’t seem to have a need to tell the whole world; they are more than content to share their thoughts in person and seem quite a bit tamer. But I fear we are trekking into new territory with fans that usurp these web pages and proceed to endless self-gratifying posts.
The Millennial Generation is here. These young men and women represent a new group who has grown with the internet, obsessive Political Correctness, and sensationalism in lieu of journalism. They are the first to try the approach that everyone wins, the first to take technology for granted, and the first group to experience true freedom and democracy of speech. Because of their fluid interaction with technology and the internet, they have become so vocal as to move the needle between success and failure for businesses. Their passions are realized through their likes and reviews, their every desire available, quite literally, at their fingertips, and their every word and action publishable in a quagmire devoid of quality in the name of freedom. Most importantly, they happen to be the right age group for the UFC.
The group’s unbridled passion seems to be the root for their incessant push for their views regarding fighter pay. The mention of which has thrown Dana into rants regarding life lessons and quotes such as "Everyone doesn't win a f--- trophy." With the Millennial view of "everyone wins," perhaps what we are seeing is a fundamental generation gap between the UFC brass and its fans. The Millennials feel entitled to have their opinions heard and their organizations to follow suit. Take for example the comments of leaving MMAFighting in response to Luke Thomas prediction of a Weidman victory.
In light of growing with sensationalist news, reality TV, and professional wrestling, this generation seems to deny the acceptance of brutal reality. The earliest came from the supposed nod of Ben Henderson to Anthony Pettis to kick his face off. Then, there was Luke Rockhold’s signal to Vitor Belfort to kick his head to the Brazilian fans in the back row. Lastly Anderson Silva's academy award winning, eye rolling, unconscious portrayal of a man who got knocked out by Chris Weidman. Truly Brilliant. Unlike their predecessors who have strong reasons to doubt their government and institutions, these Millennials opt to doubt truth itself. Perhaps they have been conditioned to wait for a juicy ending, or better yet, an M. Knut Shamalamalan twist.
The success of the UFC is due in part to the much needed passion and enthusiasm that this group infused in the dying sport after TUF 1. Unlike the limitations of their predecessors to spread the word about MMA to only their close friends, the Millenials could shout from their computers to the entire world (it certainly helped to have the Griffin-Bonnar Fight occur when it did). These fans have then continued to help the sport grow through their sheer enthusiasm alone, but it is becoming clear that they might be a bit too zealous and stubborn –even for the UFC.