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Efrain Escudero's TV News Interview a Step Forward for MMA

There was a time when TV news broadcasts about mixed martial arts invariably included the following:

1. Ominous music playing over narration that referred to the sport as "barbaric," and always called it "Ultimate Fighting," rather than MMA.
2. References to John McCain and "human cockfighting."
3. Factual errors.

The UFC has done an enormous amount of work through the years to dispel some of the myths about the sport and put a friendlier face on MMA, and you know that work is paying off when you see TV news broadcasts like the recent Efrain Escudero profile by KSWT News 13 in Yuma, Arizona.

The News 13 report (which I first saw at doesn't call it "barbaric," doesn't call it "Ultimate fighting," doesn't call it "human cockfighting" and doesn't get any of the facts wrong. It simply interviews Escudero, talks about his fight on Saturday night with Dan Lauzon at UFC 114, and introduces viewers to Escudero as what he is: A local athlete about to participate in a big competition.

I don't want to make too big a deal about a local news report that probably only reached a few thousand people in Yuma and has so far been viewed less than 200 times on YouTube, but I do believe it represents a step forward in the way MMA is covered by the media. Fighters are being covered in a fair, evenhanded manner, the same way athletes in other sports are covered. What a novel concept.

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