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Preparation Is the Problem When Major Media Cover MMA

UFC President Dana White appeared on ESPN2's First Take on Tuesday morning, and the interview revealed something that makes coverage of mixed martial arts in the mainstream media different from coverage of just about every other sport: When covering MMA, members of the media aren't particularly shy about displaying their lack of preparation.

During the interview, First Take host Jay Crawford asked White, "Your sport is missing one of its biggest stars, heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar who is recovering. When do you expect to see him back in the Octagon?"

Obviously, everyone who follows MMA already knew White's answer to that question.

"He'll be back July 3rd," White said. "He's facing Shane Carwin."

The UFC has been promoting Lesnar's July 3 fight with Carwin for weeks, and the fact that Crawford had to ask demonstrated how lacking the major media coverage of MMA often is. Can you imagine Roger Goodell giving an interview to ESPN and being asked when the Super Bowl will be? Or Bud Selig giving an interview to ESPN and being asked when the All-Star game will be? Of course not. ESPN would never put an interviewer on the air with the bigwigs in football and baseball unless that interviewer first knew such basic facts.

That's not the way it is with MMA. It's not just that one question that Crawford asked White, it's a common problem you see when major media outlets cover the sport: They don't know enough about it to ask the kinds of penetrating questions that important figures like White should be asked. It's understandable that someone like Crawford isn't an MMA fan, but it's not understandable that Crawford -- who usually comes across as well-prepared for his interviews -- wouldn't bother to find out what's next for Lesnar before interviewing White.

I mentioned yesterday that Efrain Escudero's interview on a local TV news broadcast demonstrated the progress that MMA is making. White's interview on First Take demonstrated that MMA still has plenty of room to grow.

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