I recently had an hour-long Skype session with MMA legend Frank Shamrock. What was meant to be a conversation about Muay Thai training facilities here in Thailand quickly veered off-topic as the former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion and I spoke about the recent, landmark UFC/FOX network TV deal, and all the hype in the MMA world about how this officially makes MMA mainstream, on par with the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.
“But it’s not just like those sports,” said Shamrock. “I love MMA. I credit it with saving my life. I think it can and will change the world for the better. But is it a sport? I don’t think so.
“As dear as it is to me,” Shamrock continued, “MMA is still this thing in between sport and spectacle. No, MMA isn’t a sport. Not yet.”
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