Wake Up And Smell The Mma

Justin Goodrum
2 min read
Wake Up and Smell the MMA
Georges St-Pierre works for an “arm bar” on Rashad Evans. (From the Alibi feature “[url]http://alibi.com/index.php?story=28221&scn=feature[/url]Mixed Martial Albuquerque[xurl]”) (Ari LeVaux)
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Growing up in New Mexico, Lobo basketball and football dominated most of the sports headlines. But within the last five years an unlikely combat sport has taken the Duke City by storm.

Mixed Martial Arts has established deep roots in the 505, and some the most elite fighters come here to train, [“
Mixed Martial Albuquerque,” June 25-July 1, 2009]. Around town, you’ll see people wearing Tapout shirts or spot new MMA gyms.

Even though our state has long been known for talented boxers like
Danny Romero, Johnny Tapia and Holly Holm, the rise of MMA has caught many off guard. Maybe it had something to do with the UFC’s reality show, “The Ultimate Fighter.” In 2004, it starred New Mexico native Diego Sanchez.

These days, Sanchez trains in San Diego. He went on the become a UFC title contender. Other fighters have since come to train in Albuquerque, including
Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Nate Marquardt and more. These fighters went on to headline many UFC fights on Pay-Per-View and were seen by massive audiences.

So the questions remains: Why is the sport ignored by many local media outlets? Only major UFC events are covered on the local television stations, and you can forget about the newspapers writing feature stories. Like I said, the sport has appeared on cable and broadcast television. So what’s the deal?

Despite fans’ frustration with local media, MMA has started to get attention from political leaders.
Gov. Bill Richardson attended a WEC event in Albuquerque, and Mayor Richard Berry gave trainer Greg Jackson his own day.

Looking at the big picture, the sport is still very young. Supporters just need to be patient and wait for the rest of the state to realize mixed martial arts will become a signature New Mexican sport.

Justin Goodrum wrote sports for the Daily Lobo for a couple of years. He’ll be guest blogging for the Alibi . We asked him for a bio. He sent this a couple of lines about himself, and this:

Favorite Sports Teams —Chicago Bulls, San Francisco 49ers, Colorado Rockies, all UNM sports teams

Favorite MMA Fighter —Georges St. Pierre

Favorite Boxer —Manny Pacquiao

Contact Goodrum at Justintime16@comcast.net

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