JarryPark’s 15 Moments Of ’07 – #10: UFC Goes Mainstream (For A Week)

For the next couple of weeks, JarryPark.com will countdown the 15 most memorable combat sports moments of 2007. Some will be positive while others will be negative. Some will have happened in a ring or cage while others on the outside. Every day, we’ll feature a single moment as we bid adieu to ‘07. As we present each moment, feel free to agree or disagree with any of our selections in the comments section below.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why we chose fifteen the answer is quite simple: You take the “7″ from ‘07 and the “8″ from ‘08, add them together and you get 15. Duh. To see the rest of the countdown click here.

#10: UFC Goes Mainstream (For A Week)
What: UFC lands on the covers of ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated on the same week. ESPN also covers UFC 71 as a major sporting event.
Where: ESPN and Sports Illustrated
When: May 2007

Am I the only one who feels that the week leading up to UFC 71 now was all just a dream? Did the UFC actually land on the cover of SI and ESPN The Magazine on the same week? Were they really the lead-in story on the 6 p.m. Sportscenter the Friday before Memorial Day? Was that really Joe Rogan debating Lou Dibella? And, if so, where has all that coverage gone?

I remember witnessing all this mainstream press and thinking “wow, MMA is going to start getting covered everywhere: Box scores, highlights, magazines etc.” Then I realized that my first mistake was thinking that MMA was the popular term of the day when it was actually UFC. Most casual sports I know have no idea what MMA is or means but can definitely tell you about the UFC. My next mistake was thinking the UFC was really going to receive a consistent stream of media coverage. It has certainly increased since this time last year but, sadly, that week in May has since proved to be the exception more so than the rule.

Further enlightenment:
Chuck Liddell Graces ESPN Magazine Cover [AOL Fanhouse]
The New Main Event [Sports Illustrated]
Sports Illustrated on MMA [Prophet Fighting]

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