I remember in the early 90’s watching commercials for the UFC PPV matches. I wasn’t able to convince my parents to allow me to sit down and watch any of the fights, but my spirit for martial arts still grew thanks to professional wrestling shows WWE and WCW. I always watched the wrestling shows on cable tv and liked the mix of wrestling styles which of course had roots in martial arts. One noticeable trend in the WWE and WCW was the subtle hip-hop character development. Do you remember The Harlem Heat or Degeneration X? They were absolutely hip hip. Today, The UFC has worked into a multimillion-dollar industry. Every day I turn on my phone and see ad’s for mixed martial arts gyms, I see commercials about cars and other non-related mixed martial art business models and still I notice the use of boxing or karate in their commercials. Like any great hidden gem as the sport of mixed martial arts has grown, we are now witnessing the beginning of the MMA - Hip Hop Era. Yes, it’s true that possibly World Star Hip Hop street fights may play a large part in the mix but most recently we can take this month as a sample size of what is happening.
Sept 8th: Tyron Woodley submits Darren Till at UFC 228. Shortly afterward Instagram erupted due to Snoop Dogg’s rant about Donald Trump, Black Panther, and king kong. In my opinion, Snoop may have confused Darren Till with avid Trump support and unproven interim titleholder Colby Covington who pulled out of his fight against Woodley to have nasal surgery.
None the less, Snoops IG rant has been viewed 1.8m times. Sept 14th: Tyrone Woodley released a new rap single “I’ll beat yo ass” which features rap superstar Wiz Khalifa.
Sept 27th: Business mogul 50 Cent expands on his partnership with Bellator MMA by adding a One Million dollar bonus of his personal money for the winner of the Welterweight World Grand Prix which begins Sept 29th, 2018.
All of this will come as no surprise, all you have to do is think back to the era of the 80’s where martial arts was mainstream nationwide and the early 90’s when hip-hop groups like my favorite Wu-Tang Clan, fuzed martial arts dialog from movies into their songs. Hip Hop has had plenty of representation in boxing, but now we are seeing the progression into the “now” of combat sports.
- Naturl Grappler