by:  Jack Bratcher

The MMA world has fought tooth and nail for years to be taken seriously as a legitimate sport. Much of it boils down to a slow, steady, and deliberate education process.

ESPN’s Jim Rome talked about the WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown fight Thursday on his sports talk show, Jim Rome is Burning.

Jim Rome is as legitimate as it gets when it comes to mainstream sports coverage. He has a loyal following of dedicated listeners that take their sports very serious.

Here’s what Rome had to say Thursday, November 6th during the introduction:

“For those of you who have not jumped on the MMA bandwagon yet, this is exactly what they’re selling and what you’re missing,” Rome said. “Any fighter can win at any given moment. It’s not any given Sunday, it’s any given shot. Faber was and probably still is a top 5 fighter, pound-for-pound. He’s definitely the best thing the WEC has going, and while Brown had won his last seven fights coming in, nobody expected to see the ref pulling him off Faber last night, let alone the first round. …

“That’s what makes MMA so electric. There’s no margin for error, the stakes are that high every second of every fight. … This was not a case of Faber underestimating the opponent, or not being ready for that fight. He was a world champion at the top of his game, and he got caught, and it was over before it even started. That’s MMA. Get on board because you can’t get that sort of thing anywhere else.”

Jim Rome is singing MMA praises from a powerful platform. In a time when MMA is still not legal in every state and when any bit of negative press still has potential to hurt the cause, it is so refreshing to hear one of the big dogs is a true fan of what MMA hardcores call “the greatest sport in the world.”

Any sports fan who actually takes the time to watch and educate their self on what is taking place inside the cage is bound to be impressed by the athleticism, skill, toughness, and endurance of MMA’s top fighters.

It’s a sign of the times when a major sport’s talk show personality such as Jim Rome is excited about the very same fight I watched the night before. That’s good stuff.

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