In the mid-90s pundits and politicians had nearly forced mixed
to tap out. Ardent boxing fan Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) led the
charge against the new sport, slamming it as "human cockfighting."
Cable companies shunned the sport and nearly 40 states banned it.
And yet today, MMA has not only survived, it's become a global
juggernaut, dominating pay-per-view events, and perhaps even
proving safer than McCain's beloved sport of boxing.
Lex McMahon has witnessed the rise of mixed martial arts firsthand. McMahon runs Alchemist Management with CEO and three-time Grammy Award winner MC Hammer, and the two manage some of the best fighters in the world, including Nate Marquardt, who headlines Wednesday night's UFC Fight Night 22 and Brendan Schaub, who takes on Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 121 on October 23.
McMahon sat down with Reason.tv's Ted Balaker to weigh in on the improbable mainstreaming of MMA, how promoters learned that improving safety would attract more fans, and what this most cosmopolitan of sports does to foster an environment of innovation.
Approximately nine minutes.
Interview by Ted Balaker. Shot by Hawk Jensen, Alex Manning, and Paul Detrick. Edited by Balaker. Music by doublethink; available at Magnatune.
Scroll down for HD, iPod, and audio versions of this and all our videos and subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube channel to receive automatic notification when new material is posted.