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MMA columnist Levesque asks whether community is ready to take next step in MMA acceptance

Posted: March 8, 2013 - 12:07am

On March 30, the Peninsula Fighting Championship will hold its third event at the Soldotna Sports Center. At this moment the promotion has yet to confirm a main or co-main event, but it’s only a matter of time before the finalized fight card is announced. The PFC’s second show in December provided excitement, family fun and a lot of drama, as every fight ended in a finish. So what can we expect this time around?

If we’ve learned anything from PFC’s first two events, it’s to expect a great atmosphere, exciting entertainment and the anticipation for the next event. Clearly, the promotion has reached the community base and created a wave of momentum for mixed martial arts on the Kenai Peninsula. As evidenced by the increased enrollment in such gyms as Redemption MMA, the buzz regarding the sport is starting to rise significantly.

When talking to the local community about the reaction to the promotion’s attempts to change the stigma around mixed martial arts, it seems there’s a divide among the community members themselves. Many feel that the PFC has done a great job promoting its fighters, its product and most important the sport, but there are others that feel that the sport resembles a semievolved form of gladiators battling in a Roman coliseum.  

As one community member said, “No wonder the younger generation enjoys it, it’s a direct correlation to the tear in moral fiber that continues to deteriorate our country. It’s sports like MMA that create an outlet for violent and animalist behavior.”

While this individual’s point of view tends to be on the extreme side, it’s important to understand why that point of view is believed so passionately. In the end, it’s not the fans that you’re trying to indoctrinate into the world of mixed martial arts, but rather those who oppose it for one reason or another.  

Some fighters are often unaware of the opposing viewpoints others may have, and ironically enough they’re often the greatest ambassadors for the sport and often advance its impact on community, as well. So what does this all mean for the PFC and its next event?

That depends, really. It depends on PFC, the fighters and the community at large. Are all parties involved willing to take the next step in becoming ambassadors for the sport? Are we going to provide the “other” side of the argument with actions instead of words? At this point I’d say the PFC and its fighters are moving forward in their quest to see the sport of mixed martial arts embraced communitywide. So that leaves a final question: Is the community will to take the next step as well?

Scott Levesque writes a weekly column for the Clarion on mixed martial arts. He will cover MMA at the local, state and national levels. His handle on Twitter is @scottlevesque.

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