Strike two: Promoter gears up amateur 'team' MMA
MMA is a "team sport" for only the duration of a training camp: Once you're tying up with someone, the idea that you've got three guys in jerseys in your corner means squat. (Unless they're carrying a stretcher.)
Don't miss a moment of the latest MMA coverage from around the world. Follow us on Twitter and stay informed. Join »
The International Fight League learned this lesson painfully, and at considerable cost. Promoter Roy Englebrecht is either altogether unaware of that organization's implosion or very stubborn. His Professional Mixed Martial Arts League (PMMAL, also known as BRKE) is set for a 2010 debut, with eight teams of amateurs on the West Coast. Wisely, Englebrecht is offering to sell the teams as "franchises" to owners in an effort to spread the risk around.
"I know the fun and profitability that an investment in a professional sports team can provide," Englebrecht said in a release. "I know about the dreams of most every sports fan to be just like Jerry Jones, Jerry Buss, Arte Moreno or George Steinbrenner and own a pro sports team, as I realized that dream with the [minor league baseball team] Quakes. Now the dream of owning a professional sports team can become a reality with the purchase of a PMMAL team."
Other realities: bankruptcy, soup kitchens and medical bills. MMA will never be able to emulate mainstream ballgames, and this is a concept without brakes or an air bag.