While the recent news of a merger between World Wrestling Entertainment and Endeavor Group Holdings may be great news for those companies, I worry about what it means for the integrity of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, already owned by Endeavor, and whether fans will now need to worry about the veracity of its fight results. MMA and pro wrestling have long been separated by a clear marker wherein the WWE was fake combat while MMA bouts were actual fights, each carried out fully on the up-and-up with the outcomes determined by nothing other than athletic accomplishment. Now, with this new merger, how can we know that the fights we see aren’t being influenced by outside factors?
Suddenly, a sport which has never given fans any reason to doubt its integrity finds itself awash in risk. Gone are the days where major organizations like the UFC, PRIDE FC and Elite FC battled for world supremacy while being counted on for combat without controversy. A bright day for some, but a sad, sad day for the sport we know and love.