Barbarians' Gate: Inside the Business of Mixed Martial Arts Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Westney, Andrew Royce
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • The business of mixed martial arts has grown over the last decade as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the foremost MMA organization, has flourished. This master's thesis examines four aspects of the sport's boom. The first article explores the effort by the UFC and its allies to overturn New York's 1997 MMA ban and conflicts between the UFC and local MMA supporters. The second article describes the business of MMA in North Carolina since the 2008 legalization of the sport, including the experiences of Walter Smith, an amateur heavyweight fighter. The third article evaluates the UFC's ambition to outstrip the NFL by comparing the popularity of each with Las Vegas sports bettors during the 2012 Super Bowl weekend, when UFC 143, one of the promotion's pay-per-view events, took place in the city. The fourth article, a sidebar to the third, compares boxing and MMA in sports betting terms.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Roush, Chris
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2012

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