Recently Dana White quipped,
“I’m not a big hockey fan. But I respect how talented you have to be to play hockey. Soccer? That’s a whole other ball. Can’t stand soccer. It’s the least-talented sport on Earth. There’s a reason three-year-olds can play soccer. When you’re playing a game when the net is that big and the score is 3-1 (and that’s a blowout) are you kidding me? You know how untalented you have to be to score three times when the net is that big?”
I’m not a soccer fan either, but then again, I’m not a fan of any major mainstream sport; baseball, basketball, hockey, or whatever else is popular these days. I find them boring and in some cases, pretentious to watch. Soccer and hockey in particular are painful to watch because I see people literally pour their entire lives into one match and when their favoured team loses, they go on a rampage and act as though their entire world has come to a fiery, destructive end. It’s sad, really.
Do I think MMA could rival soccer in popularity one day? Yes. I do.
Why? Because fighting is a global thing. The martial arts transcend national borders and many nations have their own proprietary fighting system, e.g. Thailand & muay thai, Korea & hapkido, America & freestyle wrestling, Japan & <take your pick>, etc… Everyone in the world can relate to fighting.
It probably won’t happen in my lifetime because MMA is still working on being accepted at a national level here in North America and the UFC has only recently expanded into Asia and is still working on Europe at large. But I do think it’s possible; one day.