UFC 83: Is Matt Serra Sending the Wrong Message?

Mark MarinoSenior Analyst IApril 20, 2008

I finally had a weekend off. It must have been 4-5 months since I had two-consecutive days off in a row—let alone a weekend.  So I debated whether-or-not to shell out the $44.95+ tax for the UFC 83 pay-per-view.

Being a long-time MMA fan, I did. And it certainly did not disappoint. Goerges St. Pierre got his belt back, and rightfully deserved—amongst other decent fights of the night.

Back to the headline.

Preceding to be a couch-potato, I nestled in my chaise with a cold, mixed six-pack of Molson (Canada, rooting for "Rush") and Samuel Adams (being from Boston). Before you know it—Main Event.

I was absolutely amazed, baffled, flabbergasted and dumbfounded to see the UFC welterweight champion, Matt Serra's black T-Shirt, as he walked from the dressing room, to the octogon.

"Buy Guns, Sell Guns, www.gunsamerica.com "

Thinking it was a joke, or some other kind of marketing/advertising ploy—I log onto the website. And sure enough, you can "buy guns, sell guns" at gunsamerica.com. And their motto is " GunsAmerica - Connecting Gun Buyers to Gun Sellers Since 1997."

Someone pinch me. Am I dreaming? Is this just a radical joke? Are you kidding me?

Now, I don't want to get too political with this here. I know The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights—but let me expand on our rights as American citizens.

Amendment One 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Amendment Two

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I will never-ever debate these rights. But, I think when it comes to professional athletes, we have to bend the rules here.

Granted, Matt Serra must make a living. No denying that. But certainly, there must be another website, company or training camp out there that has the funds, and wants to advertise on the UFC Champions T-shirt. Right?

Do the gun purveyors pay him THAT well to advertise on his apparel? Because they would have to pay me six-figures, plus, to promote guns to my viewing audience.

Certainly Tapout is one of the biggest names out there when it comes to MMA apparel. There have been numerous acquisitions about Matt, and the Tapout company, about who-dumped-who. What Tapout didn't "promise." Serra turned down this deal, and that deal. Regardless, Serra is now with Sprawl Company.

My point here folks is this.

When you make it to the big-leagues, there also comes along a certain resposibility to the fans who are buying your product.

YES! You are a role model, whether you like it or not. Advertising guns is not a message you should be sending to your audience, Matt.

Can you imagine if Fenway Park, Yankees Stadium or Wrigley Field started promoting guns, weapons and other firearms websites during their televised games?

Absolutely not. They adverise Dunkin Donuts, Giant Glass, CVS and WB Mason, among many others.

Some viewers think of MMA as being "brutal" "violent" and even "barbaric".

I think of it as, well-conditioned athletes who are well-versed in all aspects of combat—and probably the most athletic, determined, strong-minded and in-shape individuals on the planet.

No matter what you call it, the world out of the octogon can be even uglier. Gun violence is something that will always be a concern—and needs no adversiement to promote it's increase in the human demise.

With a growing demand for the that's UFC on the rise, President Dana White, and co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta need to step in and re-evaluate it's athletes and their sponsorships.

Because guns, weapons, firearms and other lethal objects are things that need-not-be glorified.