There's no question that MMA has come a long way. Once labeled "human cockfighting" by Sen. John McCain, it's now become pretty mainstream. But not quite mainstream enough that you see Quinton Jackson selling Campbell's Chunky Soup. But fear not. MMA fighters are hot commodities abroad, particularly in Japan, where they make surreal and otherworldly ads.
So with that said, let's take a look at some of the ads out there that MMA fighters have done abroad.
This ad features Mark Coleman and Wanderlei Silva. It's like a cross between the Matrix and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. To say it's not a particularly masculine ad would probably be being kind.
Here's Cro Cop as a talk show host who enjoys punching giant coffee beans. Um, what? Exactly.
Bob Sapp is known mostly for fighting in K-1, but he's also a huge star in Japan. In Japan he's appeared in 23 commercials, been on TV 200 times, and has 200 products with his name or image on them. Here's one example of his 23 commercials. This one is him dancing for pizza. Not what you'd expect from a man nicknamed "The Beast."
And here's a Bob Sapp candy ad that, quite frankly, made me wonder if I was on drugs after I saw it.
And if there's any country that you expect awesome, high-quality commercials to come from, it's definitely Croatia. Naturally, Cro Cop has a starring role.
This commercial will make it clear to you why MMA fighter ads here in the States have a long way to go. This is Randy Couture for some car thing. It sucks.
Obviously we need to step it up here at home. I won't rest until Chuck Liddell is hawking waffle irons on ABC.