Archives: Meryl Streep Says MMA is Not an Art, MMA World Reacts (2017)
published on January 10, 2022
curated and posted by BRWLRZ Team

The original story was published on this day five years ago. It is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of the MMA News Archives.

On This Day Five Years Ago…


Headline: Meryl Streep Says MMA is Not an Art, Scott Coker & Fighters Disagree

Author: Fernando Quiles Jr.

An unlikely name has entered the realm of mixed martial arts (MMA) overnight. Renowned actress Meryl Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award last night (Jan. 8, 2017) at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. During her speech, Streep gave MMA a mention, although it wasn’t a flattering one.

Here is what she said:

“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

This prompted responses from some MMA fighters and even Bellator President Scott Coker chimed in. He offered Streep an invitation to see Bellator 170 live in Inglewood, California (via Twitter). Here is his invitation:


I’m a lifelong fan of your work but also a lifelong martial artist who happens to promote mixed martial arts around the world.

The global sport of mixed martial arts celebrates male and female athletes from all around the world who work years tirelessly honing their craft and- yes- art. They come from every country and every walk of life. We at Bellator support them and honor their skill.

Please be my guest at the LA Forum on January 21st and you will see that Mixed Martial Arts is truly artistic – which will feature fighters from all over the world competing at a world class level.

Scott Coker

President Bellator MMA”

Others weren’t as kind in their responses. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Tamdan McCory was none too pleased with Streep’s words:

James Vick was just as heated over the speech as “The Barn Cat” was:

A prominent name in MMA media, Ariel Helwani, also took issue with Streep’s comments on the sport.

Even UFC host and reporter Megan Olivi took the actress to task.

It’s unlikely that Streep will take Coker up on his offer, but never say never in the world of MMA.

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