Well it's just a view but I consider MMA the highest form of martial arts.
As far as MMA being just a new sport... I disagree. Sure some younger people just jump into an MMA school, but most MMAers come out of or stay part of, more than one traditional discipline, like Wrestling, Judo, Bjj, Karate, MT, FMA, etc. It is worth noting that the founders of the great "traditions" were MMA'ers. I think were they to come back to life today they would have very little positive things to say about the hobbyist dilatants and the political machines that rule the martial arts today. For the most part the martial arts are no longer martial arts, and the majority of people in them are hardly capable fighters.
I could fashion a very small number of accomplished men who-were they free to express themselves in the old way- would virtually take apart and decimate the so called master level teachers from Asia. And they would not only NOT be thanked or lauded...they would be ridiculed for "harming" the tradition and political machine.
It is the minority of practitioners in the TMA who are in pursuit of martial veracity, and it cannot be had from one tradition. True skill and the sacrifices necessary to attain it, matters to just a fraction of practitioners. That is why many in the TMA continue to cut up the MMA. The truth -evident in the results displayed- is that most people in the TMA have no real interest in the challenge of expertise inherent in the pursuit of them. The reality is that rank, affiliation, physical and mental stimulation, social connections and fun are the chief pursuit of most in the arts.
May I point out that some Aikidoka have engaged in other arts eg judo , Karate, Sumo , Kendo ,some have also weight trained?O Sensei himself studied various systems. My penny worth here.
Rik Ellis for example a MMA pro , see him on You Tube, gives credit to Aikido .He was taught by his father Henry Ellis who trained with Tadashi Abe, Kenshiro Abbe ,Chiba , Mochizuki. Noro and other Sensei . Cheers, Joe.