The stigmas associated with mixed martial arts are hard to shake but quite easy to dispel. Many ask how could anyone want to watch, much less regulate, a sport that allows men to punch, kick, elbow, knee and incapacitate their opponents. Moreover, you often hear detractors claim that this spectacle shouldn’t even be considered a sport and should be forced to cease to exist. Much like many other events and issues in our society, the media isn’t doing their part to educate us consumers. The majority of the opinions and ill will harbored by people towards mixed martial arts, honestly comes from simply being uninformed.
One can only imagine the amount of deaths that there have been in a sport that allows such violence. Any sport that allows you to knock or choke out your opponent must have the highest death toll and critical injury rate of all sports. I hate to break it to all the sceptics but the fact is, there has never been a death in a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight. There has in fact been one death in all of mixed martial arts but this occurred many years ago in an unsanctioned fight. You may be wondering what the difference is. A sanctioning body is an organization that is responsible for the proper implementation of weight limits, rules and medical examinations. They make sure that the 2 fighters are within their weight limits and that they’re physically fit to fight. The event where the participant died did not have a sanctioning body, which in turn means it didn’t have a proper weigh in or physical. The opponent died of a blood clot they had sustained from a fight in an earlier event. The fact is if the event had been sanctioned, this fighter would have had to have a physical which includes a brain scan. This would have resulted in the fighter not being cleared to fight. Mixed martial arts actually uses the same sanctioning bodies that boxing does.
Why is it that boxing, which is much more of a brutal sport, is universally more accepted then mixed martial arts? The fact is again there are many myths and false information out there that cloud society’s vision. Mixed martial arts draws a lot of negative attention due to the size of the gloves the fighters use. The gloves in mixed martial arts are 4 ounces while the average gloves in boxing are 8 ounces. The misconception is the larger the glove the more it protects the fighter. This is partially correct. A larger glove (more padding) will allow a fighter to absorb more punches without causing any cuts. What most people don’t understand is that gloves were not invented to protect the fighter’s faces they were in fact invented for protection of the hands! The impact of a larger glove is much more traumatic then that of a smaller one due to the increased surface. Boxing matches consist of two men repeatedly hitting each other for as much as twelve three minute rounds. Mixed martial arts, on the other hand allows a fighter to hold or take their opponent to the ground where the power in a blow is drastically reduced. Boxing also allows a fighter who has been knocked down, the opportunity to recoup and continue fighting once they can beat the 10 count. Mixed martial arts on the other hand, end a fight when a fighter has been knocked down. The significance of this is the fact that the most damage done to the brain of a fighter is after they suffer the initial concussion. Every blow after this point is highly detrimental and extremely dangerous.
I’m not trying to discount boxing as a sport. I’m merely trying to show you how safe a sport mixed martial arts is. Boxing has had three deaths alone this year. If that makes you wonder how anyone could allow any of these combative sports to exist, I guess you haven’t heard that high school football averages four deaths per year and that doesn’t include the number of paralysis victims per year. Mixed martial arts is far safer then it looks and statistically safer then football, which is a sport that we not only embrace, but often sign our children up for. If mixed martial arts isn’t safe how do we feel about football?
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