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The UFC - Is It Really That Dangerous?
By Nishan Wilde

The legitimacy of mixed martial arts, known by most as UFC fighting, has constantly been questioned and scrutinized since its inception in 1993. Many have said that the brutal tactics used in mixed martial arts are barbaric and abhorrent. So much controversy has surrounded this new-age fighting style that even Senator John McCain entered the fray. The Senator made it his personal mission to get the UFC and mixed martial arts fighting banned in America. However, since his inability to do so, MMA has been on the rise ever since.

As a result of so much hoopla, one question arises - Is MMA really that dangerous? Is this sport as primitive and disgusting as so many people claim? I mean, there is fighting involved, but is it bad enough to warrant a nation wide ban? I personally don't think so. And here's why.

Mixed martial arts is just that - mixed. It is a conglomerate of many other types of fighting. The UFC features fighters from wrestling, boxing, muay thai, jui jitsu and tae kwon do backgrounds. Almost all of which are Olympic sports. So, ask yourself. If these sports are good enough to attract the best athletes from around the world to compete in an event that honors them as such, why shouldn't a sport that encompasses each of these styles be good enough? The answer is it should be good enough and is.

Also, many people say that MMA and the UFC is dangerous because it teaches children that fighting is alright and even revered. But that argument holds absolutely no water at all. If you were to ban anything and everything violent, then you would have to ban professional wrestling, video games and yes, our other beloved Olympic sports mentioned above. But seeing as how society is not willing to give these things up, there is no reason to single MMA and the UFC out as the ugling duckling.

And last, but certainly not least, how is danger measured? I mean, poeple say that MMA is too dangerous, but what are they using to guage that danger?

Could it be injuries?

No, that's absurd. MMA fighters, rarely, if ever, sustain injuries. And when they do, the hospital stay is no longer than a day. On the other hand, injuries in sports as "harmless" as football and hockey occur every day, leaving their athletes laid up in a hospital beds for months and sometimes years.

Could the danger be measured in terms of the number of yearly death caused by the sport?

No, because as long as the UFC has been around, there have been no deaths. However, on the other side of the token, deaths frequently occur in other major sports every year. For example, in boxing, the "beautiful" and "artistic" version of MMA, there have been approximately 900 deaths since 1920. That's an average of just under 13 people a year. People say that those numbers have dropped significantly as the sport has been made more safe. Well, the same can be said about the UFC. Each fight is governed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the same organization that governs boxing bouts. Also, the sport has definitely evolved since its inception. Now, unlike in the early days when it was pretty much no holds barred, the UFC has a long list of can's and cannot's - a list that has prevented major injury or death in every single fight to date.

So, to say that MMA and the UFC are barbaric and overly dangerous is simply not true. The numbers speak for themselves. The fact that you may not like the up-in-your-face, new-age style of fighting that the UFC promotes is your problem. People didn't like boxing at first either. Football, too, was considered dangerous because of the lack of padding and the leather helmets used in competition. But, like football, MMA has evolved into a safe and exciting sport.

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales at RobbinsSports.com, an online resource for Punching Bags and Portable Scoreboards


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