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Thread: A barbaric UFC spectacle demeans us all - Vancouver Sun

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    Default A barbaric UFC spectacle demeans us all - Vancouver Sun

    Daphne Bramham: A barbaric UFC spectacle demeans us all
    Mixed-martial arts competitors are well-trained athletes, but that doesn’t mean what they do is sport


    “I hit him with a lot of shots with my knees to his face ... my knees are hurting pretty bad. Usually when I hit people with those shots in the gym they go down.” *— Demetrious (Mighty Mouse) Johnson, speaking admiringly of opponent Ali Bagauntinov after Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Vancouver.

    There is no doubt that the men and women who enter the cage at mixed-martial arts events are superbly trained and conditioned athletes. They have to be to take that kind of punishment.

    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that what they do is sport. It’s spectacle.

    Its rawness harks back to Roman times and the spectacle of blood-soaked gladiators in front of massive crowds in the Colosseum or the fights-to-the-death with roosters and dogs that have been banned because they are overwhelmingly deemed to be inhumane.

    Yet, these human fights continue despite *— and perhaps because of — their shocking violence.

    In mixed-martial arts, there are only a few rules: No strikes to the back of the head, no hair pulling, head butting or inserting fingers into someone’s mouth and pulling, no groin strikes.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation bans kicks to the head of a downed opponent, but is silent on other blows to the heads of downed opponents.

    Unlike boxing, MMA fights don’t stop when an opponent goes down. There is no 10-second count, which offers a chance for the downed opponent to concede or stumble back up to his or her feet.

    A mixed-martial arts fighter suffers a traumatic brain injury in almost a third of all professional bouts, according to a recent study by University of Toronto researchers.

    They analyzed seven years of Ultimate Fighting Championship video and scorecards, which detail when a fight ends with a knockout or a technical knockout.

    “The 30 seconds before match stoppage was characterized by the losing competitor sustaining a flurry of multiple strikes to the head,” said the study, published in the March edition of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

    It says brain damage done to the fighters is likely exacerbated by the “surprising,” repeated blows to the head delivered to opponents who are already unconscious.

    Four years ago, my colleague Iain MacIntyre described one fight at Vancouver’s first Ultimate Fighting Championship: “It was like an execution, except it took longer.”

    Incidents of traumatic brain injuries in MMA fighters is twice that of football players, three times that of boxers and eight times higher than for hockey players, according to the U of T study.

    (Another study is underway at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas that involves close to 400 active and retired boxers. It’s being partly funded by MMA promoters.)

    Meantime, the bloodbaths continue. They’re the ones that drew the roars of approval from the crowd at Saturday’s Vancouver event. The bloodied light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo was described by The Canadian Press as having “nearly had his arm ripped out of the socket,” before the fight was stopped.

    If this kind of violence took place anywhere else — including a hockey arena or football stadium — the so-called winner would be criminally charged.

    As Vancouver Canucks fans remember only too well, Todd Bertuzzi eventually pleaded guilty to criminal assault after punching Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in the back of the head during a game in 2004.

    Moore’s neck was broken in three places.

    Moore never played hockey again and more than a decade later, it’s still not over. Moore’s civil suit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks will finally be heard this fall by an Ontario court.


    It’s only last year that MMA was legalized across Canada with the Criminal Code amended to allow it. In the United States, it’s legal everywhere but New York. But that ban is being challenged in Federal Court by the UFC.

    Still, it’s disconcerting to see violence legalized.

    After all, we live in an era when even real warriors are often far from the battlefield, dropping real bombs from drones and killing real people as if they were playing a video game.

    And it’s troubling to realize how lucrative it is to stage these barbaric spectacles.

    Maybe a morbid fascination with brutality is primal. Maybe nothing can lessen the desire of some people — particularly young men — to see it or even experience it.

    But we ought to be better than this.

    dbramham@vancouversun.com

    Heres your brutal MMA article of the day...i highlighted some of the worst points in this brutal article. Shes left her email - feel free to send her your opinion - i know i did already.

    Also, mods noobjack this if necessary. wasnt sure if this fell into that category or general mma.



    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/D...#ixzz34vUJdz1U

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    Well she's a writer and entitled to her opinion. I mean she's as wrong as tits on a lawn chair, but still entitled to her opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by SWIFTboy View Post
    I rode a horse. Banged in a hot spring.
    Quote Originally Posted by GL Jeff View Post
    Is he bigger then WarMachine?


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    Quote Originally Posted by KevoOnTheRadio View Post
    Well she's a writer and entitled to her opinion. I mean she's as wrong as tits on a lawn chair, but still entitled to her opinion.
    and I am entitled to my opinion that she is a dumb, ignorant cunt trying to get attention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCold48 View Post
    and I am entitled to my opinion that she is a dumb, ignorant cunt trying to get attention.
    dana, is that you?

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    i love it when people talk about the standing 8 count(which is what i think she was getting at) as a merciful thing. at the point a standing 8 is used in boxing, the fight is over in MMA. during those 8 seconds one guy stands there all effed up, and the other gets to hang his arms for 8 seconds and come out w/ a flurry to beat his opponent down. so much ignorance jammed into such a small article....

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    the standing 8 count is bullshit. Period.

    I would argue the 8 count in boxing is more dangerous than not having one in MMA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonesKnows View Post
    dana, is that you?
    you disagree?? She sounds absolutely clueless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCold48 View Post
    you disagree?? She sounds absolutely clueless.
    Oh she is. It's a completely uneducated opinion. But she doesn't get paid for her educated opinion she gets paid for her opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by SWIFTboy View Post
    I rode a horse. Banged in a hot spring.
    Quote Originally Posted by GL Jeff View Post
    Is he bigger then WarMachine?


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    Well that's disappointing to see from my home town paper. MMA is actually very mainstream and well received in this province, its content is a staple on our sports channels and there's multiple gyms in every city. This viewpoint is representative of such a small percentage of the population at this time that this appears to have been published for the sole purpose of generating page views by creating public backlash.

    As much as personally question the intellect of anyone who attempts to make the nonsensical comparison of MMA and Roman gladiators, every time i read a comment like the one that was made in this article I'm always reminded of the old UFC PPV gladiatorial opening.
    Fav Fighters:
    - "The Phenom" Vitor Belfort
    - Renato "Babalu" Sobral
    - Georges "Rush" St. Pierre
    - Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski

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    Hyperbolic comparisons to Roman gladiatorial contests? Check.
    Selective quoting of medical study without linking to said study? Check.
    Redundant highlighting that if sporting activity took place outside of sporting area that it would be considered criminal? Check.
    At least 3 uses of overwrought emotive comparisons ('Barabric', 'Bloodbath', 'Execution')? Check.
    Use of term 'Human Cockfighting'/Quoting Former Senator John McCain? Fail. Hm. Surprising.
    Irrelevant sermonising about terrible 'state of world today', war in Middle East, drones? Check - hey that ones new.

    I'd email this to her but realistically, what's the point? She didn't reason herself into this position so I'm unlikely to reason her out of it.

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