By. Jonathan Baldock
Periodically MMA comes under attack and it's usually from ill informed attention seeking journalists.
Just after today's weigh ins for W-1's “Bad Blood” I sat down with Nabil “The Thrill” Khatib while he was re-hydrating, to talk about his recovery process. Our conversation casually moved over a number of topics and landed on one Nabil is very passionate about – making sure MMA is represented properly to the general public.
Nabil lives in Ontario where professional MMA fighting is still illegal and where the press tends to do rather negatively biased editorials. One such article was in the Ottawa Sun on March 7/2010 and I quote “Step right up. Buy your tickets to the Brawls by the Falls. Grown men kicking, scratching and biting each other in a no-holds-barred fight that comes as close to gladiatorial combat as modern society allows.
It suggested that MMA is “no holds barred” and includes biting and scratching”. The article went on to compare legalizing MMA to legalizing marijuana and prostitution. Disappointed Nabil reached out to the paper and asked to work with them on a story that better displays the current climate of MMA in Ontario.
His Ottawa club (Team Bushido MMA Fitness Centre) teaches Martial Arts and an MMA program, the latter being the most popular right now. His MMA classes are filled with educated professionals and their families (at the moment no biting or scratching is allowed – this I made sure of). The Sun took him up on his offer and did a story that better reflects the the MMA community at large.
A big thank you to Nabil and a small step in the right direction if you ask me.