I call MMA a ‘blood sport’ because that’s exactly what it is; extra emphasis needs to be put on the word “sport” because defining a “sport” is like art – it is open for interpretation on what makes art – art. The same can be said of mixed martial arts (no pun intended). While MMA is certainly a mixed activity, requiring opponents to use variety i.e., knees, elbows, kicks, wrestling, so on and so forth, I don’t think it’s fair to label that activity as an art – or a sport – or be granted a spot on SportsCenter next to boxing. Ah, you may be wondering about the double standard: Boxing vs. MMA? What’s the difference? Big difference. In short, there is no double standard. Boxing is an established “sport” that has been around for over two hundred years, is backed by the states’ major athletic commission, requires actual skill, and from a spectator’s point of view, is aesthetically pleasing to watch. For all intents and purposes, boxing is an art – and a sport. The same cannot be said for mixed martial arts.
Boxing’s deep historical roots are planted in ancient Greece, unofficially, then officially restored to it’s former glory, with a modern spin, in England, sometime around the 18th century. The pugilistic sport has produced many quality sportsmen/champions over it’s long and documented history: Harry Greb, Jack Johnson, Willie Pep, Sam Langford, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Micky Walker, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Jake Lamotta, just to name a few. Boxing has also produced amazing rags-to-riches stories, along with the prototypical sap story; Harry Greb for instance died at the tender age of 32, due to complications in surgery, after fighting half of his professional boxing career blind in one eye. Harry Greb was an athletic phenom who had a total of 303 fights, often taking on men 25 pounds heavier than himself (Greb was a natural middleweight). It is bitter sweet, life-stories such as Greb’s – but for every Greb story, there are a few “Sugar” Ray Leonard successes in the sport of boxing; such as being good representatives, not only for the sport itself, but life in general. Ray Leonard was a charming character who carried himself as a true professional, and was a great role-model for kids. Most of boxing’s champions over the years had great in-ring ability. These boxers, besides sharing that of the sport’s glorious past, and each having awsome athletic ability. . . . they had a desire to be someone – to elevate themselves. They all shared a ‘will to win’.
I’m sure some MMA fighters exhibit their own will to win, but they hardly capture the imagination, and are severely lacking in athletic ability. Modern day full contact fighters, or “cage fighters” as they’re called, in my opinion, could not hold a candle to the boxers of 100 years ago, let alone modern day ring pugilists.
The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has seen it’s popularity rise dramatically over the last few years, thanks to an all out advertisement/marketing blitz from UFC’s President, Dana White. White has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of the sports fans who like contact; there is contact which is acceptable, such as Football – there is contact sports that are honorable, such as boxing – and then there is MMA, which goes beyond a contact sport, and becomes human cock-fighting. Thanks to Dana White, the UFC is now being peddled on SportsCenter, and is given more attention than boxing. Dana has successfully renamed, and repackaged talentless fighting into a marketable fad. MMA is not a sport, and never will be a sport. The UFC offers an outlet to those who otherwise could not cut it in boxing.
Unbeknown (or maybe not) to the blood-sport participants in MMA and the UFC, they’re being used for the greedy purpose of shock-value entertainment. Do these fighters know that they serve Dana White, the President of UFC – and are they aware – are the fans of this barbaric “sport” aware, they, collectively, fighter and fan alike, serve Dana White, and make him millions? Does the sudden increase of interest in MMA represent the degeneracy of our society? It makes you wonder.
I forced myself to watch a few shows of the UFC in recent months, and how this garbage got through the Nevada State Athletic Commission, I will never know. How this garbage is now supported on primetime television, is beyond me. MMA is blood entertainment, human cock-fighting, and pure degeneracy all rolled into a nice pile of polished marketing. It is not a sport, nor will it ever be a sport. That is my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.