Saturday, August 2, 2014
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MMA critic says sport is bad for Wisconsin


There are still people out there who have a skewed view of what mixed martial arts is all about. Read how one critic of the new Wisconsin legislation to legalize MMA describes the sport:

Think for a moment about the sublime grace and dignity of baseball. Or the discipline and controlled force of football. Then think of the exact opposite and you’ve got MMA. It is barbaric pummeling of one individual by another. They snarl and kick and jump on damaged opponents. They pound heads into the ground. I don’t think they bite, but I can’t be sure. Blood doesn’t stop the show, in fact it just fuels the battle.

And the crowds that attend these events are as much of a show as they fighters. They hurl blood-curdling screams at the fighters. They roar for pain and damage. There is no admiration for pure skills. The praise is showered on the most brutal in the ring.

Normally, Pro MMA Now (www.prommanow.com) would not even waste space by giving an article like this any attention. However, once in awhile ignorance needs a kick in the ass.

Obviously, the author of this feeble diatribe is a fan of football, so let us compare football to what he says about MMA:

“Think for a moment about… the discipline and controlled force of football. Then think of the exact opposite and you’ve got MMA.”

This statement makes little sense. If he does not even understand the discipline it takes to be a mixed martial artist, or a martial artist of any kind, it is evident we are dealing with someone who is not interested in truth, but propaganda. And his reference to “the controlled force of football” could mean a few things, none of which he makes very clear.  When a defensive player smashes a running back to the ground, do you really think he is trying to control how hard he hits the guy? It is not too clear what “controlled force” he is referring to, and more than likely, he is not sure what he really means either.

“It is the barbaric pummeling of one individual by another.”

Actually, an example of the “barbaric pummeling” of someone would be someone getting attacked or robbed in an alley, or someone being jumped and beaten by a gang on the street.

Let us be clear: MMA consists of two men or women who are, first of all trained, not only in offense, but in defense, and how to protect themselves. The two competitors willingly agree and enter into a competition to see who is better at their respective crafts. Can people get hurt? Of course; but no one is forcing these people to do this. They are there by choice.

And let us face facts. How many MMA fights have you seen where there was no real winner or loser, and in fact was a bit boring? It happens. It is not like every fight someone is getting bloodied, beaten, and hurt. There are plenty of rules also in place to protect fighters, and there is always a referee present to help protect the fighters when they can no longer protect themselves.

“They snarl and kick and jump on damaged opponents. They pound heads into the ground. I don’t think they bite, but I can’t be sure. Blood doesn’t stop the show, in fact it just fuels the battle.”

They snarl? Really? How dare anyone snarl. They kick? Uhhh, yeah, that’s called martial arts. And fighters are not allowed to jump on a grounded opponent, kick a grounded opponent in the head, or knee a grounded opponent in the head under the unified MMA rules.

Fighters can get punched in the head while laying on the ground, but not to the point they receive excessive damage. And for the writer to even suggest MMA fighters might bite one another is either intentionally there to mislead the readers, or he he really does not know enough about the sport to form a real argument.

No, blood in and of itself does not stop a show, unless it is excessive. However, cuts that bleed stop plenty of fights. And there are always doctors on hand to make the call. Boxing, football, nor any other sport is stopped solely because someone may be bleeding. Does blood fuel the battle? Maybe, in some cases. So what. These are men (and women). Not babies.

“And the crowds that attend these events are as much of a show as they fighters. They hurl blood-curdling screams at the fighters. They roar for pain and damage. There is no admiration for pure skills. The praise is showered on the most brutal in the ring.”

Next, he attacks the fans of the sport. Apparently, all MMA fans are just raving lunatics and maniacs. “They hurl blood-curdling screams at the fighters. They roar for pain and damage.” Has this dude ever been to a football or soccer game? There are plenty of rabid football fans who would make MMA fans look tame. How many fans cheer after a brutal quarterback sack that may have just given the guy a concussion?

The writer says there is no admiration for pure skills. This is just absolutely false. How many people were recently praising the boxing prowess of Nick Diaz, or the wrestling of Chael Sonnen? How many times have we heard praise heaped upon Anderson Silva for the grace, poise, and technique he displays?

MMA is not for everybody, it just isn’t. Yet, to suggest no one should be allowed to participate in the sport because you don’t appreciate or understand the nuances of the game is not sensible.

We only touched on a portion of Mr. Begel’s article. He also claims bringing a UFC event to Wisconsin will have little financial benefit on the community. A few thousand people coming into your city, renting rooms, and eating in your restaurants may not instantly turn your local economy around, but it sure won’t hurt either, will it?

Dave Begel’s entire article called “MMA legislation is bad news for Wisconsin” can be read at OnMilwaukee.com.

Recommended reading: The study by Johns Hopkins Universty School of Medicine called Incidence of injury in pro MMA competitions.

One comment

  1. Dave Begel is a sorry excuse for a journalist. He writes anti-MMA articles just to get a rise out of the community. Disgrace to the profession.

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