Yesterday, in the wake of the “The Tree” Michael Kirkham (1-3*) disaster in South Carolina, I set about the internet in search of those people who make it their business to rise up and cry for the ban of Mixed Martial Arts on a federal level. I prepared myself to look on this argument objectively (despite the rage I knew the multitude of anti-MMA sites would bring) by pushing the thought that every anti-MMA argument would be as ignorant and unsupported as the ones found on MMA forums posted by the uneducated out of my mind and I found one very disturbing truth and one almost comic realization:
1. MMA fans and the pro-MMA media are, in fact, the biggest perpetrators of these moronic ideals.
2. The major opponents of MMA are actually as uneducated and unfounded as the morons who choose to join MMA forums just to blast it as human cockfighting! I came to the first of these realizations when I performed a series of simple Google searches. I was looking for the vast multitude of anti-MMA message boards, articles, petitions, and organizations. When I keyed in “anti-MMA politics” “Arguments against MMA” “Anti-MMA Arguments” and “Ban MMA” I expected to find a multitude of forums and sites ranging from traditional martial arts blogs reviling MMA for its “lack of honor” to articles from major news outlets speaking against the sport with their typical “human cockfighting” spin to online petitions crying for the sport to be made illegal. What I found instead was that when you search these topics, you get more links from MMA media outlets and forums such as Bloodyelbow.com, Cagepotato.com, MMAjunkie.com, and Sherdog.com complaining about arguments against MMA than anything else. When you dig deeper and read through MMA forums or even the comments following an anti-MMA article from a different source, one find that the comments from MMA supporters pointing out how foolish and uneducated everyone associated with a ban on MMA out number the comments against MMA by staggering proportions. This tells me that the strong opposition to the sport that MMA pundits cry about really doesn’t exist, at least not as the MMA media would like us to believe. In fact I found only one site actually dedicated to the ban of Mixed Martial Arts.
Antimma.com- an anti-MMA forum created by a small group of TMA enthusiasts. This site has almost completely died out with only a handful of posts since the beginning of 2010. I encourage you to look at it as the vast majority of the posts against MMA come from a very small minority. The bulk of the posters on these forums are actually MMA supporters arguing with the site administrators and moderators.
The fact that anywhere online I found anti-MMA postings or articles I found a far greater number of pro-MMA rebuttals tells me that the lobby against legalized MMA is very small. Are there a few influential politicians and sensationalist left wing journalist who continue to spew the tired old arguments of “death match” “human cockfighting” “promotes violence” and “Degrades moral values” despite the fact that there is irrefutable statistical evidence to the contrary? Absolutely. Unfortunately the people who ensure that these spinsters’ unfounded views are seen and heard by all are the same people who fight against it.
As we have all come to realize, there really is no valid argument against MMA as a sport that isn’t an argument against every contact sport or at the very least every combat sport. Both in overall numbers and per athlete statistics, MMA has fewer serious injuries, both short term and long term, and fewer TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries, than any other combat sport or the sport of football according to the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine published by John Hopkins University. This is a fact that the loud mouthed few in the lobby against MMA are well aware of. In fact it is the very reason they rely on shock tactics such as referring to the sport as “cage fighting” or “ultimate fighting” or spewing dated lines about “blood sport” and “human cockfighting” and “lack of sportsmanship”. This lack of evidence as well as the lack of true public opposition to the sport is evidenced in the following two petitions:
To: U.S. Congress
We are writing to express our concern at the growing popularity of the brutal “sport” of human cock fighting, commonly known as Mixed Martial Arts(MMA). The “sport” was intended to put a boxer against judoka, karata vs savata, and so forth. The idea has been twisted by Zuffa LLC and now it is merely a brawl in a cage, supported by thousands of live beer guzzling youths. It is watched by approximately more than half a million people on Pay-Per-View (PPV). We wish you to end this violent “sport” before it takes over the minds of the next generation.
The Undersigned – http://www.petitiononline.com/banmmaya/petition.html a truly inspired, well founded, and influential cry for justice signed by 83 people. You may now pause to wipe the sarcasm the dripped off that observation from your keyboard.
To: The New York Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts & Sports Development
Dear Members of the Committee:
It has come to our attention that bill 1-11458-A, intended to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York, is being considered in the State Legislature. While 37 states have passed laws regulating MMA, New York has had an active ban on the sport since 1997. At the time, pejorative labels like “human cockfighting” plagued the sport — and they weren’t always unwarranted. But MMA in 2009 is a markedly different sport than it was 12 years ago, particularly since the advent of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts in 2001, which outlawed such dangerous techniques as head-butts and kicking the head of a downed opponent. The idea of modern MMA as “no holds barred” competition couldn’t be further from the truth.
Seeing the combination of kickboxing and submission grappling within the confines of a caged enclosure may seem alien to some viewers at first. MMA matches are undoubtedly violent affairs which often leave their competitors bloodied, and there’s always the possibility of injury. Thankfully, serious injuries remain a rare occurrence in MMA competition, and there’s been only one death related to sanctioned competition in the U.S. This is a direct result of the numerous rules and safeguards that are in place to keep the fighters safe — everything from the referee’s orders to stop a match when a participant is no longer mounting an intelligent defense, to the cage itself, which prevents fighters from falling out of the ring. There’s no data to suggest that MMA is any more dangerous than other high-impact sports like boxing, football, or hockey. In fact, a recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study concluded that the lower knockout rates in MMA compared to boxing may make MMA fighters less susceptible to brain injury.
Furthermore, it seems irresponsible to deny New York the tax and tourism revenue that high-profile MMA events could bring when the State is facing a $15 billion shortfall. An economic impact study commissioned by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and conducted by HR&A Advisors found that a UFC event in New York City would generate $11.5 million in “net new” economic activity, $5.3 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in non-lodging visitor spending, and $4.9 million in indirect/induced benefits, while an event in Buffalo would generate $5.2 million in “net new” economic activity, $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending and $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits.
We, the undersigned fans, fighters, and supporters of mixed martial arts, implore you to lift the ban on our sport. Opponents of MMA offer no evidence or data to prove that it is unacceptably dangerous to competitors or harmful to spectators, and the current resistance to MMA, in our opinion, comes primarily from an incomplete understanding of the sport and the positive impact it would have on New York’s local economies. Please don’t allow legislation to be dictated by emotional reactions rather than a reasonable consideration of the facts.
Ben Goldstein and Ben Fowlkes
Editors, CagePotato.com – http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/petition-sign.cgi?MMAinNY This bloodthirsty group of 4698 New Yorkers managed to paint a beautiful falsehood to hide the true brutality of MMA and its “beer guzzling youths”
I personally will refuse to label this article with the tag “anti MMA” or “MMA Ban” mainly because from what I have seen, the easiest way for a curious voter to find the fictitious sensationalism spewed by the opponents of MMA is to look for it on our own forums. Their lack of an ability to substantiate their claims with statistical or even anecdotal evidence is enough to keep the even remotely learned reader from paying heed to them. We do far more damage to our own cause by wrapping our well founded arguments in words like “uneducated moron” and “ignorant dumb ass” and “fool who should check his facts before…” that lead the curious directly to the aforementioned ignorance. You want proof that we often respond aggressively, drawing attention to an article the casual voter would normally overlook? Just visit http://theboard.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/the-disturbing-rise-of-ultimate-fighting/ and count the comments. Not only are the responses from the supports of MMA the most substantial, they out number the comments from detractors better than 3 to 1. This is an editorial posted in one of, if not the, largest publication in the United States and it only had 7 comments from 5 people in support of the article out of 25 comments.
Editor’s Note: The Staff at MMA Gospel would like to ask all those in support of our great sport to refrain from responding to these outrageous claims. The more we post in their comment sections the more “hits” they get. These hits lead to their editors asking for more pieces of a similar nature. Their unfounded claims go largely unheard and let’s push forward together for the greater good of MMA.