MMA in Tennessee
There was a specific reference to the term "ground and pound", a term quite often used in mixed martial arts. GnP (Ground and pound) is what we call when 1 person gets the other to the ground and controls top position while attempting to land strikes to the body and head of the opponent. I couldn't really tell by the article if the writer actually opposed to the technique involved in GnP or if he just thought the term was offensive. To a new or uneducated watcher of MMA (mixed martial arts) this may seem no different from 1 brother holding another down to tickle or poke in the chest, but there are a lot of techniques involved holding someone down and deliverying strikes. There are also numerous techniques to get out from underneath, other techniques to at least protect yourself from the stikes coming your way. This is something that the casual fan either need study and learn or you can always go to a local MMA gym and take a free class. It is easy to dismiss something new as barbaric or to see a fight and say to yourself "I could hold that guy down like that, it takes no technique". I say take a class and see for yourself.
Another comment made in the article was in regards to elbow strikes. Specifically that in a fight you may hear instructions from a corner to work the cut and try and open it up more, the goal being that if the cut gets big enough the Doctor will stop the fight. This is something widely debated within the MMA community. Cuts are part of the game, you will hear those same comments in boxing. In my opinion elbows are good for the sport, if a cut comes as the result of a good technique then so be it, to me it's just like a knock out. I don't like the fact that we have some people in the sport that go out with the intent on stopping a fight by opening up a cut. I also don't like football teams that rely on defense only and try to win games 10-7. There are facets of all sports that I don't like, but these things are within the rules and we have to live by them. Elbows, like GnP, are just antoher technique that can be utilized to knock someone out. My rebutle on this would be to ask if stiking someone with an elbow is all that more brutal than a 220 pound safety in football running a 4.5 second 40 thrusting his entire body into a wide reciever? You could make the same argument for hockey, a guy on skates charging full speed and knocking someone into a wall. There are brutal parts of every contact sport, is one any more brutal than another? I say you ask the people that participate.
Another point that has been storming through the media is Kimbo Slice. On this point I will agree in part with some of the media. I think it is an absolute shame that Elite XC choose to showcase Kimbo Slice on the 1st live primetime television event. That show on a couple of Saturday's ago did not do my sport justice. Kimbo is a former street fighting you tube sensation that has a huge fan base, he does not represent the best of what the sport has to offer. His technique is terrible and there are a 100 guys that could finish him in the 1st round. His opponent, James Thompson, has lost 7 of his last 9 fights, 6 by KO and 4 of those in the 1st round. The UFC and Dana White have done so much to take the punk or thug attitude out of the sport and promote it with great athletes, Elite XC put everything back a few steps with that move. It was a shame. Now, if Kimbo continues training maybe in the future he could make more of a contribution but for now he's just a carnival like attraction.
It would be easy for me to slant an article saying how brutal something is. Let's talk football for just a second. Let's talk football here in TN. Albert Haynesworth, in a fit of rage, stomped on a helmetless opponent cutting him open. He then stormed across the field toward the locker room throwing a most memorable fit. Last year here in Nasvhille Shawn Merriman of the Chargers hit Vince Young in what appeared to be a cheap shot. Althought any Titan coach will deny it we all saw Merriman get drilled not to long after it, an obvious retaliation for an earlier hit. PacMan Jones, who is in Dallas now, was known for an unbelievable number of off the field antics involving guns, hitting women and who knows what else. Last year at a Vanderbilt game, I am a proud season ticket holder, a player from Kentucky took a good 2 steps out of bounds to deliver a spear (hit with his helmet) to the chest of one of our running backs knocking him unconsious. I could list more and more to say how brutal football is. The fact is that anywhere we go in life there are some boneheads, or good people who have a bonehead moment. The people who don't want to see MMA become successfull grab the worst examples they can without seeking the full truth.
If you would like to compare some brutal sports do some research or make some of the following comparisons.
Compare Boxing to MMA. Would you rather be hit 100's of time with a big 14-16ounce glove as you would in boxing. Or hit a few times with a 4ounce glove and getting KO'd. A doctor will tell you that NO knock out is good for you, neither is getting a concussion. But getting hit 100's of times is far worse. The fact is that the 16 ounce glove is designed to protect the hand, not your brain. Boxing is far worse health wise than MMA.
Compare the longevity of an individual in MMA vs Football. There are many people cpmpeting in MMA at the top of thier game into their late 30's and more. Randy Couture was the Heavyweight Champion of the UFC when he 'retired' and he is 44 years old. Chuck Liddell is 37 and was the Light-heavyweight Champion until 1 year ago, he will more than likely be getting another shot at the title within 6 month to a year if he keeps winning. One of my heros growing up was Howie Long, he can barely get out of bed in the morning after his time spent in football.
MMA has been legalized in Tennessee. Whether you think it is brutal or not is now irrelevant, it's the largest growing sport in the world right now and more and more people are learning about it. It's here to stay. All I ask is that before you pass judgement on something learn about it. Don't jsut pick a couple of bad things that happened or some bad people that are involved and say the whole thing is just about money.