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Rant :: Ban MMA? Maybe if you knew what MMA even stood for...
  submitted on March 24, 2006, 6:44 AM

Here is a recent e-mail I sent to the editor of the Madison Courier about an article published on their website yesterday. They are attempting to attack MMA and ultimate fighting, when it's blatantly obvious that they have no idea what ultimate fighting is, and probably couldn't tell me what MMA stood for if I asked them. I encourage anyone to send the editor a pleasant piece of their mind in regards to the abomination of a column that this piece of writing is.


To Whom It May Concern:

Your paper ran an article yesterday on your website regarding the attempt by your city to ban MMA. I feel that the writer of this article is severely misinformed on the nature of mixed martial arts (MMA), and it's relation to other acceptable combat sports, namely boxing.

"The goal of the "sport" is to pit two pugilists against one another until only one is standing. The rules are few. The winner takes home some cash. The loser leaves with a bruised ego and severe injuries."

The rules are not few. There are a number of rules in place to protect fighters from serious injury, just as there is in boxing. Fighters are prohibited from targeting the back of the head. They are prohibited from headbutting. They are prohibited from kicking a downed opponent in the head. Many rules that are in place for boxing, you will also find in place for MMA fights.

Second, the loser of the fight is not guaranteed to leave with severe injuries. In fact, most of the time fighters are able to get up and walk out of the arena on their own power. They might require some stitches, and maybe have some bumps and bruises for the next few weeks, but again, how is this any different from boxing?

""Ultimate fighting" is violent to an extreme. Outside the ring, such conduct would land the fighters in jail - and, perhaps, a hospital."

Ultimate fighting is a sanctioned sport that has many rules and is regulated carefully by state athletic commissions. Trying to compare it to 'street fighting' is a pathetic and irrelevant attempt to lower the validity of the sport. Again, I refer to boxing. Does anyone attack boxing because two guys punching each other outside of a boxing ring could also land them in jail or perhaps a hospital? The author is singling out MMA and trying to attack it when an incredibly similar sport in boxing goes completely unmentioned.

" "Ultimate fighting" is different than wrestling - which is violent, but orchestrated, and traditional boxing which is violent, but requires extensive training."

Here the author makes a horrible attempt at trying to differentiate between ultimate fighting and boxing, and fails miserably. Boxing is 'violent, but requires extensive training', implying that ultimate fighting somehow does not, which is a complete lie, and indicative of the lack of knowledge this writer has when it comes to MMA. First off, you have two types of fighters when it comes to boxing. You have the professionals, the people who have enough talent and make enough money that their career is boxing. On the flip side, you have amateurs, people who box, but don't make enough money to do it on a full-time basis. In this set up, the professionals undoubtedly spend more time training, because they have the means to do so. They are professional boxers, and as such, it is as much their job to train for their fights as it is to actually fight. That isn't to say amateur boxers don't train, because they do, but they just don't have the same ability to invest all their time into training.

The same applies for MMA. The top fighters, the 'professional' fighters, make enough money to be able to focus solely on their fighting. As an example, Rich Franklin is the current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion. Franklin spends many hours every day training in a variety of fighting styles, in addition to constant workouts and a very strict diet. There is no down time for Franklin; he is constantly training for his next fight, which are generally months apart from each other. Again, amateur fighters don't have the luxury of spending that kind of time solely on training, but to imply that to train for an MMA bout is any less intensive than for a boxing match is downright ignorant.

""Ultimate fighting" is nothing more than two schoolyard bullies pounding the stuffing out of their opponent. There is no way it can be defended as a sport or entertainment."

This is a very poorly written attempt to finish a column. A meaningless attack at MMA that has absolutely no ground to stand on whatsoever. The author has made absolutely no attempt to explain why they feel the need to discredit ultimate fighting outside of their worthless claim that it doesn't require 'extensive training' like boxing does. Then, feeling that they have somehow made a point (which they haven't), they top off the column by again comparing ultimate fighting to street fighting, despite the fact that that argument still holds no validity.

To claim that there is no way it can be defended as a sport or entertainment is amusing at best, considering I, along with others who have also sent your paper e-mails, have defended it as a sport (I'm sure the Nevada State Athletic Commission could do so to if you felt like contacting them), and trying to deny it as entertainment is a complete joke considering the millions of UFC fans there currently are in this country. You can't discredit something as entertainment when millions specifically watch it for just that.

In closing, I'm not sure who wrote that column, but as the editor, you should be ashamed that such a poorly written and ignorantly-biased piece of writing was actually printed for the public to see. In regards to ultimate fighting, I encourage your staff to do a little more research before mindlessly attacking a sport that they clearly have no understanding of.

Thank you for your time,

Mike Maloney

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