As the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the mainstream, an age old question remains: Is MMA safer then boxing? The main premise behind the argument has always been that unlike boxing, in MMA, there are more avenues to success compared to striking your opponent. Highlighting the apparent, you will find less painful paths to success, therefore making some reductions in MMA less damaging on a fighter’s body and mind. The Unified Rules of MMA make it possible for a MMA fighter to win a bout by judges’ choice or by maybe submitting their competitor. The resulting idea is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the odds are lessened that they may become punch drunk. But, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves implemented in MMA and also the fact the rules allowing for leg strikes and elbows. Therefore”it is time” to take a comprehensive look to both sides of this argument. Before getting into the thick of the debate, I’d like to highlight one of the key reasons I decided to write this article. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired fighter that I have met many times, lives in my hometown. On paper, his life seems like a success story. However the actual truth is that his boxing career killed his chances of having a successful life after his career was over. A brief documentary on his story can be found below.Many would consider O’Sullivan’s career somewhat illustrious because he had been the 1981 World Amateur Champion, 1981 Canadian Athlete of the Year and 1984 Olympic Silver medalist at light middleweight. Also many believe his gold medal bout against Frank Tate very controversial as it appeared like the fix was in. Despite scoring two standing 8 counts in round two the judges given that round to Tate. Upon going expert, he found himself quickly murdered in 1988 with unsuccessful comebacks in both 1991 and 1997. Shawn’s overall listing of 23-5-0, with 16 knockouts handed him by without accomplishing his dreams of competing in a world title bout. After four more fights in 1997, a neurologist refused to renew the permit he needed to continue boxing because of brain injury that he saw during a CAT scan. Now, O’Sullivan is residing with the difficulties of brain damage, however, he doesn’t regret his career in boxing. During my many discussions with O’Sullivan, he almost always slurred his speech also had difficulties recalling parts of his life. Regrettably, his ability to share his story is all he has to show for his famous career. However, that’s hindered because of the culmination of blows to the head that he endured during his boxing career. O’Sullivan suffers from boxer’s dementia, commonly known as being”punch drunk” brought about partially as a consequence of his fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you want to see what I mean, take a few minutes and see his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to most, and something that highlights the relevance of the guide is that O’Sullivan was pushed into boxing by his first trainer: his father. Rumors are his dad was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and much bigger guys as part of the daily reality test for O’Sullivan. As parents, one may feel uncomfortable advocating your kid partake in any combat sport out of this fear of the long-term consequences. So signing your child up to either boxing or MMA training can become a matter of which is safer? Is there a possibility that you could help select the lesser of 2 so-called evils. Until recently the entire debate behind MMA is safer then Boxing was completely theoretical. There continues to be little scientific facts and findings to support the claim. The University of Alberta’s Dr. Shelby Karpman headed a review of more than a decade’s worth of health care exams from roughly 1,700 fighters in Edmonton, Canada. According to the study, Fifty-nine percent of MMA athletes lasted some form of injury, compared to 50 per cent of fighters. However, boxers were more likely to eliminate consciousness during a bout: seven per cent versus four percent for MMA fighters. Irrespective of the facts to as which game is safer, The Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on both MMA and boxing. By highlighting a 2014 University of Toronto study revealed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in nearly a third of specialist spells. It’s not my aim to cast doubt onto the protection of a game, however both boxing and MMA have had instances of fatalities that are well recorded. Recently a MMA fighter died because of complications cutting weight. John McCain, who once labeled the sport of MMA”human cockfighting,” sat ringside at the 1995 boxing death of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few severe life threatening accidents in MMA come into mind as none have happened on its main stage. A fighter’s passing within the Octagon hasn’t occurred and it never will. But it’s something which has to be in the back of everyone’s mind once we see fighters getting knocked out lifelessly. Rendering a competition not only defenceless but unconscious remains to be the name of the fight game whether it be MMA or Boxing. That is where a fighter’s fanfare, bonus cash and constant hype derives. UFC President Dana White announced MMA that the”safest sport in the world, fact.” The concept that MMA is the most popular sport in the entire world is crazy. Tennis, golf, track and field, swimming… are”safer” sports in that they lack head injury all together and present little risk of passing. Touting up security should include a responsibility to fully study the ramifications of your sport. The construction on what will be known as the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center begins this shortly and will take 15 months to complete. Next to medical insurance for training accidents, this can be MMA’s second most significant step towards taking on more of a top role in sport safety. With that said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific research will eventually brand MMA as a”safer” alternative for fight sport athletes when compared with boxing. But, it would just further the game’s reverse relationship. As MMA increases in popularity, boxing’s visibility at the national understanding continues to fall and it’s easy to finger stage. It also can not be stressed enough the very first generation of fighters are only getting out of this game within the last few years. Science has a remarkably small sample dimension to look at with respect to aging MMA fighters at this time, though UFC originals like Gary Goodridge are already feeling the effects. We probably still require a few more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to have a true feel for the effects of the sport on them since they age. And by that I mean boxers that have had to compete with other high level athletes, not boxers who had been the very best of a sport that was still very much in the developmental phases. Fighters like George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and Ronda Rousey are unlikely to deal with any longstanding effects of brain injury primarily due to their runs of desire as well as their ability to avoid substantial damage. Johnson recently said on the Joe Rogan Experience that”There is not enough money in the world for me to risk brain damage” Johnson, like many other fighters that are educated, understands that taking too much damage in his career will harm his longevity both inside and outside the sport, and that is why he is so conscious of his security in the Octagon. Perhaps that is the main reason why he’s never lost consciousness in the Octagon. Whatever the scenario, it’s tough to utilize findings of yesteryear to determine the security of the sport now. So much always changes within the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is essentially the same in trying to compare completely different sports. Perhaps then a much better approach is not to look at the sport’s past, and instead on its present and foreseeable future. The argument as to which game is safer because of the glove size is moot. The amount of punishment a fighter takes over their career is individualistic and highly dependent on a fighter’s style. The main selling point as to why MMA is safer than boxing is actually the glove size. The boxing glove has been made to protect the hands, not the person being punched. However MMA professionals assert that they use the bare minimum in hand protection. Any debate surrounding how a hand will break until the head isn’t exactly the most attractive approach to advocate for a safer game. The same holds for the standing eight count. Arguing that allowing a concussed fighter to keep in a fight after being pumped just furthers brain injury. In MMA we see that a whole lot follow up punches following a fighter is left unconscious — maybe equally damaging to permitting a boxer to continue after getting devastating blows. There are many variables in determining the devastation of a landed punch–out of technique to time, to whether or not the receiver saw the punch coming–that it would be virtually impossible to determine in a live game that glove size would have caused the maximum damage. What’s more, there are a number of other elements and rules that determining which sport is safer. The normal duration of a Boxing match is normally longer then that of an MMA fight. There are many variables that are individualistic into the fighter. I’d love to announce each sport equally as harmful, but until further research is completed, one can’t create this kind of statement with much confidence. The inherent dangers in the sports are intrinsically connected. The capability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the game is much more dependant on the skills of the fighter themselves then their various sports parameters independently. Generalizing that is safer without the scientific evidence to support such a claim remains a matter of opinion.
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