Does MMA lack Professionalism or is it the certain few that stand out?
My brain typically races at a million miles a minute, when I’m working, working out, eating, or even sleeping… One thing that’s really stuck with me based on articles I’ve been reading lately and even posts throughout various social networking outlets was the fine line that separates MMA from a brutal engagement of violence and a professional sport.
We can begin to think about fighters as a whole; which is generally the main reason I formed KnockoutLounge.com — to LEARN about these fighters’ stories and what places them here… and in the cage. In most cases I’ve found the Amateur and Pro up and comers to be very humbled; they fight because it was a sport they were introduced to since childhood, their training/healthy lifestyles help boost their own self-confidence, or the sport and their training has thwarted them from getting into trouble. There’s also the other side to that story; those who are in the world of MMA strictly because they like fighting… violence. I had one fighter tell me that he really enjoys getting punched in the face… Whatever their motives are good, bad, or just weird… We can safely say they are in this sport for some kind of reason.
I look to the recent stories of James Head being called a bully in school; and now he’s fighting professionally on TV – does this make the sport look bad? Was there any truth to this accusation to begin with? We really don’t know much, but we have headline scouts who see this story and are ready to point the finger at the violence of the sport and not the impact it’s had on many peoples’ lives. Within the likes of this and similar stories; we do see a lot of trash talk and it’s to the point where it can be pretty ridiculous… MMA is a sport and of course there will always be rivalries – but when using profanity is what sells your upcoming performance, can you make an argument that it’s not professional?
We see fighters like the Diaz brothers. VERY exciting fighters, but will blatantly not care about the professional aspect – will throw middle fingers up and curse before, during, and after the fight… often not even show up for press conferences… but they remain in the sport, the televised aspect because of what they bring to the table as ‘fighters’ …as caged animals fighting for their lives. Now, I’m not directly pointing the fingers as just stating the clearest of examples; I enjoy watching these guys fight, even if I may root for their opponent most of the time… Is it a ‘bad’ sport, or just a few bad seeds that are involved?
The sport has gotten to the point where there are petitions to stop Toys R Us from selling MMA figurines, as they state that these are not toys that children should be ‘modeling’ their lives after and it’s not child-safe for them to watch/take part in.
Now on the contrary, many children [especially in today’s world] battle lack of self-esteem; combat sports help them gain confidence in themselves as well as teach them discipline and self-defense… some may use it for wrong, some may use it for the right reasons – but this argument can be used for the growing gun-law fiasco too… Is it the SPORT or the weapons that are the problem or the bad seeds that do not respect the bigger picture enough?
Dealing with a lot of fighters during interviews or those that I know personally; I know that this sport [or most combat sports] has changed their lives for the better. Gaining self-confidence, competing in a sport where your mind as well as your health come into play on a second-by-second basis, gaining discipline to know when to and when not to use your acquired skills… all of this sheds a very positive light on these sports; but we don’t see this in the media.
I was initially going to make this a long write-up until I noticed a few days ago, Gail Jitsu of Girl-Jitsu.com posted a question regarding the sport in which she stated:
“Just had a “debate” with an acquaintance — who, by the way does not train in any discipline — about MMA and other combat sports. THEIR STANCE: “Minus Herb Dean and Joe Rogan, MMA is nothing but gratuitous violence held indoors to an audience of hundreds to maybe thousands, for profit. It is no more ‘humane’ than back alley brawls and street fights posted on YouTube. Guys get knocked out, broken bones, concussions and mutilated faces. Of course, at the end of it, they go home with a paycheck and a TapOut shirt.””
So now I ask a series of questions sprouting from Gail’s question as well as this little rant.
1. Fighters and those training… What is it that YOU fight for and what is it that keeps you motivated in this sport?
2. Fans/Fighters … Do you see this as a sport based of violence and TapOut Shirts or a Sport of Mental Stability and Discipline?
Share your thoughts, let’s get some conversation going. BIG SHOUT OUT TO GAIL over at Girl-Jitsu and all the women who kicked serious butt during Invicta 4.