Since the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) into the mainstream, an age old question remains: Is MMA safer then boxing? The major premise behind the argument has always been that unlike boxing, in MMA, there are more avenues to victory compared to striking your opponent. Highlighting the apparent, there are less debilitating paths to victory, therefore making some losses in MMA less detrimental on a fighter’s body and brain. The Unified Rules of MMA make it possible for an MMA fighter to win a bout by judges’ choice or by maybe submitting their opponent. The resulting idea is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the chances are lessened they may become jaded drunk. However, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves implemented in MMA and also the fact the rules allowing for leg elbows and strikes. Therefore”it’s time” to have an in-depth appearance to both sides of the argument. Before getting into the thick of this debate, I’d like to highlight one of the key reasons I decided to write this report. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired boxer who 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 profession killed his chances of having a successful life after his career was over. A brief documentary on his narrative are available below.Many would consider O’Sullivan’s career marginally illustrious because he was 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 seemed like the fix was in. Despite scoring two standing 8 counts at around two the judges awarded that round to Tate. Upon going pro, he found himself quickly murdered in 1988 with unsuccessful comebacks in both 1991 and 1997. Shawn’s overall record of 23-5-0, together with 16 knockouts passed him without reaching his dreams of competing in a world title bout. After four fights in 1997, a neurologist refused to renew the permit he had to continue boxing due to brain injury that he saw during a CAT scan. Today, O’Sullivan is living with the issues of brain damage, however, he does not regret his career in boxing. Throughout my many conversations with O’Sullivan, he practically always slurred his speech also had difficulties recalling parts of his lifetime. Sadly, his ability to share his story is all he has to show for his illustrious career. However, that is hindered as a result of the culmination of blows to the head he endured during his boxing career. O’Sullivan suffers from fighter’s dementia, commonly known as being”punch drunk” caused partially as a result of the fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you want to see exactly what I mean, take a few minutes and see his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to most, and something which highlights the significance of this article is that O’Sullivan was pushed to boxing with his first trainer: his dad. Rumors are his dad was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and even larger guys as part of the everyday reality check for O’Sullivan. As parents, one may feel uncomfortable advocating your kid partake in any battle sport out of this fear of the long-term consequences. Therefore signing your child up to either boxing or MMA training could become a matter of which can be safer? Is there a possibility you could help choose the lesser of 2 so-called evils. Until recently the whole argument behind MMA is safer then Boxing was entirely theoretical. There remains to be little scientific facts and findings to support the claim. Most recently the University of Alberta’s Dr. Shelby Karpman led a review of over a decade’s worth of medical exams from approximately 1,700 fighters in Edmonton, Canada. According to the study, Fifty-nine per cent of MMA athletes sustained some kind of injury, compared to 50 per cent of boxers. But, fighters were likely to lose consciousness during a bout: seven per cent versus four percent for MMA fighters. Irrespective of the facts to as which sport is safer, The Canadian Medical Association has called for a ban on both MMA and boxing. By highlighting a 2014 University of Toronto study showed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in almost a third of specialist spells. It’s not my intention to cast doubt onto the safety of a game, nevertheless both boxing and MMA have experienced cases of deaths that are well recorded. Recently a MMA fighter died due to complications cutting weight. John McCain, who once labeled the game of MMA”human cockfighting,” sat ringside in the 1995 boxing death of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few serious life threatening injuries in MMA come to mind because no one have occurred on its main point. A fighter’s passing inside the Octagon hasn’t occurred and it never will. Nonetheless, it’s something that has to be in the back of everybody’s mind when 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’s MMA or Boxing. That is where a fighter’s fanfare, bonus cash and continuous hype derives. UFC President Dana White declared MMA that the”safest sport in the world, fact.” The idea that MMA is the safest sport in the entire world is mad. Tennis, golf, track and field, swimming… are”safer” sports in that they lack head injury all together and pose little risk of death. Touting up safety should include a responsibility to fully study the ramifications of your game. The construction on what will be called the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center begins this shortly and will take 15 months to complete. Next to medical insurance for training injuries, this is MMA’s second most significant step towards taking on more of a leading role in sport safety. With that said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific study will finally develop MMA as a”safer” alternative for battle sport athletes when compared with boxing. However, it would just further the game’s reverse relationship. As MMA increases in popularity, boxing’s visibility in the national understanding continues to fall and it is easy to finger point. It also can’t be stressed enough that the first generation of fighters are only getting out of this sport within the past few years. Science has a remarkably small sample size to check at in terms of aging MMA fighters at this time, although UFC originals like Gary Goodridge are already feeling the consequences. We probably still require a few more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to get an actual 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 that had been the best of a sport that was very much in the developmental phases. Fighters like George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and Ronda Rousey are not likely to face any longstanding effects of brain injury primarily because of their runs of dominance as well as their capacity to avoid significant damage. Johnson recently said on the Joe Rogan Expertise that”There is not enough money in the entire 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 hurt his longevity both indoors and outside the sport, and that’s why he is so conscious of his security in the Octagon. Maybe that’s the main reason why he’s never lost consciousness in the Octagon. In any scenario, it’s difficult to utilize findings of yesteryear to find out the safety of the sport now. So much always changes within the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is basically the same in trying to compare completely different sports. Maybe then a better approach is not to examine the game’s past, and rather on its present as time goes on. The argument about which game is safer due to the glove size is moot. The amount of punishment a fighter chooses over their career is individualistic and highly dependent on a fighter’s style. The most important selling point as to why MMA is more powerful than boxing is truly the glove size. The boxing glove has been created to guard the hands, not the person being punched. However MMA professionals assert that they utilize the bare minimum in hand defense. Any debate surrounding the fact that a hand will break before the head isn’t the most appealing approach to advocate for a safer game. The same holds for the standing eight count. Arguing that permitting a concussed fighter to keep in a fight after being knocked down only furthers brain trauma. In MMA we see a whole lot follow up punches following a fighter is rendered unconscious — maybe equally damaging to allowing a boxer to continue after getting devastating blows. There are so many factors in determining the devastation of a landed punch–from technique to timing, to whether or not the receiver saw the punch coming–which it would be virtually impossible to determine at a live match which glove size could have caused the maximum damage. What’s more, there are quite a few other rules and elements that determining which game is safer. The normal period of a Boxing game is normally longer then that of an MMA fight. There are many factors that are individualistic into the fighter. I’d like to declare each game equally as harmful, but until additional research is completed, an individual can not make such a statement with much assurance. The inherent risks in the sports are intrinsically connected. The capability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the game is more dependant on the abilities of the fighter themselves their respective sports parameters independently. Generalizing which is safer with no scientific proof to support such a claim remains to be a matter of opinion.
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