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July 30, 2005

Cage Fighting

Incidentally, what's all this fuss over cage fighting? I mean, not my cup of tea, but if a bunch of wannabe-warriors want to step between chicken wire and beat the consensual crap out of each other, who cares? I'm glad that they have fewer deaths than boxing, I'm pleased that the cage prevents whiplash, but in the end, when people want to do stupid shit outside the eyes of regulation, there's not a whole lot that can be done to stop them. Indeed, if you really were concerned about safety, you wouldn't criminalize or shun the sport, you'd try and usher it into some sort of more regulated, more codified system where the rules could be normalized, best-methods for safety could be observed, and competent referees could keep an eye on the action.

When I was 15, I went to the Southern California championships for wrestling. It was my first year on varsity, I was a sophomore. In my first match, my opponent, an older, lumbering, heavier guy, flipped me. Generally, I did well with bigger dudes, but this guy just flipped me. The problem was, he landed on my throat. I couldn't get any air. Couldn't cough or gag, couldn't talk or scream. I tried to tap out, but the ref didn't see. So I started trying to shove my fingers in his eyes. Thankfully, the ref called me pinned before I passed out. It was damn scary though, scariest thing that ever happened to me.

That was in a high school sanctioned sport, but even so, the ref wasn't watching for the tap. These ones are. But what if one forgets? You want safety, normalize the rules, like they did in New Jersey and Nevada, make sure the competitors know their exit strategies and the referees are watching for when they run towards the door. That keeps people safe. Our disapproval, lawsuits against the promoters...the farther you drive this underground, the more dangerous it'll get, the more brutal it'll be, and the more people will be hurt or killed.

July 30, 2005 in Sports | Permalink

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Comments

I'm with you on the libertarian point that people should be free to fight each other, yea unto death. But I don't believe that outlawing these fights, or holding promoters liable, would increase the number of deaths/serious injuries. There simply wouldn't be nearly as many of these events if they were driven underground, couldn't be promoted, etc. The relative frequency of death and disability might be higher, but the absolute number would almost certainly decrease.

Let's also be clear that we are talking about two kettles of fish: on one hand, the "Ultimate Fighting Championships" that are typically pay-per-view matches between experienced fighters in different disciplines, and on the other, what amounts to amateur prize-fights in bars. One could regulate things so that the latter are pretty much eliminated while the former are still permitted.

Posted by: kth | Jul 30, 2005 4:34:09 PM

Cage fighting is something you would expect from the not so mainstream left coast and not from american heartland.

Posted by: dm | Jul 31, 2005 5:15:51 AM

As I grew up in a small semi-rural tow, I'm not suprised about cage fighting in these areas more than urban areas. I was bored to death growing up - kids (and adults probably too) in small town America are aching for culture, fun, excitment. They either get religion or they beat each other up. (I'm exempting the one's who are content to raise kids and watch the corn grow of course). At least in a city every day is an adventure and there are all kinds of movies, talks, museums, ethnic neighborhoods -- alll kind sof challenges and things to learn too. People in NYC are too busy fighting for a spot on the subway to spend time cage fighting.

Posted by: kim | Aug 4, 2005 10:54:12 AM

Hi... I'm working on a book of photographs about Nebraska (and in some cases, surrounding states). Does anyone know if there is a comprehensive list somewhere of all cage-fighting matches in the midwest? Thanks a lot....
Greg Halpern

Posted by: greg halpern | Sep 21, 2005 2:36:24 PM

I have done martial arts for over four years now. As an accomplished fighter I can say that the cage fighters that fight in the UFC and other arenas are trained in their disiplines and know the risks they are taking. Think about it, if you have trained yourself all around in grappling and striking and have dedicated so much of your time, than of course you will want to prove your own effectiveness in a real fight. Of course you can do it on the street, as I have, but in the cage your opponent is also trained so it is much more of an accomplisment. Yes there are risks to doing this but the refferees in such competitions know what to look for and when to stop the match. Remember, since the UFC has started there hasn't been any serious injuries beyond broken limbs. Just because you got scared in a wrestling match as a teenager doesn't mean real proffesionals are.

Posted by: Chris | Dec 14, 2005 7:32:50 AM

the problem with your scenario is that the wrestling ref is not looking for the tap. He is looking for the pin. Cage fighting refs look for a tap. They are trained to look for the participants tapping out. Watch the UFC. the refs are well trained.

Posted by: Amar | Apr 8, 2006 7:07:21 PM

JUST FINISHED JUDGING A GREAT MMA SHOW IN OKLAHOMA CITY AND WAS SURPRISED AT THE COMPETENCE OF THE FIGHTERS, THE JUDGES, THE REFEREE AND THE PROMOTERS. MAYBE I WOULDNT RECOMMEND MY SON FOR THIS SPORT,(HE HAD 75 AMATEUR BOXING MATCHES),BUT IT WAS EXCITING, ENTERTAINING AND, IF YOU WANNA BE THE BEST ON THE BLOCK, TRAIN LIKE THE MMA GUYS DO, THEY ARE THE BADDEST GUYS ON THE PLANET.

Posted by: ENOS STANDRIDGE | Apr 30, 2006 3:08:32 PM

ive been in martial arts for over four years now. ive been hurt seriously before and i new the risk i was taking. only a dumbass like you would complain about some "big dude" laying on you like he's soppose to too win. cage fighters ARE the ultimate fighters. they can fight standing up and on the ground and no other fighter can do that. true fighters no what they are getting into and no what to do when they have to tap out. refs. look for ability to defend yourself and tap outs. so if your going to talk shit on fighters then maybe do your research before making yourself look like a real dumbass

Posted by: broskii | Nov 29, 2006 1:36:03 PM

hello

i dont know what all the fuss is about. i`v played rugby for over 21years and just recently got into cage fighting(33 now got to keep fit!)Found that your more likly to get seriously hurt playing rugby league then cage fighting. What a sport! its nearly as good as rugby league. Now that is a hard sport belive you me after 7 teeth knocked out, nose broke,leg and fractured skull not to mention fingers and black eyes cage fighting is just a walk in the park. i used to play centre, no body protection, no hemlmet, no nothing and for 80mins get the shit knocked out you, and i used to do this twice a week!

Posted by: donrus | Dec 30, 2006 4:00:49 PM

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO KNOW WHERE I CAN BUY DVD'S ON THIS CAGE FIGHTING AND UFC,WE DONT GET VIEWING HERE IN SA.
THANKS GARY OWEN

Posted by: GARY OWEN | Apr 24, 2007 1:55:56 AM

you can get them on play.com

i love cage fighting and, im looking out for underground ones in berkshire does anyone know were and when there are some underground ones?

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 11:00:39 PM

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