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LONGEVITY IN COMBAT SPORTS: MMA VERSUS BOXING

Renfrew

Since the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) into the mainstream, an age old question remains: Is MMA safer then boxing? The main premise behind the debate has always been that unlike boxing, in MMA, there are more routes to victory than hitting your opponent. Highlighting the apparent, you will find less painful routes to victory, thus creating some losses in MMA less detrimental on a fighter’s body and mind. The Unified Rules of MMA make it possible for an MMA fighter to win a bout by judges’ choice or by possibly submitting their competitor. The resulting notion is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the chances are lessened that they may become jaded drunk. But, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves employed in MMA and the fact that the rules allowing for leg elbows and strikes. Therefore”it’s time” to take an in-depth appearance to either side of this argument. Prior to getting into the thick of the argument, I’d like to highlight one of the key reasons I chose to write this article. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired fighter that I have met many times, resides in my hometown. On paper, his life seems like a success story. However the actual truth is that his boxing career killed his odds of having a successful life after his career was finished. A brief documentary on his narrative are available 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 has been in. Despite scoring two standing 8 counts at round two the judges given that around to Tate. Upon going pro, he found himself quickly murdered in 1988 with failed comebacks in both 1991 and 1997. Shawn’s overall listing of 23-5-0, with 16 knockouts passed him 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 had to continue boxing due to brain injury that he saw during a CAT scan. Now, O’Sullivan is living with the difficulties of brain damage, however, he doesn’t repent his career in boxing. During my many conversations with O’Sullivan, he almost always slurred his speech also had problems remembering parts of his life. 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” brought about partly as a consequence of his fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you want to find out what I mean, take a few minutes and watch his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to many, and something which highlights the relevance of the guide is that O’Sullivan was pushed into boxing with his first trainer: his father. Rumors are his dad was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and much larger guys as part of the everyday reality test for O’Sullivan. As parents, one may feel uncomfortable advocating that your kid partake in any combat sport out of the fear of their long term consequences. Therefore signing your child up to either boxing or MMA training could become a question of which is safer? Is there a chance that you could help select the lesser of two so-called evils. Until recently the whole debate behind MMA is safer then Boxing was entirely theoretical. There continues to be small 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 health care exams from roughly 1,700 fighters in Edmonton, Canada. According to the study, Fifty-nine per cent of MMA athletes lasted some form of harm, compared to 50 percent of fighters. But, fighters were likely to lose consciousness in a bout: seven per cent versus four per cent 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 revealed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in almost a third of professional bouts. It’s not my aim to cast doubt on the protection of a sport, however both boxing and MMA have experienced instances of fatalities which are well documented. Lately a MMA fighter died due to complications reducing weight. John McCain, who once labeled the game of MMA”human cockfighting,” sat ringside at the 1995 boxing departure of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few severe life threatening accidents in MMA come to mind because none have happened on its primary stage. A fighter’s passing within the Octagon hasn’t occurred and it never will. Nonetheless, it’s something which must be in the back of everyone’s mind when we see fighters getting knocked out lifelessly. Rendering an opponent not only defenceless but unconscious remains to be the title of the fight game whether it’s MMA or Boxing. That is where a fighter’s fanfare, bonus money and continuous hype derives. UFC President Dana White announced 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 all”safer” sports because they lack head injury all together and pose little risk of passing. Touting up safety should include a responsibility to completely study the effects of your game. The construction on what’s going to be known as the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center starts this shortly and will take 15 weeks to complete. Alongside medical insurance for training injuries, this is MMA’s second most important step towards taking on more of a top role in sport security. That said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific study will eventually 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 stage. Additionally, it can not be stressed enough that the first generation of fighters are just getting out of the game within the past few decades. Science has a remarkably small sample size to look at in terms of aging MMA fighters at this time, though UFC originals like Gary Goodridge are already feeling the effects. We probably still need a few more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to get an actual feel for the effects of the game on them since they age. And by that I mean boxers who have had to compete with other high level athletes, not fighters who were the very best of a game that was very much in the developmental stages. Fighters like George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and Ronda Rousey are not likely to deal with any longstanding effects of brain injury primarily due to their runs of desire as well as their ability to prevent significant harm. Johnson recently stated on the Joe Rogan Expertise that”There is not enough money in the world for me to risk brain damage.” Johnson, like many other fighters that are educated, knows that taking too much harm in his profession will hurt his longevity both indoors and outside the sport, and that is why he’s so conscious of his safety in the Octagon. Perhaps that is the main reason why he’s never lost consciousness in the Octagon. Whatever the scenario, it is difficult to use findings of the past to determine the security of the game today. So much constantly changes within the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is essentially the exact same in attempting to compare very different sports. Perhaps then a better approach isn’t to examine the sport’s past, and rather on its current and foreseeable future. The debate about which sport is safer due to the glove size is moot. The amount of punishment a fighter takes over their livelihood is individualistic and highly determined by a fighter’s style. The main selling point as to why MMA is safer than boxing is actually the glove dimensions. The boxing glove has been created to guard the hands, not the person being punched. However MMA professionals assert that they use the bare minimum in hand defense. Any debate surrounding how a hand will break before the mind is not exactly the most appealing strategy to advocate for a safer game. The same holds for the standing eight count. Arguing that permitting a concussed fighter to keep in a struggle after being knocked down just furthers brain injury. In MMA we witness that a whole lot follow up punches following a fighter is left unconscious — maybe equally damaging to allowing a boxer to continue after receiving devastating blows. There are many factors in determining the devastation of a landed punch–out of technique to timing, to whether or not the receiver saw the punch coming–which it would be virtually impossible to determine in a live game that glove size could have caused the maximum damage. Furthermore, there are a number of different elements and rules that determining which sport is safer. The average period of a Boxing game is generally longer then that of an MMA fight. There are so many factors that are individualistic into the fighter. I’d like to announce each sport equally as harmful, but until further research is done, one can not make such a statement with much confidence. The inherent dangers in both sports are intrinsically connected. The ability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the sport is much more dependant on the skills of this fighter themselves then their respective sports parameters independently. Generalizing that is safer without the scientific proof to support such a claim remains to be a matter of opinion.
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