Since the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the mainstream, an age old question remains: Why Is MMA safer then boxing? The major premise behind the debate has always been that unlike boxing, in MMA, there are more avenues to victory than striking your opponent. Highlighting the apparent, there are less debilitating paths to victory, thus creating some losses in MMA less damaging 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’ decision or by maybe submitting their competitor. The resulting idea is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the odds are lessened that they might become jaded drunk. But, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves employed in MMA and also the fact the rules allowing for leg strikes and elbows. Therefore”it’s time” to have a comprehensive appearance to either side of this debate. Prior to getting into the thick of the argument, I want to highlight one of the important reasons I chose to write this article. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired fighter that I’ve met many times, resides 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 finished. A brief documentary on his story can be found below.Many would believe O’Sullivan’s career somewhat 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 consider his gold medal bout against Frank Tate very controversial as it seemed like the fix has been in. Despite scoring two standing 8 counts at around two the judges given that round 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, together 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 needed 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 almost always slurred his speech also had difficulties remembering parts of his life. Sadly, his ability to share his story is all he has to show for his famous career. But, that is hindered because of the culmination of blows to the head he suffered during his boxing career. O’Sullivan suffers from boxer’s dementia, commonly called being”punch drunk” brought about partly as a consequence of the fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you’d like to see what I mean, take a few minutes and see his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to many, and something which highlights the relevance of this guide is that O’Sullivan was pushed into boxing by his first trainer: his dad. Rumors are his father was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and even larger guys as part of the everyday reality check for O’Sullivan. As parents, an individual may feel uncomfortable advocating your child 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 could become a matter 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 completely 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 sustained some kind of injury, compared to 50 percent of boxers. However, fighters were likely to lose consciousness during a bout: seven percent versus four per cent for MMA fighters. Regardless 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 showed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in almost a third of specialist spells. It is not my aim to cast doubt onto the safety of a game, however both boxing and MMA have had instances of fatalities which 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 in the 1995 boxing death of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few serious life threatening accidents in MMA come to mind as no one have happened on its main stage. A fighter’s passing inside the Octagon has never happened and it never will. Nonetheless, 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 just 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 money and continuous hype derives. UFC President Dana White declared MMA that the”safest game 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 in that they lack head injury all together and present little risk of death. Touting up security should include a responsibility to completely study the ramifications of your game. The construction on what will be known as the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center begins this soon and will take 15 weeks to complete. Alongside medical insurance for training injuries, this can be MMA’s next most significant step towards taking on more of a top role in sport security. That said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific research will finally develop MMA as a”safer” choice for battle sport athletes compared to boxing. But, it would just further the game’s reverse relationship. Since MMA increases in popularity, boxing’s visibility in the national understanding continues to fall and it is easy to finger point. It also can not be stressed enough the very first generation of fighters are just getting out of the sport within the last couple of years. Science has an incredibly small sample dimension to look at with respect to aging MMA fighters at this time, although UFC originals such as Gary Goodridge are already feeling the consequences. We probably still need a couple more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to have an actual feel for the effects of the sport on them as they age. And by that I mean fighters that have had to compete with other high level athletes, not boxers who were the very best of a game that was still very much in the developmental stages. Fighters like George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and Ronda Rousey are unlikely to deal with any longstanding consequences of brain injury primarily due to their runs of dominance and their capacity to prevent significant harm. 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 educated fighters, understands that carrying too much damage in his career will hurt his longevity both inside and outside the sport, and that is why he’s so aware of his security in the Octagon. Perhaps that’s the reason why he’s never lost consciousness in the Octagon. In any case, it is difficult to use findings of yesteryear to determine the safety of the game now. So much always changes within the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is essentially the same in trying to compare very different sports. Perhaps then a much better approach isn’t to examine the sport’s past, and rather on its current and foreseeable future. The debate as to 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 main selling point as to why MMA is safer than boxing is actually the glove size. The boxing glove has been created to protect the hands, not the person being punched. However MMA practitioners argue that they utilize the bare minimum in hand protection. Any debate surrounding how a hand will crack before the mind is not the most attractive approach to advocate for a safer sport. The same holds for the standing eight count. Arguing that allowing a concussed fighter to keep at a struggle after being knocked down only furthers brain injury. In MMA we see a lot follow up punches after a fighter is rendered unconscious — possibly equally damaging to permitting a boxer to continue after getting devastating blows. There are so many factors in determining the devastation of a landed punch–out of technique to time, to whether or not the recipient saw the punch coming–that it would be almost impossible to determine at a live game which glove size could have caused the most harm. Furthermore, there are quite a few other rules and elements that deciding on which sport is safer. The normal period of a Boxing match is generally longer then that of an MMA fight. There are many variables that are individualistic to the fighter. I’d love to declare each game equally as dangerous, but until additional research is completed, an individual can not create such a statement with much assurance. The inherent risks in the sports are intrinsically linked. The ability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the game is much more dependant on the abilities of the fighter themselves their various sports parameters independently. Generalizing which is safer without the scientific proof to support such a claim remains to be a matter of opinion.
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