Just as there are some people who like strawberry ice cream and some people who absolutely hate it, so too does MMA have its fans and its haters. Case in point: Daphne Bramham of the Vancouver Sun, who watched UFC 174 on Saturday night and came away lamenting that while fighters are well-trained, “that doesn’t necessarily mean that what they do is sport. It’s spectacle.”
Yup. Bramham is a hater.
Which is fine. Not everyone in the world has to like a sport where competitors duke it out in a cage. But reporters should at least get their facts straight.
In mixed-martial arts, there are only a few rules: No strikes to the back of the head, no hair pulling, head butting or inserting fingers into someone’s mouth and pulling, no groin strikes.
Apparently, someone did not get the memo that the Unified Rules were enacted, thereby codifying a litany of things you can and cannot do in an MMA bout. Bramham seems to think MMA rules are still stuck in 1995.
Bramham closes with some sort of plea towards a higher morality.
Still, it’s disconcerting to see violence legalized.
After all, we live in an era when even real warriors are often far from the battlefield, dropping real bombs from drones and killing real people as if they were playing a video game.
And it’s troubling to realize how lucrative it is to stage these barbaric spectacles.
Maybe a morbid fascination with brutality is primal. Maybe nothing can lessen the desire of some people — particularly young men — to see it or even experience it.
But we ought to be better than this.
The world is certainly awash with evils such as excessive violence and other ills (i.e., terrorists, rock and roll, etc.). Thankfully, we have the Vancouver Sun to act as our moral compass.