Living in the MMA bubble, you may miss all the detractors that still exist today.
UFC 168 was no doubt a monumental event for the sport of mixed martial arts, as it garnered the attention of many first time viewers. Admittedly — if the spectator came in to the event with notions of barbarism, they likely have had their suspicions confirmed after Silva vs. Weidman II.
It was only be the second time in over 15 years that such a gruesome leg snap had happened in the Octagon, but it didn’t stop TIME from publishing the article “Anderson Silva’s broken leg was no freak accident.”
Excerpt from Time’s depiction of the UFC:
“Over the past 15 years, the UFC has largely shed its image as “human cockfighting,” the label Senator John McCain once gave mixed martial arts. That comment didn’t stop the UFC’s meteoric climb up the U.S. sports hierarchy. It has largely replaced boxing as the sport that most satisfies our bloodlust.”
Silva’s injury does not make MMA too violent. MMA makes MMA too violent. It was a brutal night, for a brutal game.
The writer draws the sport as simple ‘bloodlust,’ which is no doubt a big part of the sports appeal, but MMA is not that one-dimensional. There is a level of athleticism and talent that makes it great, just like any other popular sport. Dana White was quick to point out during the post UFC 168 fight press conference that the same freak injury occurred recently in the NBA during a televised game.
The sport may never be accepted by a conservative mindset, but thanks to the open minds at Fox Sports, and the UFC’s international expansion, MMA is being exposed to new fans daily.