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LONGEVITY IN COMBAT SPORTS: MMA VERSUS BOXING

As the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) into the mainstream, an age old question remains: Is MMA safer then boxing? The major premise behind the argument has always been that unlike boxing, in MMA, there are more avenues to success than hitting your opponent. Highlighting the obvious, you will find less painful paths to victory, thus creating some losses in MMA less detrimental 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’ choice or by possibly submitting their opponent. The resulting notion is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the chances are lessened that they might become punch drunk. However, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves implemented in MMA and the fact the rules allowing for leg elbows and strikes. Therefore”it is time” to take an in-depth look to both sides of this debate. Prior to getting into the thick of this debate, I’d like to highlight one of the key reasons I chose to write this report. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired fighter that I have met many occasions, resides in my hometown. On paper, his life seems like a success story. However the real truth is his boxing profession killed his odds of having a successful life after his career was finished. A brief documentary about 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 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 in round two the judges given that round to Tate. Upon going pro, he found himself quickly murdered in 1988 with unsuccessful comebacks in both 1991 and 1997. Shawn’s overall listing of 23-5-0, with 16 knockouts passed him without reaching his dreams of competing in a world title bout. After four more fights in 1997, a neurologist refused to renew the license he had to continue boxing because of 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 practically always slurred his speech and had difficulties recalling parts of his life. Regrettably, his ability to share his story is all he has to show for his famous career. But, that is hindered as a result of the culmination of blows to the head that he endured during his boxing career. O’Sullivan suffers from fighter’s dementia, commonly called being”punch drunk” brought about partially as a result of his fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you’d like to find out what I mean, take a few minutes and see his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to most, and something that highlights the significance of this guide is that O’Sullivan was pushed to boxing by his first trainer: his father. Rumors are his dad was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and even larger guys as part of the daily reality test for O’Sullivan. As parents, an individual may feel uncomfortable advocating that your child partake in any combat sport out of this fear of the long-term consequences. Therefore signing up your child to boxing or MMA training can become a matter of which can be safer? Is there a possibility you could help choose the lesser of 2 so-called evils. Until recently the whole debate behind MMA is safer then Boxing was entirely theoretical. There continues to be little scientific facts and findings to support the claim. Most recently the University of Alberta’s Dr. Shelby Karpman headed a review of more than a decade’s worth of medical exams from roughly 1,700 fighters in Edmonton, Canada. According to the study, Fifty-nine percent of MMA athletes lasted some form of injury, compared to 50 per cent of boxers. But, fighters were likely to eliminate consciousness in a bout: seven per cent versus four percent 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 showed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in almost a third of specialist spells. It’s not my aim to cast doubt on the safety of a game, however both boxing and MMA have had instances of deaths that are well documented. Recently a MMA fighter died because of complications reducing weight. John McCain, who once labeled the game of MMA”human cockfighting,” sat ringside in the 1995 boxing departure of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few severe life threatening accidents in MMA come to mind as none have occurred on its main point. A fighter’s death within 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 an opponent not only defenceless but unconscious remains to be the name of the fight game if it’s MMA or Boxing. That is where a fighter’s fanfare, bonus cash and continuous hype derives. UFC President Dana White announced MMA that the”safest sport in the world, fact.” The concept that MMA is the most popular 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 security should come with a duty to fully study the effects of your sport. The construction on what will be known as the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center starts this soon and will take 15 weeks to complete. Alongside medical insurance for training injuries, this is MMA’s next most important step towards taking on more of a leading role in sport security. That said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific research will finally develop MMA as a”safer” choice for fight sport athletes when compared with boxing. However, it might just further the sport’s reverse relationship. As MMA increases in popularity, boxing’s visibility at the national consciousness continues to fall and it is easy to finger stage. It also can not be stressed enough the very first generation of fighters are just getting out of the game within the past couple of decades. Science has an incredibly small sample dimension to check at in terms of aging MMA fighters at this time, though UFC originals such as Gary Goodridge are already feeling the effects. We probably still require a couple more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to get an actual sense of the impact of the game on them since they age. And by that I mean boxers that have had to compete with other high level athletes, not boxers who had been the best of a game that was still very much in the developmental phases. Fighters like George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson and Ronda Rousey are unlikely to face any longstanding effects of brain injury primarily because of their runs of dominance and their ability to avoid significant damage. Johnson recently said 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 carrying too much harm in his profession will harm his longevity both inside and outside the sport, and that’s why he’s so aware of his security in the Octagon. Perhaps that’s the reason why he’s never lost consciousness from the Octagon. In any scenario, it’s difficult to utilize findings of the past to determine the security of the sport today. So much constantly changes inside the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is basically the exact same in attempting to compare completely different sports. Perhaps then a better approach is not to examine the game’s past, and rather on its present and foreseeable future. The debate as to which game 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 truly the glove dimensions. The boxing glove has been made to guard the hands, not the individual being punched. However MMA practitioners argue that they use the bare minimum in hand defense. Any argument surrounding how a hand will crack before the head is not the most appealing approach to advocate for a safer game. The same goes for the standing eight count. Arguing that allowing a concussed fighter to keep at a struggle after being knocked down just furthers brain injury. In MMA we see a lot follow up punches following a fighter is rendered unconscious — maybe equally damaging to permitting a fighter to continue after receiving devastating blows. There are 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–which it would be virtually impossible to determine at a live match which glove size would have caused the most harm. What’s more, there are a number of different elements and rules 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 so many variables that are individualistic into the fighter. I’d love to announce each game equally as harmful, but until further research is completed, an individual can’t make such a statement with much confidence. The inherent risks in the sports are intrinsically connected. The capability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the sport is more dependant on the abilities of this fighter themselves then their various sports parameters alone. Generalizing that is safer with no scientific evidence to support such a claim remains to be a matter of opinion.
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