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LONGEVITY IN COMBAT SPORTS: MMA VERSUS BOXING

By 3 d'octubre de 2019 No Comments

Since the UFC pushes Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the mainstream, an age old question remains: Why Is MMA safer then boxing? The main 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, you will find less painful paths to success, thus creating some losses in MMA less damaging on a fighter’s body and mind. The Unified Rules of MMA make it feasible for a MMA fighter to win a bout by judges’ decision or by maybe submitting their competitor. The resulting notion is that MMA athletes suffer fewer traumatic injuries and the chances are lessened that they might become punch drunk. But, proponents of boxing are always quick to point out the bigger gloves employed in MMA and the fact the rules allowing for leg elbows and strikes. Therefore”it’s time” to take an in-depth look to both sides of this argument. Prior to getting into the thick of the argument, I want to highlight one of the important reasons I chose to write this report. Shawn O’Sullivan, a retired fighter that I have met many times, lives in my mind. 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 over. A brief documentary on his story can be found below.Many would believe O’Sullivan’s career marginally illustrious as he was 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 seemed like the fix has been in. Despite scoring two standing 8 counts at around two the judges given that around to Tate. Upon going expert, he found himself fast retired in 1988 with failed comebacks in both 1991 and 1997. Shawn’s overall listing of 23-5-0, together with 16 knockouts handed him without reaching his dreams of competing in a world title bout. After four fights in 1997, a neurologist refused to renew the license he needed to continue boxing because of brain injury that he saw during a CAT scan. Now, O’Sullivan is residing with the difficulties of brain damage, however, he does not repent his career in boxing. During my many conversations with O’Sullivan, he almost always slurred his speech also had difficulties remembering parts of his lifetime. Regrettably, 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 that he suffered during his boxing career. O’Sullivan suffers from fighter’s dementia, commonly known as being”punch drunk” brought about partly as a result of the fighting style and gruelling sparring sessions at the gym. If you want to find out exactly what I mean, take a few minutes and see his bout against Armando Martinez. What remains untold to most, and something which highlights the relevance of this guide is that O’Sullivan was pushed to boxing by his first trainer: his father. Rumors are his father was allowing his son spar against heavyweights and much larger men as part of the daily reality check for O’Sullivan. As parents, one may feel uncomfortable recommending that your kid partake in any combat sport from the fear of the long term consequences. So signing up your child to boxing or MMA training can become a matter of which is safer? Is there a possibility that 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 remains to be little 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 approximately 1,700 fighters in Edmonton, Canada. According to the study, Fifty-nine per cent of MMA athletes lasted some kind of injury, compared to 50 percent of boxers. But, fighters were likely to eliminate consciousness during a bout: seven per cent 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 revealed an MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury at almost a third of professional bouts. It is not my intention to cast doubt on the safety of a game, however both boxing and MMA have experienced cases of fatalities which are well recorded. Recently a MMA fighter died due to complications reducing weight. John McCain, who branded the game of MMA”human cockfighting,” sat ringside in the 1995 boxing death of Jimmy Garcia. But, very few severe life threatening accidents in MMA come into mind as no one have occurred on its primary point. A fighter’s death inside the Octagon hasn’t occurred and it never will. Nonetheless, it’s something that must be in the back of everyone’s mind when we see fighters getting knocked out lifelessly. Rendering a competition not just defenceless but unconscious remains to be the name of the fight game if it be MMA or Boxing. That is where a fighter’s fanfare, bonus money and continuous hype derives. UFC President Dana White announced MMA 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”safer” sports because they lack head injury all together and pose little risk of death. Touting up safety should include a responsibility to fully study the ramifications of your sport. The construction on what’s going to be called the UFC Athlete Health and Performance Center begins this shortly and will take 15 weeks to finish. Alongside medical insurance for training injuries, this is MMA’s next most important step towards taking on more of a top role in sport safety. With that said, Dana’s end game is that Scientific study will eventually develop MMA as a”safer” alternative for fight sport athletes when compared with boxing. However, it might just further the game’s reverse relationship. As MMA increases in popularity, boxing’s visibility in the national consciousness continues to fall and it’s simple to finger stage. It also can’t be stressed enough that the first generation of fighters are only getting out of this game within the past few years. Science has a remarkably small sample dimension to look at with respect to aging MMA fighters right now, though UFC originals like Gary Goodridge are already feeling the consequences. We probably still require a couple more”generations” of fighters to retire and grow older to get a true sense of the impact of the game on them as they age. And by that I mean boxers that have had to compete with other high level athletes, not boxers that were the very best of a sport that was 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 as well as their capacity to avoid significant harm. Johnson recently stated on the Joe Rogan Expertise that”There’s not enough money in the entire world for me to risk brain damage.” Johnson, like many other educated fighters, knows that taking too much harm in his profession will hurt his longevity both inside and outside the sport, and that’s why he’s so conscious of his security in the Octagon. Perhaps that is the main reason he’s never lost consciousness from the Octagon. In any case, it is difficult to utilize findings of yesteryear to determine the safety of the game today. So much constantly changes inside the sport of MMA that trying to compare between eras is essentially the exact same in trying to compare very different sports. Maybe then a much better approach is not to examine the game’s past, and rather on its current and foreseeable future. The argument about which game is safer due to the glove size is moot. The quantity of punishment a fighter takes over their career is individualistic and highly dependent on a fighter’s style. The most important selling point as to why MMA is safer than boxing is truly the glove size. The boxing glove has been made to guard the hands, not the person being punched. However MMA practitioners argue that they use the bare minimum in hand defense. Any argument surrounding the fact that a hand will break until the head is not exactly the most attractive approach to advocate for a safer game. The same holds for the standing eight count. Arguing that allowing a concussed fighter to continue in a fight after being pumped only furthers brain injury. In MMA we witness a whole lot follow up punches following a fighter is rendered unconscious — maybe equally damaging to allowing a fighter to continue after receiving devastating blows. There are so many variables in determining the devastation of a landed punch–from technique to time, to whether or not the recipient saw the punch coming–that it would be almost impossible to determine at a live match which glove size could have caused the maximum damage. What’s more, there are quite a few other rules and elements that deciding on which game is safer. The normal period of a Boxing match is generally longer then that of an MMA fight. There are many factors that are individualistic into the fighter. I’d love to declare each sport equally as dangerous, but until additional research is completed, one can not make such a statement with much assurance. The inherent dangers in both sports are intrinsically connected. The capability of a fighter to achieve longevity in the game is much more dependant on the skills of the fighter themselves then their respective sports parameters independently. Generalizing that is safer without the scientific evidence to support such a claim remains a matter of opinion.
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