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Less brutal than boxing, MMA?on rise

Commentary

April 7, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

If I saw someone getting punched and kicked on the street, my first instinct would be to offer help.

However, that kind of activity is routinely broadcast on television, and thousands of people pay to watch two opponents fight each other.

In fact, this sport has grown rapidly in popularity.

I admit the first time I watched Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA as it is now known, I was horrified at the sight of two men fighting with such brutal aggression. I didn't understand why someone would volunteer for a sport that involved so much physical contact with another human being.

Nevertheless, after years of watching this sport, I have come to realize these fighters truly love it, and so do their fans.

Tyler Updike of Warriors Mark trained in MMA for five years until he turned pro a year ago.

He said, "It takes a special kind of person, some might say primal, to get into a steel cage and throw hard blows through dense flesh and bones."

One of the key elements, Updike added, is to have patience because if you don't, you are "humbled" very quickly.

Yet many people argue that MMA is regarded as one of the most dangerous sports around. However, The American Journal of Orthopedics assessed the injuries sustained in Mixed Martial Arts competitions, and concluded that "injury rates in MMA competitions are comparable to those in boxing and karate."

John Hopkins University completed a study that compared the knockout rates of MMA to boxing. The study found the knockout rates are lower in MMA competitions at 6.4 percent less than professional boxing matches at 11.3 percent?

From 1998-2006, there had only been one death reported in MMA competitions compared to 70 deaths in boxing.

As of 2012, there have been a total of three deaths. Given these facts, I don't see how MMA is seen as a more brutal sport than others similar to it.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest MMA promotion organization in the world.

In 2006 it broke the pay-per-view industry's all-time records for a single year of business, generating more than $222 million.

Because of its ever growing popularity, UFC has expanded internationally and is now televised in 130 countries.

Yes, people get broken bones and have blood running down their faces, but no one is forced to watch these bouts. If someone doesn't like it, then they can change the channel.

As time goes on, I only see MMA getting bigger.

It brings in millions of dollars every year and is less dangerous than boxing. MMA will likely continue to do well not only in sales, but also with fans like myself, who are always up for watching a good fight.

Ashley Boyer lives in Duncansville. She is a student at Penn State Altoona.

 
 

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