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Mixed Martial Arts and the Evolution of John McCain

In 1996, Arizona Senator John McCain famously categorized the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as absolutely nothing far more than “human cockfighting” and made it his personalized agenda to ban it from the airways.  Even so, by 2007, McCain seemed to have softened a bit by saying the “sport has manufactured significant progress.”  Flash forward to 2014, and the same Arizona Senator can be noticed doing work closely with MMA promoters to fund brain damage study at the Cleveland Clinic.  Even more surprising was his comment that he totally would have participated in MMA as a younger guy in the Navy if it have been close to.

MMA is a total-contact sport that makes it possible for the use of striking and grappling tactics, the two standing and on the ground, from a variety of other fight sports.  It consists of a number of diverse disciplines like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, wrestling, boxing, karate, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.  The granddaddy of MMA is the Greatest Fighting Championship (UFC), but there are a variety of popular, regional promotions as nicely.

So, what spawned this dramatic Senatorial turnaround from MMA antagonist to advocate?  According to Linda Shields, the talented and energetic founder of New England’s common Cage Fighting Extreme (CFX), “MMA’s small talked about secret is its enhanced concentrate on security.”

Shields explained, “MMA was originally promoted as a competition to find the most powerful martial artwork methods for true, unarmed combat scenarios.  Due to the fact of this, competitors have been pitted against 1 yet another with minimum guidelines, as would be the case in actual fight circumstances.”  MMA debunked a whole lot of fighting myths and showed the actuality of what would and wouldn’t perform in an real battle.  The sport has observed improved acceptance with a shell out-per-view company that makes it 1 of the fastest-growing sports activities in America.  “Whether at the nationwide or regional level,” Shields additional, “safety is built into the all our guidelines and procedures.”

Let’s not child ourselves right here.  No one need to think that MMA is not a unsafe sport and that critical injuries don’t occur.  Each and every fighter who measures into the ring understands the risks.  Nevertheless, over the past 20 years, real progress has been created to reduce these hazards to ensure safer competitors for the athletes while nonetheless entertaining the supporters.

MMA1 (Phoe credits CageFX)

William Nineve battles John Havel in a CageFX MMA event. (Picture credit: CageFX)

To help us recognize the safety elements that go into each and every match, we had the possibility to talk with Dr. David Worman, who has a distinctive MMA perspective.  Not only is Worman an MMA CageFX champion, he’s also an orthopedic surgeon.

Worman explained, “Most of the injuries take place not in the course of the actual competition, but in the course of education.  When I watch organized MMA fights, I’m constantly amazed that there are not far more injuries.  A lot of that has to do with all of the security precautions that go into these productions.”

The precautions commence months ahead of the actual event and start off with the battle promoter.  1st, the promoter picks two fighters that ought to be evenly matched in coaching level and experience.  Then the fighters and the coaches get to assess the opponent and make a decision regardless of whether they want to accept the match-up.  The fighters then have months to train and put together for that single battle.  They are place by means of a rigorous health-related screening for anything at all that would area them at enhanced danger for critical damage (dilated eye exam, EKG, CT scan of the brain, bodily examination, and blood function for communicable illness, etc.) before they can even show up for the weigh-ins.

“What the casual observer does not understand,” explains Worman, “is that these events are not street brawls or bar fights.   The competitors are closely matched in size and are protected with groin cups, mouth guards, and small gloves.  They are coming into into a padded, contained, and protected arena.”  At anytime, a fighter, his corner guys, or the ref can immediately end the fight verbally, or by just by tapping the mat or his opponent.   Outside the cage there are initial responders and a physician waiting to care for the participant should an injury take place.

The security measures proceed after the fight as effectively.  Any fighter who does obtain an injury severe ample to warrant health-related treatment, such as a fracture, cut, or most drastically, a concussion, will be suspended from competitors for a minimum volume of time and until finally cleared by a doctor to participate yet again.

“None of this eliminates the risk of this sport,” additional Worman, “but I think the planning, organizing, and precautions that are taken before, for the duration of, and after a manufacturing, make these occasions as risk-free as achievable, whilst nonetheless preserving the perfect of ‘combat sport’ that draws the followers and rivals to MMA.”

At the age of 77, John McCain would seem to have lost his chance to participate in an MMA cage match.  However, if a challenge came from one particular of his Senate colleagues across the aisle, it might be a spend-per-view occasion for the ages – an event I’m confident Shields would enjoy to market.

Robert J. Szczerba is the CEO of X Tech Ventures and author of the Forbes column “Rocket Science Meets Brain Surgical treatment.”  Follow him via TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

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