Are Combat Sports Ethical Entertainment? Pro
September 13, 2017
Mayweather versus McGregor brought both regular fans as well as those who do not follow boxing together for one night to celebrate the battle for supremacy by two elite fighters.
The fight between the undefeated Mayweather and the UFC’s two division champion McGregor broke the pay-per-view record in the United Kingdom.
But is it morally correct for people in contemporary society to be so enamored and spend money to watch fighters beat each other into submission?
While society as a whole should strive for less violence, combat sports encompass more than blood and gore.
Boxers and other combat sports athletes like kickboxers, Thai fighters, mixed martial artists and grapplers put their bodies on the line for much more than entertainment.
These athletes spend years on end, and just like any other competitor perfecting their craft, it is a discipline first and foremost.
The dedication professional fighters put toward their sport is not only what sets them apart from meatheads looking for a fight, it is also what makes them worth watching.
Fight videos on YouTube that show people being knocked out senseless are not the same as two professional fighters putting their skills to the test to see who is the best.
For many fighters, combat sports are also a way out of poverty and a way to put their anger and frustrations toward a constructive end.
Former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson had no father, a mother who was on drugs, and was in juvenile hall when his trainer Cus D’amato gave him a place to stay and something to do.
Though Tyson faced many difficulties as a celebrity and is not necessarily a role model, he undoubtedly escaped poverty through putting all of his energy into boxing.
Simultaneously Tyson learned self-defense, gained self esteem and stayed in phenomenal shape, like many children, young adults and grown ups who will never become professional fighters.
While some may argue that similar traits can be gained through less destructive means the fact of the matter is those traits are as much ingrained into combat sports as they are any other discipline.
Through fighting, one can also learn the consequences of violence and value peaceful resolutions that much more.
Too often videos are shared on the internet showcasing random people getting into fights and hurting themselves along with others over petty grievances.
But martial artists are taught and encouraged to stray away from violence and not escalate volatile situations outside of competition and self-defense.
If everyone at least understood the principles of fighting the way a professional fighter of martial artist do, people would see a decrease in petty violence which could lead to serious injury.
The serious injuries professional fighters subject themselves to is not only voluntary but also tends to be less than the violence people are subjected to in street fights.
In an MMA fight, for example, a fighter wears gloves to protect their knuckles, most amateur MMA fights also make fighters wear shin guards to protect both opponents from kicks.
A referee is also in play to make sure a fight is stopped before it goes too far, mitigating the damage a fighter takes even more.
Grappling is also one of the most significant things that make professional fights safer than street fights.
Demian Maia is a multiple time Jiu Jitsu world champion, as well as a UFC middleweight title challenger. Maia is known for taking 13 significant strikes in four fights, his opponents have absorbed even less.
This is due to Maia’s pure grappling approach where he gets a hold of his opponents and submits them without using strikes, sparing his opponents of any brain damage.
In a street fight if the fight went to the ground an off-camera spectator would likely have the fight brought back to striking, putting both people involved in more danger.
So if combat sports can help the average person be a better person and gain many resourceful skills like peaceful conflict resolution, self-defense, personal fitness and self discipline, why wouldn’t it be acceptable to praise those who dedicate themselves to fighting?