More Ignorance Towards Mixed Martial Arts

Posted: May 16, 2011 in Journalism, MMA, Soccer



I’m still working on the research for my article on how mixed martial arts compares to other sports in terms of safety, but I have a related story from the idiot file that approaches the issue from a different direction.

We’ve all heard stories of players getting killed for losing soccer games for their team, or fans getting killed simply for rooting for the wrong team. We also know that there are few sporting events at which no fan-based fights break out during or after the event. This is a level of danger that won’t be factored into any of the data I’m collecting.

So here’s an interesting story care of Bloody Elbow. Granted, BE consists of what I call MMAJs (i.e., mixed martial arts journalists), so it would be hypocritical of me to treat what they say as completely reliable. Nevertheless, this information is ultimately verifiable by anyone that wants to take the time to do the research (I don’t). Here’s a summary of the article.

The Vancouver police chief is asking that the UFC pick up the cost for extra police presence on June 11th, when UFC 131 will be held in that city. The UFC said “hell no,” citing that Vancouver has never asked this of any other sporting event held in that city. Moreover, the data seems to suggest that the UFC has less incidents of neighborhood violence than other events (though this is a weak point considering there’s been only one UFC in Vancouver). The best the police chief could cite against the UFC is the fact that two gay men were attacked after UFC 115 in Vancouver last June, but there’s no evidence the attackers even attended the event. On the contrary, BE points out that in 1994, Vancouver residents had a full-scale riot after their hockey team, the Canucks, lost the Stanley Cup finals. EDIT: If this sounds familiar, it’s because it happened again last year.

I’ve been to two UFCs and two Extreme Fighting Championships, and only EFC 2 in Montreal (technically, on the Kahnawake Indian reservation) didn’t have a fan fight; however, I’ve never been to another sporting event where I can’t remember seeing a fan fight occur. That’s a remarkable record, isn’t it? Regardless of whether my personal anecdotal experience is properly representative of fan violence in sports, holding the UFC to a higher standard than a known powderkeg, such as ice hockey, boxing, pro wrestling, or any other sporting event on the planet is remarkably unfair. At the very least, a city should provide more than one alleged instance that might be related to the event in order to treat the sport differently than others with a proven track record for such fan violence.


This image is from a tennis event. A tennis event!

The only explanation I have for it is sheer ignorance (and thus baseless prejudice) towards the sport.

Grow up, Vancouver.

Make sure to listen to Fight Fans Radio Monday through Thursday at 3pm for MMA news and analysis. Also listen in on Saturdays at 3pm before fight cards for my live Stupid Predictions™ segment.

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