Monday, June 19, 2017

Do They Want Someone To Die?

I watch both boxing and MMA, but at times it's hard to do so without wondering about the ethics of doing so.  Fighting can be dangerous, and sometimes it can be lethal.  Former UFC competitor Tim Hague died after a Friday boxing match.  Hague, 33, fought Adam Braidwood in Edmonton, and was knocked down several times during the fight before being knocked out.  Although he left the ring under his own power he subsequently collapsed, and passed away.  His last boxing match was in April, where he lost by TKO, bringing up the obvious question of whether he should have been allowed to fight by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.

This tragedy came only a short time after another Canadian boxer, David Whittom, was severely injured during a May 27th match in Fredericton with Saskatoon boxer Gary Kopas.  He was placed in a medically induced coma after being taken to hospital.  Whittom is another fighter who it could be argued should not have been allowed to fight.  Despite some early success he had racked up a career record of 12-24-1, including losing 18 of his last 20 bouts.  In other words he'd become a human punching bag, hired to be an opponent even though he obviously had no chance of winning.

And what did I find out this morning?  That UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell is talking about fighting again, this time for Bellator.  Liddell last fought in 2010 at UFC 115, when he was KOed by Rich Franklin.  His last three fights were all losses by KO.  He's 47.

Unfortunately I would be entirely unsurprised if he does fight for Bellator.  I've criticised them in the past for signing over the hill fighters, the most notorious example being MMA pioneer Ken Shamrock.  Shamrock was 51 when he fought the late Kimbo Slice in 2015.  He would later fight Royce Gracie, who hadn't fought in years and was really too old to be fighting as well.  Then there's Kimbo Slice.  Slice died in June of 2016 of heart failure, shortly after a mass was found on his liver.  Yet somehow Bellator managed to get him cleared to fight in February of that year.  Keep signing these kind of fighters and you're just increasing the chance of someone sustaining a severe injury, or even dying in the cage.

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