Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 01:45
Written by admin
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
Jon Fitch after a war with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre – from MMAForever.com
Granted the United States has a strong health care system and many regulatory bodies in place to prevent extreme injury, or even death, the country has seen tragedy strike within the sport on more than one occasion. More recently, a familiar takedown that looks similar to a DDT has left fighters with severe spine and neck injury that will, in no doubt, hamper them the remainder of their lives. You can only regulate a combat sport so much, in other words.
With the sudden growth of MMA in Asia, and a lack of any regulatory body in most countries, it becomes the promoters responsibility to ensure matches are as safe and fair as possible. One of the world’s largest promotions that resides in Russia, which will go unnamed in this article, once put a fighter well under the legal adult age in the ring with a fighter several years older. This is the kind of thing that must not happen.
Promoters must ensure that all medical records are thoroughly checked, all brain imaging work is thorough and complete, and that a fighter has had adequate time between fights to allow prior fight trauma to heal. These steps, along with fair matchmaking and a set of rules that is within the scope of the OneFC rule set and the Unified Rules are also imperative to ensuring a safe sport.
Asian’s will quickly reject the sport if it is not safe. Parents in Asia are far more risk averse, as was spoken of at the One MMA Asia Summit. Severe injury or endangerment of a fighter that makes it into the mainstream will annihilate the sport before it ever takes off if dealt with in a way that seems irresponsible.
The foundation of the sport must not only be built on it’s competitive nature, but must have an undertone of safety and responsibility. The sport is relying on future generations to fill the spots of those competing in present day MMA and without a strong set of rules and a responsible set of promoters, the sport will be a one trick pony in Asia.
Many promotions are already doing their job at ensuring the fight game runs smoothly. Accredited staff, doctors, and the like are all over the place at the bigger shows such as OneFC, Shooto, DEEP, and others. Smaller promotions must recognize that, while expensive, it is an all or none task. Either hire the right people to do the job or risk severe ramifications from injury.
The sport is hardly even five years into its thrust into Asia. So far, as a whole, we have seen a rather safe game develop. Keeping up with the latest trends and even adding to the trends will ensure a long life for the sport in Asia, a spot with the world’s highest population, and the place martial arts began.