Wednesday 22 February 2017

Below-the-belt comments are hurting 'warrior' sport

An autopsy would give some much-needed answers in the unfair debate on cage fighting, writes Joe Corcoran

Joe Corcoran

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

‘Every man or woman who steps into the cage for an MMA fight has at least some knowledge of how to deal with strikes on the ground’ Pic: Mark Rebilas/Sportsfile
‘Every man or woman who steps into the cage for an MMA fight has at least some knowledge of how to deal with strikes on the ground’ Pic: Mark Rebilas/Sportsfile

For most of us, though we might not admit it, a tragedy like the death of Portuguese Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Joao "Rafeiro" Carvalho following a welterweight bout in the National Stadium, is intensely frightening.

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He was 28 years old, seemingly in peak physical fitness, pursuing the sport he loved across the globe with dreams, one would imagine, of one day reaching the top of the game. Then he died. This was not supposed to happen. How could it have happened? This question demands an answer. We need an answer so we can stop being frightened, so we can go back to living in a world where young men don't just die chasing their dreams.

We demand answers so badly that we sometimes allow our fear to be magnified by people just as clueless as ourselves, but who, because they shout loudly enough and because they have a target that's easy to get behind without giving it too much thought, seem as though they may really know what they're talking about.

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