Wednesday 7 December 2016

Government stands by MMA despite fears

Martin Grant

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

Conor McGregor lands a blow on Nate Diaz Photo: AP Photo/Eric Jamison
Conor McGregor lands a blow on Nate Diaz Photo: AP Photo/Eric Jamison

The Government has insisted that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) should be recognised as a sport, despite opposition from an Irish martial arts body.

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The Irish Martial Arts Commission (IMAC) says that MMA shouldn't be considered a sport in Ireland because it is "dangerous" and "irresponsible", according to documents obtained by the Irish Independent.

However, the Department of Sport stated last night that MMA should be recognised to "maximise the safety of all participants".

IMAC, the national governing body for martial arts in Ireland, drafted a damning document in March in which it questioned MMA's "sporting ethos".

"We believe it would be both irresponsible and dangerous to grant recognition to MMA as it currently operates in Ireland," the document reads.

"It is our opinion, that many things would have to change within these activities/organisations before recognition could be considered.

"IMAC is concerned at the mix-and-match nature of these activities, the lack of…control, safety precautions, medical supervision, sporting ethos, training and development structures."

The martial arts governing body also maintained that MMA, Extreme Martial Arts and Cage Fighting are franchises driven by audience demands and the "profits that can be made by responding to that demand." IMAC added there is an "inevitability for serious injury" if events continue.

Irish Independent

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