Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews has officially lifted the ban on the ‘most dangerous sport’ in the world as the state government upheld its election promise to legalise combat fighting in the octagon.
The University of Toronto, Canada has dubbed Mixed Martials Arts or MMA as the most dangerous sport in the world with their findings showing that almost one in every three fights will leave an MMA fighter with severe traumatic brain injury.
In response to the state government’s decision retired trauma ward nurse of the Royal Melbourne Hospital Samantha Sinclair was deeply disappointed, fearing for those involved, “I’ve seen enough life threatening head injuries from punches and king hits for a lifetime.”
“Nobody wins in a fight, wether that be on the street or in a stadium, two testosterone fuelled men punching each other can only end badly.”
“I think it’s disgusting.” Ms Sinclair said.
Critics of the decision like Ms Sinclair have argued that via allowing MMA to be undertaken in Victoria the government is promoting a society of violence and in turn accommodating the vicious nature of the sport into our culture.
MMA has however been legal in Victoria since it’s emergence in the 1990’s although it was banned by the then labour government in 2008.
Amateur Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts Nick Smith was quick to defend the cage style of fighting and the state governments decision, “I think it’s about time it be legalised.”
“I think what most people don’t understand… is that we don’t fight to badly hurt one another, fighting is a chance to better skills and see how far our training has brought us.”
The cage is a safe environment if you’ve had enough training.” Mr Smith said.
The octagon equipment that was previously banned has in fact been specifically designed for the sport; it’s posts are firmly padded with the chain link fence covered in vinyl thus softening any blows competitors may have as a result of it. It also eliminates any risk of competitors being knocked-out and falling off the arena.
Mr Andrews decision sent social media into overdrive with both supporters for and against his decision. One twitter user @elgmaster posted, “Victoria is the sporting capital of the world and it definitely needs cage fighting like the UFC & MMA.”
For the moment MMA fighting in the octagon or ‘cage’ has been legalised however this will remain to be a hotly debated topic between health practitioner’s/ sports fans and cabinet ministers alike.
Expect to see shifts in policy on the matter dependant on the state government in power as Western Australia is left to stand alone now being the only state upholding the ban on the cage.