How Can They Call This Sport? EXCLUSIVE ULTIMATE COMBAT FIGHTS SPARK OUTRAGE IN CITY

Birmingham Evening Mail (England), June 3, 2004 | Go to article overview

How Can They Call This Sport? EXCLUSIVE ULTIMATE COMBAT FIGHTS SPARK OUTRAGE IN CITY


Byline: LISA SMITH

A CONTROVERSIAL new form of ultimate combat in which two fighters battle each other in a no-holds barred contest has sparked outrage ahead of its debut in the city.

MMA or Mixed Martial Arts was today branded 'highly dangerous' by the British Medical Association which called for the latest craze in hand-to-hand fighting to be banned amid fears that contestants could risk serious brain damage.

Fighters, who square up in a wire cage, often end up pouring with blood after exchanging kung fu kicks, punches and elbow slams as they try to batter each other unconscious or into submission.

Only biting, gouging and kicking to the head when a competitor is down on the floor are deemed illegal in the brutal sport which for years was banned throughout most of America.

But the BMA's fears about the street fighting-style combat were today thrown out of the ring by the very fighters who will be taking part in Sunday's first everUK Storm event at The Sanctuary nightclub in Digbeth. The showdown looks like being a sell out. They claim 'ultimate fighting', as it is sometimes called, has a better safety record than boxing despite the lack of rules once competitors step into the cage.

A BMA spokesman told the Evening Mail, however, it wanted ultimate fighting banned.

'We have always stated that fighters face a serious risk of severe brain damage if they take part in boxing or close combat events of this kind,' the spokesman said.

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How Can They Call This Sport? EXCLUSIVE ULTIMATE COMBAT FIGHTS SPARK OUTRAGE IN CITY
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