UFC and NFL Long-term Injuries

I watched UFC on Fox last night. I’ve actually wanted to catch UFC for some time but have never really had the ability to sit down and watch for a number of reasons. I would say the main reason that I am interested in it is because i have a minor interest in watching Mixed Martial Arts, though I admit that I’ve never really had an interest in actual boxing so I thought I’d give it a try.

My main thought from watching it is that it isn’t really Mixed Martial Arts as much as it is Grecko-Roman Wrestling. This surprised me a little. I mean they did kick and punch each other every now and then. But it seems like the main strategy is just to tackle a guy to the ground while he punches you very weakly and you bury your face in his chest… I hope I’m not the only one thinking it, but it isn’t exactly the most exciting of sports, though it has its moments. I kind of hope that it was just a weird night and it actually isn’t usually like that so I will give it another try.

After watching it though, I did consider boxing and the NFL. I can’t really wonder with the UFC because it is a newer sport. But I am sure that boxing did some real brain damage to boxers. Moreover, it made me wonder if Boxers ever sued their sport for causing brain injuries.

It is slightly disingenuous for me to think this way. I realize the real issue of the NFL was that they were putting players in that they knew were not ready to play in order to win games. And though I am sure it happens in boxing as well, the nature of the sport is that you fight once and then take a month or two off before you fight again so the chances of you fighting with an injury is lower.

Still, I can’t help think of the “no hitting guys high” rule that is currently causing problems in the NFL that every player is actually against and that has cost a number of players their seasons if not careers this year because players are now hitting low instead.

While I do agree, that the NFL needs to protect its players where it can. I feel that this protection needs to come in the form of better gear, better healthcare, no more playing injured players, and better information to upcoming players and their parents about the risks of the sport. Past that I expect that NFL players more than the league itself understands how physical of a game football actually is. And if they don’t, they probably had brain damage long before they got to the NFL and are beyond saving anyway.

I do wonder, how many people in the UFC get into the ring and wonder as they see a fist flying towards their face… “Gee I didn’t realize this sport would be this violent!” I feel the same is probably true about NFL players, though I never have played pro football myself to say for sure.