- 09/19/2012, 05:44AM ET
Uppercut said 09/19, 05:44 AM
If you haven't noticed lately there have been some major training injuries in the most known, most talented fighting organization in the world, UFC. We have suffered the loss of a Jon Jones mega-fight, and gained a lousy 151 card with Anderson SIlva fighting who? because of training injuries.
With that said(and there are MANY more to mention) should the UFC, or even MMA in a whole mandate guidelines for pre fight training?
For the sake of the TD, let's keep it to UFC only.
I say Yes.
Now, I know training is important. I am not saying it needs serious cuts in intensity. But if the UFC implemented something like the NFL has done for pre season workouts, which hasn't taken away from the game but protected their investments and prolonged careers.
The UFC has a surfacing epidemic. The pre fight injury number for main events has tripled in the last 2 years. (excluding Brock) I think mandating a number of full contact training sessions, and mandatory off days for all fighters keeps the playing ground even, and safe.
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 09/19, 11:17 AM
There are many issues to what you are proposing. But let's first start with the reasons why we've seen a dramatic increase in fighter injuries.
The biggest is the UFC implementing fighter insurance a year ago. Now, all fighters under UFC contract receive 100% insurance related to injuries sustained in a fight or in training. Prior to this, fighters had no insurance and needed to fight in order to receive a paycheck which would cover cost of such injuries.
Another factor is the roster has become deeper and now winning is priority #1 in keeping a job. If a fighter is only 80%, why risk being cut? Its better to prolong careers by pulling out of a fight if a fighter is not 100%.
We've also seen a dramatic rise in the number of cards that the UFC is putting out, thus more injuries.
These are the reasons for the rise in injuries, not increased training.
I don't think mandating guidelines is the answer. I believe it would be bad for the sport. Many of these fighters need to train as much as possible in order in improve in every aspect of MMA. Scaling back training would only deter the quality of the sport.
I will expound further why what you're proposing is illogical.
Uppercut said 09/19, 02:32 PM
I don't view this as illogical. With the evolvement of any sport, the rules must evolve as well. MMA has become a much more athletic sport in the last 8 years or so, thus the training has become much more intense. No longer are grapplers training grappling 95% of the time. These fighters are training in multiple combats, and with this more intense training comes more injuries. Sure the reasons you mention have played a part in the rise of injuries, but you cannot just ignore that the training has very openly caused many issues itself.
I am in no way saying that the UFC should do this for the safety of the fighters, so insurance arguments are irrelevant. I am saying this from the business standpoint of the UFC.. not the fighters. The UFC sells a product. That product is fights. When those fights don't happen because someone blows out their ACL 10 days before a fight, they lose money. Economics. They need to do something to deter this from happening and maybe simply instituting a grace period pre fight for training, even if it only saves a small amount of the injuries, it is still saving some.
Which is better than nothing.
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 09/19, 07:41 PM
I'd like to go back to your point about the NFL and how they've scaled back preseason workouts. The issue with that is the NFL has a union. Unions don't exist in MMA. How would something like this ever be agreed upon? My guess is you want the UFC to force fighters into less training?
The obvious question there is, how would you police over training? It would be impossible. And this is why what you're proposing is illogical.
I agree that injuries are disrupting the sport, but I still think the UFC is doing extremely well financially. You say the UFC has gained a lousy UFC 153 card because Anderson Silva is fighting who? Well, the point is Anderson is on the card.
You see the UFC sells fights to casual fans. Hardcore fans such as you and myself are secondary. In fact, because the UFC has Anderson Silva headlining the UFC 153 card, I'd venture to say they will not make more money than when the card had Henderson vs Edgar headlining the event.
Yes injuries have plagued the sport, but that was outlined in my 1st argument.
The problem is what you're proposing hurts the sport because of lack of training and regardless how would they enforce these rules? Its illogical.
Uppercut said 09/20, 07:35 PM
Lack of training isn't what I am suggesting. A grace period is what I suggest. Injuries will happen, but what is killing the UFC is the injuries 10-15 days before an event. They should institute a pre fight grace period, maybe 12 days. This way, they help, not completely rid, but help thin out those late camp injuries that cripple events. I agree with you, policing it isn't easy, but it can be done. Major fines and/or suspensions for violators may deter most fighters from breaking the rule.
And look at their numbers. They had 130,000 ppv sales at 147(I think), which is miserable. And that was a card that lost a title fight due to injury.
Injuries will always occur. My point isn't trying to stop them from happening, but if something is done that can save, say 2 major injuries a year, without hurting the product, why not try it? Any time a new rule or major change is put on the table, the initial reaction is that it is illogical, and it won't work. And maybe this won't work. But why not try something, rather than just let this continue?
Great job, Jim. Thanks for your time!
JimJ77 Can't make it up said 09/21, 12:00 AM
I will say that the injuries lately have been quite frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from in regards to determining a solution to the injury dilemma.
I cannot fathom a way where the UFC can implement a grace period where fighters are cutoff from training. Like I've stated above, I don't think its good for the quality of the sport because a lot of these fighters need as much training to improve every facet of their game. Also, there is no way to police it. There are too many fight camps and too many fighters.
My solution to avoiding the injury bug is pretty straight forward and simple. Why can't fighters just train smarter? Sparring partners need to also scale back some of the intensity of practice.
We've seen fighters like Rory MacDonald suffer a gash above the eye because his training partner is throwing a wicked spinning back fist. Stuff like that is just idiotic.
We've seen boxers train smartly and avoid injury and we've seen boxing trainers put boxers in position to avoid injuries. I'm not saying there are no pre fight injuries in boxing but there are far fewer than in MMA and that's because they train smarter.
Good TD. Enjoyed the debate.
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