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Former UFC matchmaker John Perretti sounds off on death of Michael Kirkham in South Carolina

By Zach Arnold | July 15, 2010

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A.J. Perez at MMA Fighting talks about Death in the Cage: The Michael Kirkham story. It’s a must-read article with plenty of background information. It does not paint a pretty picture of anyone. There’s one theme throughout this article that I kept shaking my head at, which is that he was “a good fighter.” It sure didn’t look like it in that fight that was on YouTube against D’Juan Owens before it got removed. There’s an incredible danger of letting amateurs who aren’t skilled or experienced enough get licensing to become a professional fighter.

Related: Improving the quality of commission regulation at MMA events

July 5th

MMA Junkie has details on how you can donate money to Michael Kirkham’s family. He has five children.

The Augusta Chronicle on Saturday published three articles on Michael Kirkham and his death. Each one provides background information on what led up to the fight that ended up taking his life. Other news articles linked as well.

The Charleston Post and Courier published an op-ed stating that they want MMA banned in South Carolina and compared MMA to cockfighting. They promptly turned off comments to the op-ed on their web site.

Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo Sports wrote an article about the story and stated the following:

So soon after Kirkham’s death, MMA fans and opponents alike should not use this as a reason to question the sport, the South Carolina officials or MMA’s place in society. Until we find out anything concrete, the only suitable course of action is to keep Michael Kirkham’s friends and family in our thoughts.

This did not sit well with former UFC matchmaker John Perretti (audio linked here), who had a lot to say about the fact that health & safety standards throughout various athletic commissions are declining as opposed to increasing in quality.

Eddie Goldman also examined what medical tests are not required in South Carolina.

(I’ve edited out some of the ‘you knows’ due to reader request. Let’s see how this goes.)

JOHN PERRETTI: “I know that I watched the amateur video and I don’t know who the referee was, but even in the amateur video this kid was severely over-matched. He was… he was completely clueless on the ground. In fact, he ran his hips at a completely opposite direction instead of trying to get his leg underneath this guy to get him off of him. He took repeated blows to the head, I think I counted 15 unanswered blows. The referee sat there, hunched over him like an owl on a tree and did nothing and then without any answering at all, turned his back completely and still getting punched repeatedly with no defense. He was just pummeled. I don’t know how his other professional debut went, but here’s a guy who doesn’t even know the first thing about fighting and I saw him throw one kick and it was pathetic. He’s a guy who shouldn’t have even been in the ring. I mean, he knew nothing. It was obvious he knew nothing. And he was over-matched. And that was his in his amateur bout.”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “This is a fight with someone named D’Juan Owens that took place in April of this year and on the basis of this, I don’t know really anything about D’Juan Owens but on the basis of this, Mike Kirkham turned pro Saturday night and to me…”

JOHN PERRETTI: “It’s just ludicrous, here’s a guy with absolutely no skills over-matched against a guy who was … in pretty good shape and it was like beating up the kid who is 12 years younger than you down the block for his candy. It’s tragic and people are praying for the family and whatever, but this kid shouldn’t have been in there. He’s 30 years old and he’s too old to learn this stuff, too. He has no right to be there and he’s dead! So, everything that we’ve been saying that’s going to happen, going to happen, going to happen, well it’s happening! You know, in fact, it’s happening six hours after we talk about it. So, I just got off the phone with Bob Meyrowitz for a half hour and we talked about how tragic this is becoming and I don’t care how much the UFC is making and how much money there is in this sport. Someone’s got to have some regulation here or else there’s going to be dead people and damaged people and injured people everywhere and it’s just unnecessary.”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “You mention regulation. If you go to the web site of the Association of Boxing Commissions which the South Carolina commission is part of, they linked to the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians which list the medical requirements for fighters in there, they’re identical for boxing and MMA and this is supposed to be updated. For the state of South Carolina, an EKG which is for your heart – not required. EEG for your brain, not required. They do require a dilated eye exam, but the dilatation can be a problem for the eyes but that’s another issue. CT scan, not required. MRI, not required. You are required to have something called a neurological exam by a neurologist, I guess you’re asked what day of the week it is or something.”

JOHN PERRETTI: “And they see if you have reflexes in your elbows and wrists and your knees.”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “Right, but there’s not examination of the brain and this guy died apparently of brain injuries.”

JOHN PERRETTI: “You know, I want to stop you for just a second. I’m infuriated. 12 years ago, Extreme Fighting, we had mandatory CT scans, mandatory blood tests… We had so much stuff going on, we were so far ahead of the time and that’s 12 years ago and maybe longer actually and I just don’t understand how this can go all retroactive and go back in time. Even if it is in The Deep South, sort of speak, you know I Just think it’s really offensive to not give these guys a fair shake.”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “And he was reported to be 30 years old, we’re also going to find out eventually I guess whether that age is really accurate because sometimes people shave off years there, we don’t know in this case. There’s a writer on Yahoo and Yahoo is one of the places where, by the way they don’t call their section MMA, they call it UFC which already lets, you know, what’s going on there. And they also show the UFC PPVs so they make money directly off of these shows. A writer named Maggie Hendricks writing about this concludes her article: ‘So soon after Kirkham’s death, MMA fans and opponents alike should not use this as a reason to question the sport, the South Carolina officials, or MMA’s place in society…”

JOHN PERRETTI: “Why?”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “Why? Because she said.”

JOHN PERRETTI: “Why? I want to know why? I want to know who she is! You know, why and who are YOU? What do you know and what is your experience in this life? Because I’m a little sick of it. All these marks, you know they’re all so full of [expletive]. They don’t know anything. They can’t tie their shoes and it’s just disgusting.”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “Well, also I want to go over some of these other tests that are not required in South Carolina. A complete physical exam, not required. NOT REQUIRED. And a number of blood tests, while you do get tested for HIV and Hepatitis B and C, no complete blood count. No blood clotting test. No chest x-ray. No TB test.”

JOHN PERRETTI: “I mean, you can go to prison and get a TB test!”

EDDIE GOLDMAN: “Well, there are higher medical requirements in prison than to fight in a professional Mixed Martial Arts event in the state of South Carolina.”

JOHN PERRETTI: “This guy had no right fighting in a professional format. I mean, this guy was a novice with a capital N… and he just had no right. I don’t know what anyone was thinking. I would be an advocate for the family when they decide to sue because this, this referee in this amateur fight alone was absolutely negligent.”

Speaking of athletic commissions, nobody on either UFC event in Nevada in the past three weeks was subjected to out-of-competition drug testing. Not one fighter.

Topics: MMA, Media, Zach Arnold | 46 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

46 Responses to “Former UFC matchmaker John Perretti sounds off on death of Michael Kirkham in South Carolina”

  1. Chromium says:

    Kind of off-topic, but I’ve been meaning to say this since this transcript was particularly hard to read, despite the content: it’s okay to edit out “you know” and other extraneous bits of speech that we don’t generally think about while talking from transcripts. It would make these transcripts easier to read. I appreciate your dedication in doing these literal transcripts, but you can edit those little bits out and it’d be more readable and no less accurate.

    Ed. — OK, took out some of the you knows, you know.

    • jj says:

      you know, you could just, you know, copy and past the transcript in MS Word and use the, you know, find and replace function if you, you know, have a problem with the you know’s, you know?

  2. Chromium says:

    About the transcript itself, a lot of great points here, but the reason that smaller promoters don’t do MRIs or CT scans is because those are expensive as fuck and the cost of those things for every fighter would make it financially impossible. It’s a very disconcerting dilemma. Even just doing MRIs and CT scans on fighters after their fights if they got KO’d/TKO’d would be financially prohibitive for tiny promotion.

    I would definitely like to see more thorough medical monitoring on the part of smaller state athletic commissions, but there are some things that are beyond their budgets or the budgets of the promoters. It sounds like the reffing in this fight was atrocious though, and I hope he gets fired. There also should probably be some basic height-to-weight limits because 6′9″ and 155 lbs. is a freakshow combination. Corey Hill is 6′4″ and looks like a beanpole at 155.

    Also, maybe just having State Athletic Commissions perform these brain scans on fighters who may be deemed particularly medically questionable, and on some random ones beyond that. What the most effective way to protect the greatest number of fighters within the financial means of both SACs and small promotions is beyond me.

    Okay, it appears I was confusing the D’Juan Owens fight with his professional debut, which apparently was stopped quickly. I’d really like to know what Michael Kirkham’s natural weight was and if weight cutting might have played a part in what happened to him. I suppose his freakish height might have been a coincidence, and after all this is only the third death in the history of the modern sport (I’m not counting undocumented Vale Tudo deaths in the pre-Shooto/Pancrase/UFC era). Not to diminish this tragedy, but it’s still a relatively safe sport for a contact sport.

    • Steve4192 says:

      “the reason that smaller promoters don’t do MRIs or CT scans is because those are expensive as fuck and the cost of those things for every fighter would make it financially impossible.”

      Too fucking bad.

      If you can’t afford to get the medical testing required to protect the athletes, you shouldn’t be promoting fights. If requiring proper testing puts a bunch of fly-by-night promoters out of business, so be it.

      • Fluyid says:

        “If requiring proper testing puts a bunch of fly-by-night promoters out of business, so be it.”

        Fighters foot the bill for the testing. Just an FYI.

      • Chromium says:

        I’m not disagreeing with you, just making an observation. Considering how rare deaths or serious head injuries have been in MMA, that MRIs that cost $3000 per procedure weren’t being done for every fighter for every fight, no matter who foots the bill, it shouldn’t surprise people. Considering that the great majority of promotions are tiny indy promotions like this, and that the vast majority of fighters get their start there, including most top fighters, it would mean a complete restructuring of the sport. I don’t know if that’s even possible.

      • Every regional promoter in the country would be out of business.

        Just an FYI.

      • skwirrl says:

        Don’t be dumb. MRI’s and CT’s are 1000’s a piece.

  3. klown says:

    Zach, good call on the “you know”, thanks.

  4. SixT-4 says:

    Zach edited out the you knows. <3 <3

  5. MikeJJ says:

    Thx for the removal of the “you knows”…

    ..maybe next time you have a transcript of Scott Coker i can read it without getting a severe headache.

  6. ttt says:

    if states are not able to regulate these competitions safely then they shouldn’t be allowing events to occur. seems simple doesn’t it?

  7. Mark says:

    I hate to always be the pessimist about everything, but the pessimistic view is usually the truth, and nothing will change.

    Like with pro wrestling regulation talks, the small promotions will plead poverty, claim they couldn’t afford proper medical evaluations and would have to shut down if it were made mandatory, so little po dunk athletic commissions (if they even have one) will feel sympathy and not want to lose their money, their fans will rally behind them to see them stay opened, and the fighters will willingly take the risk of fighting without knowing if it could possibly kill them because they love their profession and need the money.

    But surely the guy being nearly 7 feet tall and a Lightweight is a typo, right? I cannot imagine that being possible unless he was recently rescued from Somalia, a junkie or was dying of AIDS. The video has been removed so I can’t see him. I have a mental image of a fighting skeleton, though. Very (Tank) Abbott & Costello-ish.

    • Well, the small promotions are running on very short budgets and to pay for stringent medical testing would effectively cause them to close up shop. That’s what it is.

      Anyone who says that only the UFC has grown is full of shit. Compare the status of amateur MMA or professional MMA events from 6 years ago to the present. Its night and day when comparing the sheer number and magnitude of non-UFC shows that currently occur. I’m not even talking about shows like MFC or Bellator that have TV deals (though they fit in with that too), but the amateur promoters running twice a week in Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, California, etc. There are probably 50 promoters running professional and amateur MMA events at the scale of what only perhaps only 4-5 like Hook-N-Shoot and the WEC (in its first incarnation) were doing in the early 2000s.

  8. Chromium says:

    I was skeptical about Michael Kirkham’s weight, did some searching, and found quite a bit of evidence that yes, the guy was a 6′9″ lightweight. His Facebook page stating this was the best evidence. I also searched Sherdog’s fighter database, and could not find even a single Light-Heavyweight whose listed height was above 6′6″ (there were about ten fighters at that height, one of whom is the UFC’s Cyril Diabate), let alone any Lightweights. Only about 40% of the 2000 LHW fighters listed had their height included, but still. This would make Kirkham an extreme anomaly, which is why people are wondering if it had something to do with his death.

  9. grafdog says:

    Boy this brown nosing Hendricks lady sounds like the epa lady who said right after 911 that the air was safe to breath at the wtcs…

    “MMA fans and opponents alike should not use this as a reason to question the sport”

    Is she calling me a pussy if i think about the negative aspects of being hit in the head repeatedly?
    Who pays these people to belittle such a serious concern as dying?

    If I was aware of this mma caused death, and was an “opponent” in an upcoming bout how could I not question whether the thrill and $500 is worth risking my life?

    A more patriotic edit might have been…
    “In these times with our war against terrorism and the the poor economy, MMA fans and opponents alike should not use this as a reason to question the sport, or even worse yet to stop supporting it”

  10. First edition says:

    In the interest of fairness, the blog post being dissected is from right after the news first broke about the death. She wasn’t saying “don’t talk about the issues, ever, under any circumstances” she was talking about respecting the family of the deceased in the immediate aftermath of the breaking news. Goldman and Perretti make it sound like the blog was done long after the news broke.

  11. A. Taveras says:

    Peretti does make valid points here, but his appearances on Eddie G.’s shows seem overwhelmingly negative to me. He goes on and on about the devolution of the sport and the athletes. So does Eddie, but not to the same degree. With all due respect to Mr. Peretti’s experience in the sport he comes off more bitter than informed.

  12. shootor says:

    This kind of regulation is an abridge to personal freedom, so no. That seems to be the thing people overlook when discussing regulation, that of the civil servants acting as overlords and imposing their will on free men and consumers.

    It’s actually backwards and it is unfortunate that people have no problem giving up their liberty.

    • Mark says:

      Jeff Monson, ladies and gentlemen.

      Look, I don’t think this isolated incident should be used to attack MMA either. But you cannot allow an idiot off the street like Michael Kirkham a chance to fight a professional fighter anymore than you should be able to play in an NFL game just because you played backyard football with your friends. There’s a huge difference between barring some idiot who thinks he’s worthy of being in a professional fight because he has some redneck fighting gang with his buddies and our civil liberties being under attack.

      If the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is not under tight regulation then there will be no sport.

      • shootor says:

        Hardly Jeff Monson, but I believe two men should be allowed to fight each other under a mutually agreed upon contract. If they want to brutalize the hell out of each other that’s fine so long as no third parties are directly affected. Do you believe government should be in the business of protecting people from themselves? What a dangerous and foolish disregard of individualism. Hell, there very areas where I want incompetent civil servants in a kingbreaker role. Civil servants are just as selfish and ignorant as anyone else, that’s why their power should be limited.

        Just to be clear, I’m not saying that government run sporting events will spell doom for the constitution. I do recognize that it is an affront to freedom, however insigificant it may seem to you. Add up all of the burdensome regulations starting with the LBJ and Nixon era and it is quite astounding how easily the majority parts with their liberty and their earnings.

        I don’t care if people use the death to attack mma, it’s perfectly fine to do so. It is a brutal, barbarian sport no matter the prefight testing. They have a right to dislike such sport, and they are more decent for that opinion than any of us consumers of fight sports.

        Also, government was the reason the sport’s major boom was postponed for a decade in North America. It wasn’t for lack of consumer interest.

        • Mark says:

          Do I have a moral problem with it? Absolutely not. But in the real world that is going to do nothing but get MMA banned again and I’d gladly hurt some idiot’s feelings not to be able to fight without training than go back to 1998 where you had to struggle to find places to hold sanctioned fights. America is not ancient Rome, it’s not going to tolerate a sport that amasses a bodycount due to negligence. I’m looking at it realistically here. I’ll gladly sacrifice some hillbilly anorexic deadbeat dad not being able to have a cagefight to keep MMA regulated.

        • GassedOut says:

          Look, I have been an MMA practioner, and a longtime supporter of the sport in its many incarnations. Regualtion is necessary just to level the playing field. When I used to compete in Judo, the novices (white and yellow belts) fought each other, and skill level was matched with skill level. Orange to Blue belts fought each other. Brown and black were in their own division. Weight classes were every 10 pounds. All these things were important. And injuries (serious injuries) still occurred, in a sport whose name literally translated means “The Gentle Way.” Cut it any way you want, it was a fight, and in fights, things happen, regardless of regulation.

          As far as the point about he’s only hurting himself, I wish that were true. What about his family and the people that he left behind? I don’t think you can’t consider that.

          As far as mandatory testing goes, its just common sense. Would you let a guy with a brain anuerism (ala Bigfoot Silva) fight? Where he can get hit in the head and have it potentially rupture and kill him (perhaps even days later)? I think not.

          What I think will happen when it all comes out is that an autopsy will show one of two things. Either he had a pre-existing condition which proper medical tests would have detected, or he was so badly outclassed that he succumbed which would have been avoided by good regulation. Neither of these aspects that make the current sport safe seem to have been present in that arean in South Carolina that night.

          As far as the lady from Yahoo’s article goes, she did get one thing right – we should be keeping the family and friends of Michael Kirkham in our thoughts and prayers. I won’t speak to the other statement because it is likely both sides will use it to their own advantages.

          To say that regulation is an infringment on personal freedom is a bit of a red herring. The freedom here is the freedom to participate or not. If one chooses to participate, then one has to deal with the regulation and testing that should be a part of any combat sport. Otherwise, take your ball and go home, so to speak.

          ‘Nuff littered.

        • shootor says:

          Surely a man that chooses to get into a fight does harm to his family. Even with the most comprehensive testing and licensing (licensing is another issue in and of itself) the fact is people that get hit in their head repeatedly suffer brain damage. You know who these fighters are, and most of them you don’t. Maybe we should ban fighting sports to protect them and their families. I mean, fighting isn’t the safest thing to do with your life. Pre-existing conditions, out-classed, bullshit. How about he was allowed to be hit by another person. Why only ask for regulation? Why not just get to the root of the problem – people hitting and maiming each other – and ban that? Let’s really make an effort to protect people.

          The individual comes before family. Even though the family might be affected in various ways, their freedom is not under assault. That is the basic test of freedom. Do A and B’s actions harm C’s freedom? No one’s freedom as an individual should be trampled by some far removed government numb nut that wants to play nanny. Fact is, my mother doesn’t approve of me having a motorcycle, and I don’t approve of her smoking. I guess we should write our congressman and have him introduce legislation to ban motorcycles and cigarettes. And who knows what his family thought of him fighting? Maybe they supported it, maybe they needed some extra money. That’s his decision, not your’s, bro.

          You are all raising hell over the incompetence of government officials. It’s hilarious. Of course they’re incompetent! There is, oh, the totality of human history to pledge for this. So let’s give these lawmakers even more of our power and money, even though they are screwups.

          Would I let a guy with a brain aneuyrism fight? That’s a flawed question because it isn’t mine or anyone else’s place to dictate another free man’s life. I wouldn’t advise him to fight and I wouldn’t advise anyone to fight him, but that’s his and his opponent’s choice. Ah, the freedom to actually choose your own course in life without some would-be totalitarians and do-gooders sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

          Why does one have to meet your tests to perform an activity or make a living? Just who do you think you are?

  13. Mark says:

    You’re right, nobody looks good in this. Anybody who lists their training as “self-taught” should be automatically barred from fighting. You cannot learn proper defense from watching a DVD or reading a BJ Penn book. All fighters should have to attend training in a known camp.

    They really should have taken one look at this guy, who appears to have a BMI that would make Kate Moss look like the fat girl in Precious, and told him to eat a sandwich then come back. I know all lousy MMA promoter wannabe’s would take one look at the guy and get giddy at his freak show factor, but no commission ever should. And his friends come off like a bunch of dumb hicks who were enabling him more than anybody. And “Tree” comes off like a real piece of crap for chasing some stupid dream instead of holding down a job and letting personal issues with the ex-wife get in the way of supporting the children he brought into the world, so I don’t even feel sorry for him.

    But I had to facepalm for the Keith Kiezer, who every time I read something new from him I hate him more, comment about “It’s the job of the fighters to tell the truth.” What an idiotic, dangerous attitude. Athletes, not just fighters, have to be saved from themselves. They’re competitors who would go out there against all logic no matter how badly they are hurt. We’ve had guys fight with two broken hands, guys fight blinded from swelling or blood in the eye, guys come in to a fight with a broken foot. Why is anybody paying to have you around if it’s now just up to the fighter to let you know if he’s healthy?

    • Steve4192 says:

      “Anybody who lists their training as “self-taught” should be automatically barred from fighting. “

      Rich Franklin, Jeremy Horn, and the late Evan Tanner were all self-taught.

      Should they not have been allowed to fight?

      • Mark says:

        They all got real trainers when they went pro. I’m not bashing self-training, I’m bashing self-training if that is all you have. You cannot learn how to protect yourself from a DVD and sparring with your buddy in the back yard if you’re fighting a guy who is a pro. That’s the difference between Kirkham and the fighters you mentioned.

        • GassedOut says:

          I agree here to a point. I think this is a case of “everybody starts somewhere.” These particular individuals were/are gifted, and not everyone is. Initially when I read the post, I thought “what about Evan Tanner?” But on further reflection, he, and people like him, are the exceptions that prove the rule so to speak. Evan Tanner took a DVD and practiced the moves he saw. Then he got serious. Ditto Ace Franklin, Jeremy Horn, etc. They all each earned the right to compete in this sport. I’m not sure that process had gone on for Michael Kirkham, and if it was happening, it hadn’t run its course.

    • Mr. Mike says:

      Listen you #$%^*, Kirkham was from Illinois and, moved to SC, two places that have no hills, from my experience, but you seem to think of yourself as superior to an entire class of people, so I understand your bigotry.
      And you think a human being is dung? AT the current time, he was not being a man and, supporting his wife and, kids, but his death means that he’d never be able to come to his senses.

      • Mark says:

        I’m not putting down the entire South, I’m putting down a group of idiots who live there who play up its negative stereotype. I didn’t say something like “Oh, it’s typical that they came from the South, they’re all a bunch of idiots over there.” No, I stuck to the Independents group (who probably really spelled it something like “Da Independentz” or maybe even “The Independants”.)So, no I don’t hate the South as a whole.

        And “redneck” and “hillbilly” isn’t just regulated to Southerners. For instance, even sticking with just the state of Illinois, Matt Hughes is regularly called a redneck, hillbilly, country bumpkin, even though he was born and raised in the Mid West. Rednecks are everywhere: California, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, you name it. It’s a way of life, not a regional issue.

        And yes, I do look down on any man who acts so immature as to hold his issues with his baby’s mama above taking care of his flesh and blood. F*** him. Once you bring a life into this world, you become selfless and damn sure don’t stop working to chase some dumb pipedream as he did. If it makes me wrong for thinking deadbeat dads are among the lowest forms of life on the planet, then something is wrong with your worldview.

  14. Alexander Shaw says:

    Eddie G is only agreeing with his guest. Which is what all radio host seem to do nowadays.

  15. Mr. Mike says:

    What does someone have to do to go pro in MMA? How many amateur fights must they win? Do losses have any effect?

  16. Mr. Mike says:

    “It is a brutal, barbarian sport no matter the prefight testing.”

    Brutal, yes, but fighting is brutal and, a necessary part of human existence. A group of MMA trained folks wouldn\’t be afraid of thugs, or any other class of bullies. Barbarism is what many of the fans want to see; two guys banging it out with a knockout as a result. The combination of striking, clinching and, grappling and, using those skills intelligently is very civilized.

    • shootor says:

      Prizefighters strike and maim their opponents for money. Being skilled and using those skills speaks nothing to civility. Charles Whitman was a skilled marksman.

      It is totally barbarian. It doesn’t matter if you strike your opponent in the head with a triple jab or a hook from your shoelaces. The fact that one is skilled at fighting doesn’t make it decent.

      Recognize what fight sports are. It speaks to the worst in us. I don’t mind it and you don’t mind it, but the people that disapprove of prizefighting are kinda in the right. It’s only when they make factual errors or become hypocrites that their argument fails.

      • edub says:

        Why are you posting on a Mixed martial arts blog then? You don’t think guys who care enough about MMA to comment on it 24/7 have heard the POV you are trying to make with this post?

        You should probably read the article where Roxanne Modafferi states “I do not fight to maim my opponents”. It’s on USA today right now.

        • shootor says:

          I’ve read enough of the forums and MMA columnists to know that they don’t have much understanding of a certain aspect of the opposition to MMA – that of two people fighting each other for cash is not healthy or virtuous.

          That was a great interview with Roxanne where she basically said she hits peoples head but makes a fun little game of it. Like Whac-A-Mole, really. “…not because I want to bloody them…” I guess the fact that she doesn’t want to break someone’s face makes it okay when she does break someone’s face? I feel much better about prizefighting now!

          I doubt very few of Chuck Liddell’s or James Toney’s opponents went into the fight with the express purpose of killing their brain cells, but that’s exactly what happens.

          Why do I post on MMA blogs? Because I don’t mind the violence, same way you don’t mind the violence. The only difference is that I can see that attraction to two people fighting each other isn’t exactly a noble trait.

        • shootor says:

          To note, my arguments above about banning MMA were only made to show the flaws in the regulator’s argument – carrying it to its natural conclusion, i.e., it is inherently not a safe sport so the sport should be banned.

          I favor deregulation and open fighting for people that choose to do such things. It is no man’s place to dictate another man’s life or make them jump through hoops under the pretense of “protecting him from himself.” There is a word for that.

        • Mark says:

          What you seem to be missing is the martial artist factor. You’ve got to remember that, even if you think it’s B.S., long time martial artists (as most fighters are) do not see what they do as purposely violent. They don’t strive for their black belt with the attitude of “Hell yeah, I can’t wait to mess somebody up!” It’s an art and if they use their knowledge in MMA then it’s just a competition to them.

          Of course there’s the meatheads around MMA who get off on striking someone who they already knocked out and go out of their way to be brutal, but most MMA fighters would feel horrible if they seriously hurt somebody because they don’t go out there to satisfy the fans bloodlust.

          I’m not trying to insult you, but I can tell you are not a martial artists. You’d understand the difference between competition and violence. I’ve been a Judoka since I was a child, and never once have I had an attitude of “I hope I break this guy’s arm” or “I hope he can’t get back up” in a competition. You just don’t think of what you’re doing the same way you would in a street fight (which most martial artists detest) because you respect the art too much. I know that sounds incredibly pretentious, but it is true.

        • shootor says:

          Again, I never said any fighter wants to badly hurt their opponent, but that means nothing. You are still going in there to strike, throw, choke, and joint lock your opponent. Sure it’s sport, but it is a vicious sport. It is irrelevant if you want to hurt or not, you are still hitting a guy in the head, you’re still going to extend the arm if there is no submission. You can’t get around that. The idea of competition being a defense for giving people brain damage doesn’t hold water.

          And again, I have no problem with MMA or any combat sport. It’s only that I fully respect and understand the opinion of people that disapprove of organized fighting.

          I am not a martial artist, but I was a wrestler with a losing record in high school. It is totally immaterial to any issues here though. The correct interpretation of Minimum Effort, Maximum Efficiency is to walk away from a fight. That’s a big reason why Kano later denounced challenge, or mixed matches. Tell me as a proud judoka, would Master Kano approve of his students doing mixed martial arts?

  17. [...] As Eddie Goldman noted around the time of Michael Kirkham’s death, the situation for medical checks in South Carolina was/is a mixed bag. [...]

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