MMA fighting should be accepted by the NCAA

This is the second in a two-part series about why the NCAA should add MMA as an officially sanctioned sport.

A second reason for MMA’s qualifications as a legitimate college sport is (shocker alert) …  It’s safe!

That’s right, despite common perceptions about the sport, its injury rates are actually lower than that of football, hockey, soccer, wrestling and boxing.

In fact, studies show that football is the sport in which males are most likely to receive a concussion, the same being true for soccer in regards to women.

It’s also important to note that while serious injuries can obviously occur in MMA, the most common injuries within the cage are cuts, hand injuries, black eyes, and bruising.

These injuries are minor in comparison to concussions and ACL tears, two injuries common in football.

Plus, safety of the fighters is the No. 1 concern of the officials of an event, with every sanctioned fight having a doctor ringside overseeing the health and well being of the athletes.

If you need a specific example of how MMA can be considered safe, compare it to boxing, another popular full-contact sport.

In boxing, a fighter gets beaten from pillar to post standing up, gets knocked down, then has to stand up again to continue receiving a beating.

In MMA, a fighter gets knocked down and his opponent jumps on him quickly finishing the job, and the referee slides in to stop the fight before any unnecessary damage is administered.

Probably the most important reason that MMA should be made official by the NCAA is the many opportunities it would provide.

Since there are really no official “teams” for MMA in college, it’s hard to gauge how many scholarship opportunities could come about.

One way would be to follow the format laid out by wrestling teams.  There are currently about 6,000 males competing in NCAA wrestling.

If MMA could work its way to that point, that is 6,000 more scholarship opportunities for young students trying to get an education in this troubled economy.  That way these students have the option of using their brain or their fists to make a career with.

Besides, most colleges have some form of intramural martial arts club, such as judo, taekwondo, etc.

Putting in a MMA program would allow these students to put to use their skills, and make valuable use of their time.

Adding MMA to the list of collegiate sports would be a huge step in the right direction for the NCAA.

It would see them not only provide scholarship and career opportunities to young adults across the map, but take part in what is becoming a revolutionary sport.

Children aren’t just growing up watching Lebron James dunk a basketball anymore, they are also watching Anderson Silva use his knees to separate his opponents from their senses.

This will only cause the sport to continue to grow, and the NCAA needs to be there to grab their share of the pie when the children of today become the athletes of tomorrow.

Cheyene Miller is a journalism freshman and MMA fighter. Email opinions@kykernel.com.

liking this says:

Obviously “funny” is reading none of the facts that the author, or the other responders, have recited. What part of ALL SPORTS HAVE RISKS OF INJURIES” does this person not understand? And since the risk of injury is the only reason that “funny” has given for their opposition to the author’s opinion, then “funny” is being hypocritical unless he or she is also opposed to ALL collegiate sports, since none are injury-free. What a rude and silly little person.

funny says:

None of these claims are true! MMA is NOT safe! Just because loud mouth commentators like Joe Rogan and proponents with a lot at stake tell you something doesn’t mean it is true. I’ve heard Rogan say the very same things as the author… and it’s all a bunch of crap. The comparison to boxing is a complete farce as well. Collegiate boxing requires headgear and 16 oz. padded gloves. MMA requires no headgear whatsoever and the gloves are only 4 oz. thick (which is hardly a glove at all). Despite popular convention, knockouts very rarely occur in amateur boxing. However, with MMA knockouts happen all the time… as do chokes that cut off blood supply to the brain and risk causing permanent damage to the brain. The point that because a doctor is at ringside is enough is another moot point. Doctors only intervene after damage has been done, thus they’re essentially a stand-in EMT with very little more authority.

What’s more, to compare MMA injuries to football is absurd. With football, the risk of injury is largely because there are so many people around and someone you don’t see falls on your leg/ankle, etc. Helmets do a good job of protecting people that see a hit coming, it’s that that are sitting ducks (i.e., a punt returner, wide receiver, etc.) that is the most vulnerable. With MMA, you have an opponent continually striking at your head with leg kicks, knees, elbows, and fists. When you don’t see the strike coming you’re susceptible to concussions all the same. What’s more, the wrestling and BJJ involved often involves the hyperextension of arms and knees, and often times result in broken bones, torn cartilege, etc. What’s more, not having any protection for your face leaves you susceptible to cuts, broken orbital bones, broken nose, etc., and can literally change your facial structure, and leave you with unattractive scar tissue for life. Half of MMA fighters walk around with noses almost pressed flat to their face because someone has smashed it in at some point. Sustaining these types of injuries, without compensation, and solely for “sport” is absolutely idiotic. If you have anger issues so severe that you have to take up MMA then your efforts are misguided, you need mental counseling, not vengeance against an opponent in the name of sport to help you cope.