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Dana: Proper Regulation Saves Lives

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DCRage

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The death of Michael Kirkham on June 26, the second mixed martial arts death in a sanctioned event in U.S. history, has been a wake up call to the dangers of insufficient regulation, the ramifications of combatants not being forthcoming on licensing applications and the landscape of the sport where new states are approving and local promoters promoting when maybe neither fully understand the tragic consequences of cutting corners. But UFC president Dana White insists mixed martial arts is not only safe, but the safest sport in the world when correctly regulated. “This is the safest sport in the world when done properly,” White said when asked about the unfortunate passing of Kirkham. Michael Kirkham died following his professional mixed martial arts debut on June 26 at the Dash Entertainment and King MMA co-promoted “Confrontation at the Convocation Center” event at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, South Carolina. An autopsy determined that he died from subarachnoid hemorrhage of the brain.

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Post #1   7/18/10 9:45:39AM   

bjj1605

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I agree with Dana. It's really a tragedy that this guy was allowed into the cage. If you look at his physique and once you've seen a picture of him, there's no reason he should have been fighting. The fact that a quick knock out (the likes of which we've seen a 1,000 times in MMA) killed him, strongly suggests that there was something wrong with him prior to stepping into the octagon.

I can't believe South Carolina doesn't require a full examination. I wasn't aware of that. That needs to be changed.

Post #2   7/18/10 1:35:45PM   

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The deceased has to take some of the blame in this case.

Post #3   7/18/10 1:53:19PM   

jlock003

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As much as people rais hell about Dana and him being loud and boistrous, they have to aknowledge that this is one of the reasons he is so good for the sport. He is well spoken (regardless of the profanity) and he knows his stuff. Not to mention he takes very good care of his fighters physical condition. I hate that there was another death in the sport, but I'm really appreciative that the giant of the mma world acknowledges that it needs the smaller promotions and encourages those promotions to take the proper precautions or get out. I've seen knockouts and subs in the UFC that looked brutal, and the promotion does a great job of getting the fighters prompt and sufficient medical attention.

Post #4   7/18/10 2:24:46PM   

telnights

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I agree with Dana on this. But at the same time its just a matter of time before someone dies in a UFC fight. It will happen no matter if we the fans and Dana doesn't want to see it happen. In any contact sport death will and does happen. Deaths happen even in wrestling, I know because I have seen one them happen. Just freak accidents that no one could have seen coming. I do think in Michael Kirkham case the blame lays on the commission, the promotion, and Michael himself. The commission for not forcing a pre-fight medical. The promotion for not providing one and Michael for not being honest on his paperwork. But we will never know 100% if any of these things would have changed the outcome that resulted in the death of a fighter.

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Post #5   7/18/10 4:41:43PM   

mshalosky

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I agree with Dana on this. But at the same time its just a matter of time before someone dies in a UFC fight. It will happen no matter if we the fans and Dana doesn't want to see it happen. In any contact sport death will and does happen. Deaths happen even in wrestling, I know because I have seen one them happen. Just freak accidents that no one could have seen coming. I do think in Michael Kirkham case the blame lays on the commission, the promotion, and Michael himself. The commission for not forcing a pre-fight medical. The promotion for not providing one and Michael for not being honest on his paperwork. But we will never know 100% if any of these things would have changed the outcome that resulted in the death of a fighter.

I honestly don't ever see a fighter dying in the UFC. In training? Yes. But in a UFC fight? NO. The UFC has put on about 140 or so events if you add in fight nights lets say 8 fights on each card, thats 1120 fights. So far no deaths. UFC has the best doctors on staff and a very safe sactioning body. If it continued the same way as the first few UFC's I would agree but at this point there is no reason to believe there should ever be a death.

Post #6   7/18/10 9:04:27PM   

Sir_Karl

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Yeah but the bottom line is...one punch to the head and/or one whack of your head on the canvas can kill you...bottom line. No if ands or buts.

Post #7   7/18/10 9:07:05PM   

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Posted by mshalosky


I agree with Dana on this. But at the same time its just a matter of time before someone dies in a UFC fight. It will happen no matter if we the fans and Dana doesn't want to see it happen. In any contact sport death will and does happen. Deaths happen even in wrestling, I know because I have seen one them happen. Just freak accidents that no one could have seen coming. I do think in Michael Kirkham case the blame lays on the commission, the promotion, and Michael himself. The commission for not forcing a pre-fight medical. The promotion for not providing one and Michael for not being honest on his paperwork. But we will never know 100% if any of these things would have changed the outcome that resulted in the death of a fighter.

I honestly don't ever see a fighter dying in the UFC. In training? Yes. But in a UFC fight? NO. The UFC has put on about 140 or so events if you add in fight nights lets say 8 fights on each card, thats 1120 fights. So far no deaths. UFC has the best doctors on staff and a very safe sactioning body. If it continued the same way as the first few UFC's I would agree but at this point there is no reason to believe there should ever be a death.



I see what you're saying, but IMO telnights is right. It is only a matter of time. They happen all of the time in every contact sport there is and even in sports where there isn't any contact. NASCAR has deaths, boxing has deaths, NFL football has deaths, soccer, NBA, etc. etc. Maybe not always as a result of trauma, but a heart attack can kill you just as dead as a bullet to the dome.

Murphy's law comes into play for sure here. 1,120 or whatever the number you came up with is not a large number despite seeming so.

At the end of the day this is still a sport where two competitors go at it full force, manipulate each other's bodies in fashions they aren't meant to be manipulated, and slam bodies, heads, feet, and hands into each other with maximum effort. Someone is going to die. It's just a matter of when. All the UFC can do is put every regulation they can think of into place as preventative measures and in the process build a solid safety record so that when one does happen (as is inevitable) it will be a freak accident based on murphy's law and nothing more.

Last edited 7/18/10 9:19PM server time by Jackelope
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Post #8   7/18/10 9:15:32PM   

telnights

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Posted by mshalosky
I honestly don't ever see a fighter dying in the UFC. In training? Yes. But in a UFC fight? NO. The UFC has put on about 140 or so events if you add in fight nights lets say 8 fights on each card, thats 1120 fights. So far no deaths. UFC has the best doctors on staff and a very safe sactioning body. If it continued the same way as the first few UFC's I would agree but at this point there is no reason to believe there should ever be a death.



Jackelope covered most everything but few things I wanted to add. I would like to think there never would be a death in the UFC or any other MMA promotion, but that is just wishful thinking. As much as it sucks we live in a world where unforeseen things happen and cant ever be prevented. When you add in all the factors of combat sports it's clear it will happen sometime. Just like I said in my first post I have seen a death happen in wrestling and that was far from the only one that's ever happened in wrestling. When think about it wrestling is just one aspect of a MMA fight. Freak things happen no matter how safe you make it.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying the UFC doesn't do a good job of protecting their fighters, because I think they do a great job. But there are a million things that can happen and no matter how many doctors you have ringside will save the fighter. Then you add in human error. Refs even at the UFC level make mistakes. Take a look at the Pete Sell vs Matt Brown fight. That fight could have turned out bad but as luck would have it that didn't happen.

Last edited 7/19/10 12:18AM server time by telnights
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Post #9   7/18/10 9:53:49PM