Cage Fighting in the USA

Cage Fighting in the USA

2011, Sports  -   39 Comments
Ratings: 7.35/10 from 79 users.

It's brutal, it's violent, and yet more and more people are watching the sport that was once banned from television for being too bloody. Now cage fights are prime-time TV events, and mixed martial arts, MMA, is a billion dollar industry, but far from the spotlight of the UFC everyday Americans are stepping onto the mat. What you're going to see over the next several years is guys who were to play baseball, basketball, football will becoming involved in mixed martial arts instead.

We meet an all American guy and a female fighter with big expectations, in places you'd expect and in places you wouldn't, including church where cage fighting and the Bible go hand in hand. For some MMA offers a chance at the dream. For others those dreams have been crushed.

Savant Young is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, a 13 year veteran of the sport. If you type in his name on YouTube it only takes 15 seconds to see how he earned the fighting name "Black Superman", but now Savant now spends more time teaching other fighters than he does knocking them out.

Savant is the co-owner of Fight Academy, a gym in Pasadena, California that specializes in mixed martial arts, or MMA. Gyms like Fight Academy are springing up all over the country, and in 2010 over 2.5 million Americans trained or fought in MMA. Many trained to simply stay in shape, but everyone wants to fight.

When guys walk in fresh off the street saying they want to fight, they've got to go through all the prerequisites, go through the training, because at the end of the day it's a pretty serious consequence to being not prepared to do this sport.

MMA combines multiple combat sports like wrestling, boxing, and Jiu Jitsu. Because competitions are often held in a cage, it is also known as cage fighting. While fans of MMA love the highly technical side of the sport they also celebrate the raw brutality. Fan made knock out videos routinely go viral online.

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1 year ago

MMA, boxing, football, fundamentally cause brain damage. Anything that hits your head will cause head trauma.

6 years ago

As is often the case, things are not always as they may seem. Some years ago a study was done regarding running shoes. The reason was that it seemed more people were getting injured. The upshot was the newer tech softened the impact to the body from running so people didn't know when to quit and the added impact took its toll, feeling little to no pain right up until something gave out, snapped, tore, etc.

I can only figure that the informed fellow making the point about the fluffier boxing gloves being more dangerous; allowing many more punches, is similar to the "impact absorbing" running shoe. Where the reco was to get a cheaper plainer running shoe so your body would get sore and tell you when to quit.

In football, would they hammer their heads if still using leather head covers? Only the hardest of heads. And they would know when they need to avoid any more head contact.

Clearly mankind ...or not so kind at times, has more than one side. For this short discussion I'll limit it to 2 sides: Animal and Spiritual. I always thought the purpose of the spiritual side, as well as coaches in that arena, be it preachers, pastors, priests, gurus, monks, monkettes, etc. was about encourage at least yourself if not others to rise above your animal nature or "the natural man" and become more. More thoughtful, considerate, tolerant, patient, kind, forgiving, less judgmental, less resentful, less angry, less hateful, etc. I didn't watch this docu so I don't know how the preacher guy pulls that off but maybe he does some how.

Barring a few exceptions, I do notice that some of the fighters are quite respectful. Much more so than siblings who pick fights to pump their ego. So there must be something to the "testing themselves" situation another commentor aptly described.

I find the sport somewhat interesting but usually disappointing in that there are many more lousy fights compared to when two very good fighters go at it. One can learn a fair bit about tactics and risks.

As with most any sport, their is usually someone better out there in the hinterland who actually is busy living their life with no need to prove themselves to anyone. So I am amused at such titles as "World Champion". Champion of the tiny group who didn't choose to do something else would be more appropriate.

If one wants to look at animal nature, many males find the female fights more interesting than the male. That would be me unless the rare occasion of an actually good fight happened.

If boxing is ok and wrestling is ok and martial arts is ok, then combining them would seem to be ok, and more challenging having more options. One thing that I would change is the gloves. Mitten style which covered all the fingers with no exposed seams, then you would see less blood.

Chances are I will get bored with MMA/UFC and am nearly there already. If people opt to watch such things versus playing a friendly board game or such with their kids or family, then they do have some selfish, me me me, problems the world seems to be filled with today. I tend to suspect, as might be with me that it give a bit of release to the notions of how a lot of selfish self centered weasels need their butts kicked. Or that the possibility of a fair fight "may" still exist while so many other things are rigged against us.

In that light, it would be refreshing to see many of those in govt and corporate(incl. banking) called out into the ring, square, octagon, or sphere for some well deserved comeuppance for what they have done to this country and its citizens. It would be a hoot to see an old lady with a heavy handbag and umbrella knock the stuffing out of a banker who screwed her. There are some people who will never learn to stop being a weasel or a jerk until faced with physical punishment. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Many have never made it out of child mode. The MMA fighters are far above them in nobility.

miranda borjon
7 years ago

Man if you guys think that cage fighting is bad it aint nothing compared to street fighting people die in street fighting okay.

7 years ago

The taxpayers will pay for the healthcare of these guys for the rest of their disabled lives. Instead, let them fight to the death, much cheaper that way. Further, Mesomorphs are presumed criminals at an alarming percentage. There is an unlimited supply of them. End all wars and just have cage fighting. Which also, is a much cheaper way to get rid of them.

Bruce Black
8 years ago

This documentary is FILLED with "excuses" to be cage fighter in some way.
Either just fight and shut up, or become something else. Stop talking about your so called "hard life" and Jesus and the fact you never got breast fed.

Jason West
8 years ago

2.5 million have trained in MMA? Nope, no freaking way.

8 years ago

After reading many of the comments below, it would seem that many people are missing the point. Most martial artists are not interesting in 'fighting for a living'. The one's who choose to do it, (unless it is out of necessity) enter the arena to test themselves, and their abilities. (to stay grounded, not delude oneself regarding their own abilities)
Dana White is foolish to even imply that many athletes will choose MMA over other traditional sports in the future. In reality, all people should learn some basic level of self defense, and I would rather see combat in the cage where everyone who enters understands what they are getting into, as opposed to on the street where wannabe's pick on those who are not interested, or ill prepared. Since combat is the last refuge for those who can't defend themselves intellectually, (many people) it is easier to punch someone out, then to self educate to increase their confidence. (the dark side - quicker, easier, more seductive)
For those who believe it is dangerous, one only need compare the risks to an endless number of activities that can take you down in an instant, in which case we would have to ban everything short of basket weaving.
The awful truth is life is tough, humanity is stupid, and if we are to engage in the brutality of life, (combat) let it occur where it belongs; supervised, and regulated in the cage.
P.S: It takes courage to confront an adversary directly, where the true coward drops bombs from 60,000 feet killing innocent people. When war for profit and greed is banned and outlawed, then I will reconsider my views regarding one on one cage fighting combat for profit, and entertainment.

8 years ago

Has anyone seen the documentary they did on Fighters that grease up and punch. Its called "when fighting gets dirty" with Brandon Bender. really good movie.

Richard Neva
9 years ago

Disgusting, I could not watch it!

9 years ago

Mentioned the word "jesus" in the first minute = NO GO

9 years ago

Justifying savagery and profits with Jesus. "God bless America AGAIN..."

9 years ago

As of right now, a simple cost-benefit analysis will show you that becoming a fighter isn't worth it if you plan on making a living at it.

It's extremely tough and time consuming to develop the skills to be in the top 10% of fighters in a weight division. And if you are to make it that far, still, only the top 2-3 guys make enough to consider it a good living, especially after you take taxes and the trainers and partners and gym dues you have to pay, on top of that, expensive food.

So, if you make it to the top level (and by top level I don't mean the UFC, I mean the top of your weight division) you have to stay at the top for years for it to be worth it. And let's be real, there are only a few humans that exist today that have that physical and mental ability, plus the luck, lots and lots of luck.

If you get a bad knockout from an underachiever opponent, and then lose a decision that should have went your way, and then get injured in the gym, that literally puts you behind years as far as the money you could have made.

If you look at the time and patience it takes to become one of the top guys, or even to try to become one, you're better off taking a skilled trade, starting a business or getting an education. With the kind of relentless work and motivation it takes, you'll be sure to come out on top.

9 years ago

The scarf lady is back! Mariana van Zeller...I think I'm smitten.

9 years ago

The Sport of Empire...

9 years ago

I'm sure if head butting was more 'entertaining', and could last more than one round, that would be a sport too. Perhaps in time some will develop the TV rights and some will make careers for themselves as pro head butter sports people. How will Jesus be brought in to that arena? Strange things do happen.

I'm not suggesting we ban this or anything, just call it what it is: 'entertainment', and by calling it a sport we can tentatively drop the word brutal.

I appreciate (as much as I can) the discipline, hard work, dedication and sacrifice that these sports people go through, and I'm sure many lives are improved for it. That's why I'm not against it. I'm just not so sure about the way it is glorified, which is a totally personal viewpoint. I probably lack understanding though, so I'll keep watching. I thought the movie Warrior (2011) was epic!

9 years ago

The words that come to mind are, frightening and twisted. As a culture this shines light on how little we have evolved, or perhaps even devolved. In school we were taught about the brutality of the Romans as they enjoyed their blood sports in the Colosseum, a sport which often pitted mighty beasts against followers of Christ. And now we have a pastor who not only embraces blood sport but encourages his followers to engage in them. And we have "girls" (interesting how we don't refer to the men as "boys") who are becoming as masculine and blood thirsty as the "guys" and more and more people marring up their bodies with tattoos and pieces of metal... I'm not a religious person but if I were the first thing that would come to my mind is how "satanic" this culture has become. Heaven help us!

9 years ago

Jesus the cage fighter? Did he just say Jesus the cage fighter? seriously? cage fighting? jesus? are you serious?

beggars belief...Vlatko where do you find this s*it?
I am a fan of martial arts as self a self defence as self empowerment thing but this?
Its just brutality for its own sake- one of the sickest symptoms of the western world- its kind of as bad as stoning- going to watch a guy have a seizure or be disfigured for fun...sick.
Bruce Lee really would not have approved- climbing into a cage to "intercept fists" wasnt really what he had in mind when he invented the ultimate SELF DEFENCE system.

Its good for a giggle this one if you have a sick sense of humour and a tolerance for pure buttery, unfettered, creamy irony.

Turn the other che....BAM Too late!

9 years ago

duck or grouse ;)

9 years ago

The MMA pastor looks like Tom Hanks :)