'UFC not problem, maybe we are'

Written By Unknown on Senin, 09 Desember 2013 | 23.41

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SOMETIMES, there is just too much fight in the fight for some people.

They like their fight sanitised. Easy on the eye, even if there is a wild mismatch taking place right before them.

No blood, see, no foul.

Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva of Brazil connects with a punch during the UFC Brisbane bout. Source: Getty Images

George Foreman famously said "Boxing is the sport all others aspire to", and he was once right about that.

What he meant was the qualities we look for in any great sporting contest - the courage to keep giving, to desire to go beyond normal limits - were found in greater quantities in boxing than in any other sport.

But boxing is dying nowadays, suffering a prolonged death by greedy promoters and selfish fighters, too many of whom are more concerned about protecting their records by fighting outclassed opponents than they are putting on a true show for paying fans.

Sugar Ray Robinson lost 19 fights during his career and is considered the greatest of all time. Nowadays, fighters won't risk their zero in the loss column unless it's against the payday at the end, a Mayweather or a Pacquiao.

Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva and Mark Hunt grapple in their heavyweight fight. Source: Getty Images

So we have been slowly conditioned to passive, one-way fights where we essentially go along to watch one fighter pad his record until his payday comes along.

The fighting heart had left the fight game.

Until the UFC came along.

The UFC claims it's the fastest growing sport in the world. It is the biggest pay-per-view provider in the world.

It sold out the 12,000-seat Brisbane Entertainment Centre in days when most boxing cards around Australia can't sell a few hundred tickets.

And yet apparently they have it all wrong.

Or are we the problem?

Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva of Brazil and Mark Hunt grapple during the UFC Brisbane bout. Source: Getty Images

Those who get the UFC know that they have put the fight back into the fight game.

The UFC doesn't stand for the posers, for guys protecting records or guys that prefer to be known as a fighter than be a fighter.

Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva showed all that in Saturday's main event in Brisbane when both men, exhausted and covered in blood, gave until they had nothing left.

There was greatness in Saturday's main event.

Both men suffered head cuts and bled a little.

Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva of Brazil connects with a knee to the face of Mark Hunt. Source: Getty Images

Some found that sickening. Forget that it was superficial, so doesn't matter a lick.

I've split my head split more times than I care to remember and everybody that has knows all you feel is a spreading warmth, followed by wetness.

It's never life threatening, rarely even painful.

This year the UFC celebrated 20 years, a milestone that passed without a single death in the cage.

The figures are rubbery in boxing, but averages out to slightly less than 10 deaths a year.

The argument that fighters are allowed to do things in a cage that's illegal on streets is tired.

You can't tackle anybody on a footpath either, not without an assault charge being laid, yet there are hundreds in every NRL game.

The UFC is a sport and, more than that, flourishes because it contains the essence of sport.

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