As the buzz from the press conference brawl between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier begins to die down, there are still some people who are particularly worried about the incident being used by some sort of anti-MMA forces.
The Bloody Elbow staff discussed the idea that the brawl was somehow “bad for the sport” earlier in the week. To recap my personal stance, I don’t really see a way that it has any lasting negative effects as it’ll increase business for the fight and the sport is established enough at this point to survive the occasional ugly incident.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan doesn’t necessarily agree, as he explained recently on his podcast (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), “This can’t happen. You can’t do that. This is real bad for the sport. It’s real bad. It’s real bad for public perception. It’s a weapon to be used against MMA. It’s unfortunate.”
He would continue later, “It’s a very dangerous form of competition and, yes, it is fighting, as a competition, but it’s not violence the same way that that is. That’s a street fight. That’s a world champion mixed martial arts fighter and an Olympic wrestler and they’re street fighting. That’s bad for everybody. That’s bad for wrestling. That’s bad for MMA. That’s bad for sports.”
Between the history of brawls involving some of the most high profile names in boxing, fights in basketball games (including the whole Malice in the Palace incident), soccer players biting each other, baseball revolving around weird “unwritten rules” that allow for pitchers to hurl a baseball at batters who have (or whose teammates have) wronged them in some way, often leading to a benches clearing brawl and fighting being an important “part” of hockey…I think MMA will survive one brief tussle.
I’ve yet to see anyone of any importance outside of “the MMA bubble” suggest that the brawl had any larger significance than being a thing that happened right then in that moment that probably shouldn’t have.
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