A cage, it’s one of the more simple structures on the planet earth. Used for a variety of purposes it can have numerous sides with the general goal of keeping things safely inside. The ever evolving sport of MMA has taken the ‘cage’ concept and adopted it as the means of housing world class athletes in a safe and secure manner. Well that is in most cases expect for the great State of Victoria, Australia.
No, you did not read that wrong; the sporting capital of the world doesn’t allow ‘cage’ fighting because of the perception of brutality and one man’s opinion that it just doesn’t look good. So in this great State of Victoria our MMA athletes are forced to fight in rings with ropes that have huge clearings between them, and that after a slight drop leads to tables and a concrete floor. Alas quiet regular significant accidents happen.
Just a few weeks back Australia’s #1 fight promotion the Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) was in the middle of a fantastic card and I was thoroughly enjoying a great fight between Gustavo Falciroli and Kai Kara France when all of a sudden Kai falls through the ring ropes and smashes his head on the table. The fight is stopped, the crowd is ripped off, one fighter is lamenting a near finish and the other is nursing a massive headache… but that doesn’t look bad does it?
I have been around the fight game for along time and I have seen way to many fine athletes fall through ropes and narrowly escape serious injury… some however were not so lucky.
So the current Government thinks they are negating the brutality…? Perhaps they should pop their heads into one of the numerous underground cage fighting “promotions” in Victoria and see what they think then. The current Government is basically forcing people to fight underground because of uneducated and un-researched laws they continue to uphold. One could argue this is a planned ignorance… if they can’t see it they don’t care!!
And what about the athletes? I have personally interviewed loads of great Aussie (and international) fighters, their stories are empowering. The commitment, dedication, sweat, blood and tears they put into their passion is genuinely inspiring… their dreams and ambitions however are continually bludgeoned by these governing laws. Like its not enough having to worry about training, dieting and strategising; these poor athletes also have to worry about falling onto the concrete floor and seriously injuring themselves… but don’t worry at least it’s not barbaric this way!!
So we continue to advocate and fight the good fight; however sadly we have not yet made an indent in relation to changing the perception of the current Victorian Government. What’s it going to take you ask? Well we will continue to advocate but I doubt it will be enough… unfortunately deviation generally renders change so I fear that with my very own eyes I will see someone fall through the ropes and break their neck right in front of me. Perhaps the current Government will change their minds then… to bad for the fighter who’s life is over and his / her grieving family… but relax Victoria at least we are not barbaric!!
Blog by Josh @thefightershub