Archive for the ‘MMA’ Category

MMA needs a kick from the media

Despite being the fastest growing sport in Scotland, Mixed Martial Arts, is still largely being ignored by the media.

As it battles with more illustrious combat sports like boxing, critics argue MMA is nothing but human cockfighting. The reality is that the modern day fighter is an athlete who has been rigorously cross trained in various martial arts and fighting styles.

With the growth in MMA being so evident in recent years the media often tried to match up boxing and MMA against one another to crown an undisputed champion of combat sports.

Amir Khan, one of Britain’s most popular boxers, is well aware of the recent increase in media attention stateside but insists the competition is good for both sports.

“It is very interesting and exciting, and MMA is becoming very popular but I don’t think boxing will ever disappear because the sport has such a loyal fan base. They both appeal to their particular audiences and are different from one another so they will definitely be able to live together just like rugby and football can.”

There are several MMA gyms in Glasgow, each with their own professionally active fighters. Griphouse is the biggest gym in Glasgow situated in the city’s West End. It boasts over 20 professional active MMA fighters including European champions and world champions.

Paul McVeigh fights out of Griphouse gym and is the reigning Cage Warriors World Bantamweight Champion holding the title since 2004. The BJJ based fighter boasts a record of 17 victories and 6 losses and is currently ranked number one bantamweight in Europe.

McVeigh, like Amir Khan, dismisses suggestions that boxing and MMA must compete for fans and supremacy over one another and believes that combat sports are due more attention in the press.

He said: ” I’m a big boxing fan and I feel that both sports can only benefit from an increased awareness of combat sports. Football is probably our most supported sport and we suck pretty bad at it, then we have guys like Ricky Burns [boxer] winning prestigious world titles and it barely raises an eyebrow. We suck at football but we are great at producing fighters in many combat sports and I think that is something that we should embrace.”

The BJJ- Brazillan jiu jitsu based fighter also noticed a surge in the number of fight shows put on in Scotland: “I don’t really have weekends anymore I’m always taking one of our guys to a fight show to compete. There are events every month and the standard is growing exponentially.”

It is hard to disagree with what McVeigh says, Scotland is producing world class fighters and the general public are none the wiser.

For example Ricky Burns is far from being a household name yet he is the current WBO super featherweight boxing champion and one of only 13 Scottish boxing world champions in history.

As MMA continues to go from strength-to-strength, public demand will eventually force the Scottish media to remove its veil of ignorance and to give it its due coverage alongside the country’s most popular sports.

Darren Joliny

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