FanDuel - WFBC

December 25, 2010

John McCain Wants to Ban Ultimate Fighting: Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) wants to ban mixed martial arts, according to a recent report on Fox Business. He's written letters to state governors urging a ban, referring to the sport as "human cock-fighting."

posted by rcade to extreme at 12:11 PM - 33 comments

This is not very Christmasy of me to say, but John McCain can eat a bowl of dicks. With holly on them

posted by Joey Michaels at 11:57 AM on December 25

Ill cover the Not Very New Yearsy Of Me 7 days early to also add John McCain can eat a bowl of dicks then too. While singing Auld Lang Syne.

Seriously, that man is losing his marbles. MMA is a tough sport and has the proper safeguards in place for it to work.

I just wish MMA would institute a 'too long on the ground' rule. One where after a minute or so of no advantage wrestling with no tapout coming, the fighters would be set apart to start from a standing position.

posted by lampshade at 03:37 PM on December 25

Wow. McCain has really turned into a miserable and bitter old man.

posted by govtdrone at 03:56 PM on December 25

Still a bit less than two years to go on the McCain stability watch.

In other words, if he HAD been elected in 2008 and became incapacitated in some way during his term and was unable to serve...

The big what if, leading, of course, to visions of an impending Grizzly Mamageddon.

posted by beaverboard at 06:07 PM on December 25

John McCain has been on this issue for more than a decade. He was and still is an advocate of boxing reforms, including helping to get the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act passed back in the mid-1990s.

posted by bperk at 06:22 PM on December 25

I'm not necessarily against MMA, but I wonder if you fancy this sort of fighting, what's next? Two dudes with shivs and baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:24 PM on December 25

referring to the sport as "human cock-fighting."

Whether you like the sport or not, whether you think the government should be involved or not, his description is not incorrect.

posted by graymatters at 11:31 PM on December 25

John McCain = angry old man

posted by Bag Man at 12:18 AM on December 26

I'm not necessarily against MMA, but I wonder if you fancy this sort of fighting, what's next? Two dudes with shivs and baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire?

Yes. That's what's next. Though, you should see what's next for football: spiked shoulder pads and the football is actually a bomb. Wait, should I have made up stuff that sounded prison-y to make the sport sound illicit?

There is no, "what's next".

posted by tron7 at 12:19 AM on December 26

His attitude is such bollocks. The sport is safer than boxing, in as much as you can win without hitting your opponent at all. Takedown->Armbar->Game over.

McCain is a giant cock.

The worst thing UFC ever did was put the fighting in a cage. The fence adds an illusion of barbarism when if it was in a regular ring like PRIDE etc... Nobody would take the stupid senile old cunt seriously.

Nobody should anyway. He's so far off base even Satan couldn't find him with a telescope. (And while I love MMA, I don't give much of a shit about UFC. Gimme K1 any day over UFC.)

posted by Drood at 12:20 AM on December 26

Given that McCain is hardly the only one asking for a ban on MMA, I think some of the hatred spewed here is a bit over the top. Don't like his point, refute it, don't just attack the man.

As to "What's next?" I think that's a perfectly valid question. The sport added the cage, which made the sport have more of a cock fight feel to it. Many of the promotional spots and fighter interviews play up the violence involved in the sport, so I can see where some take that as the main point of it. MMA themed movies like Bloodsport just add to the cockfighting angle.

Now, I'm not really against the sport, don't care for it too much personally, but if it entertains you I'm okay. Unlike Vick's dogs, the contestants here willingly choose to be there. I can also understand how McCain, the Canadian Medical Assoc., and others might have a problem with it. If the sport polices itself well, there won't be a problem. Afterall, people have been trying to ban boxing for years as well.

posted by dviking at 01:16 AM on December 26

I'm not necessarily against MMA, but I wonder if you fancy this sort of fighting, what's next?

Well, hopefully this.

In all seriousness, I second Drood's comment that it's less dangerous than boxing (inasmuch there is less repeated, built-up blows to the head than the sweet science). But boxing is already accepted, whereas MMA is still working its way.

I had never connected the "cage" with part of MMA's perception, but it makes sense, actually. I think a fair amount of the drive to market for the gore of the game comes from the need to establish an identity for the sport to the common fan, and that's what most people who don't know anything about the sport still think.

Also, the MMA needs some mainstream stars. Chuck Liddell kinda was, there was a hope that Kimbo Slice could become one, but who else is a "star" for MMA in America? Rampage? Brock Lesnar (though he already appeals to the market for MMA)? I am convinced that Georges St. Pierre would be if he were an American, and maybe Anderson Silva, too, but MMA doesn't have any stars that it can send to the mainstream market (someone like a Manny Pacquiao).

I also think it would help the sport if the stereotype for most of the fans were not "tools".

posted by Bonkers at 05:35 AM on December 26

The sport is safer than boxing, in as much as you can win without hitting your opponent at all. Takedown->Armbar->Game over.

That's accurate, except it's not all that unusual for that maneuver or a similar one to end in a dislocation or a broken bone. So, safer in the sense of repeated battering? I'd agree, although if you weigh repeated battering against more violent blows and more frequent fights, I don't know which comes out on top (or bottom). I haven't seen any studies comparing the two.

Though, you should see what's next for football: spiked shoulder pads and the football is actually a bomb. Wait, should I have made up stuff that sounded prison-y to make the sport sound illicit?

It didn't go that far, but the XFL tried changing a few rules to make the game more violent, including outlawing fair catches and having two guys fight at midfield trying to get the ball. The league didn't fail because of those attempts, and they're the things people still discuss about the XFL.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:18 AM on December 26

MMA is heading the other direction, more safety. MMA as we know it today spawned form the no holds barred Vale Tudo and only gained mainstream popularity when enough rules were added to make things less brutal. Ironically, it was McCain calling MMA human cockfighting back in the 90's that led to the sport reforming it's rules which ultimately gave it more popularity.

Actually, did McCain call it human cockfighting again or was that just the guy in the link repeating what he had said back in the 90's? Also, is this even a story? I got suspicious when I hadn't seen anything about this at my normal MMA haunts so I googled "MMA McCain" and Sportsfilter is the number 1 hit.

posted by tron7 at 11:40 AM on December 26

"Now, I'm not really against the sport, don't care for it too much personally, but if it entertains you I'm okay. Unlike Vick's dogs, the contestants here willingly choose to be there. "

I would say willingness of the combatant to fight or the choice to fight does not necessarily make it all right to be entertained by it. I think every person has a limit to what violence they consider to be entertainment and when it crosses the line. Some find football or MMA a acceptable level of violence. Others might say dog fighting is an acceptable level. If anyone believes that Pit Bulls or fighting cocks are forced to fight, they don't know much about it. If you have two male pit bulls in a field, you do not have to make them fight, but to me even though they are willing it is not something I could watch or be entertained by.

I am entertained by human fighters because as humans we can directly relate and communicate with the combatants and feel comfortable with their responses, and desire to entertain us while accepting the risk.

One cannot forget the situation is everything. While I can be wildly entertained by the sight of Anderson Silva punching out Chris Leben, I would take no pleasure in the sight of somebody committing similar violence on another in the street.

Certainly throughout all of mankind history (weird that they say mankind not manmean) the level of violence that is considered entertaining, has changed but not really diminished.

posted by Atheist at 12:27 PM on December 26

No more over-the-top McCain bashing, please. It already inspired one member to make a ridiculous personal attack I just deleted.

posted by rcade at 02:47 PM on December 26

First, rcade, thanks for limiting the pointless bashing of McCain.

Second, Atheist, are you trying to insinuate that dog fighting on the level of what Vick's dogs did would happen regardless of whether, or not, people like Vick were involved? That has to be one of the most ignorant comments ever posted if that is what you're saying. My neighbor down the street has a few Pit Bulls, they haven't battled each other to the death lately. Pit Bulls have to be vigorously trained to get them to the level of the dogs used in dog fighting. The Pit Bulls never chose that life style. Yes, animals fight in the wild, and yes, some will kill the other one. However, the life of a dog in an organized fighting ring is a horrible existence. You are correct that everyone has their own level of comfort on what constitutes an acceptable level of comfort. to me, the combatant has to willingly sign up for everything involved with the selection/training/fighting/care involved in the sport. MMA fighters make that choice, the dogs do not.

As to the level of violence that men have been willing to subject on others in the name of entertainment, while perhaps we haven't come far enough, however, we no longer allow gladiators to kill each other with weapons. Of course, most of the gladiators, like the dogs, weren't given a choice of whether, or not, to partake in te sport.

posted by dviking at 03:57 PM on December 26

Wait. drood can say whatever he wants about someone not here to defend himself, no matter how crude or incorrect, and that gets deleted but you leave his?

You know what. fuck that kind of censorship. People engage in personal attacks in these threads all the time that don't get deleted.

Keep your spofi rcade.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:36 PM on December 26

Maybe we should just declare any mention of dogfighting to trigger SpoFi's equivalent of Godwin's Law.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:43 PM on December 26

The only thing MMA's got wrong is failing to throw enough bribes around Washington. If they were smart, a la NFL, UFC would have a government-mandated monopoly via antitrust exemptions, and no-one would be asking awkward questions about safety; perhaps McCain should be quizzing American Football owners why their line-of-scrimmage players average a lifespan in their 50s?

posted by rodgerd at 02:20 AM on December 27

I apologize for my thread opening snark and want to stress that had the headline read "[any politician's name] wants to ban ultimate fighting]," my response would have only differed in what name was attached to my insult.

Others here have explained that MMA takes considerable safety measures - as safe as two men fighting each other can be. There is plenty of evidence that several other sports are just as dangerous to the participants. Boxing and football, to name two. If you're going to go after MMA and not go after other, more lucrative sports, you are being a hypocrite.

Heck, I would have responded with less hostility if the headline had read "[politician] wants to ban contact sports" because, though I don't agree with that position, it is at least intellectually honest.

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:02 AM on December 27

(I mean, otherwise, this is just grandstanding)

posted by Joey Michaels at 09:03 AM on December 27

John McCain is a public figure, Clones. The standard for how we talk about them is lower than how we talk about each other personally.

But if it hadn't been the holidays, I would have deleted the over-the-top McCain insults. By the time I saw them, there were numerous replies.

posted by rcade at 09:14 AM on December 27

You know what. fuck that kind of censorship. People engage in personal attacks in these threads all the time that don't get deleted.

No, I don't think people call each other "useless cunts" all the time. And claims of "censorship" in internet forums always falls flat: you have plenty of avenues for expressing your beliefs outside of this particular bathroom wall.

posted by yerfatma at 12:19 PM on December 27

Those who write on SpoFi's walls...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:40 PM on December 27

If you're going to go after MMA and not go after other, more lucrative sports, you are being a hypocrite.

That just isn't McCain though. He cares about safety in boxing, and has been the Senate's biggest proponent of boxing reform. He sponsored (and helped get passed) a bill on dietary supplements, so that everyone, including athletes, would know what is in the supplements they are taking. He lobbied for a stricter steroids policy for baseball. He is not a hypocrite on this issue. And, instead of attacking the messenger, people who disagree should address the issue. Is there a line that we should draw about what is a safe enough to be considered a sport?

posted by bperk at 03:27 PM on December 27

dviking - I think you missed my point completely. Then of top of it you have to result to a personal insult by calling me ignorant. I can assure you know nothing about Pit Bull dogs and what I said had very little to do with organized pit bull fighting. I will reiterate, a lot of dogs fight willingly they do not need to be forced, prodded, trained etc. I realize that professional dog fighters train the dogs to a higher level but that does not change the fact the even when two dogs fight on their own I would not take pleasure or be entertained by it. I would only want to stop it. That is the point, that willingness of the participants still does not justify those who are entertained by the action.

I have a lot of experience with Pitbulls and I can say with complete confidence that for the most part you have to go to great lengths to ensure a pitbull does not fight. You have to do a lot to prevent them from fighting as their natural tendency is to fight willingly and ferociously. That is why they use them.

Allowing a pitbull the opportunity to fight is reckless and the sign of a bad owner. The real issue is what kind of person takes pleasure in observing the fight, which is the point of the post. I am not condoning dog fighting. I have owned and loved pitbull dogs, rescued a couple and I can assure you the desire to fight is already there. While we can use the free will argument for combative sports, I will reiterate, just because the contestants have accepted the risk and are willing, does not really have much bearing on the morality of the sport.

A lot of football players have decided they are willing to take steroids to enhance their performance, but as a society we have decided to protect them from themselves. I hope you can see the point that free will to participate is not and should not be the deciding factor in what we decide is acceptable. Feel free to disagree, but please refrain from name calling as it only underscores your inability to make a valid rebuttal.

posted by Atheist at 11:01 AM on December 28

The real issue is what kind of person takes pleasure in observing the fight, which is the point of the post.

You are really walking a fine line. There are countless shows about nature where people watch animals fight, and no one questions the enjoyment of others. I don't know if it is true that pit bulls really want to fight, but if it is true, how is that different than watching lions fight? Or watching a fight in school? Or boxing?

posted by bperk at 01:28 PM on December 28

It is no different bperk, I am not commenting on what is ok to watch or not. I am only trying to point out that the entertainment value is in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of whether or not the participants are willing, there is a difference among people as to what level of violence is acceptable and entertaining, and where it crosses the line into barbarism. The real difference that dogs are viewed as pets and lions are not. Its a cultural thing just like the difference between raising pork for food or as they do in some cultures dogs.

I think when it comes to animals being used and or harmed for the entertainment of humans we all have a go and no go zone with a lot of grey area in between. Dog fighting, cock fighting, bull fighting, horse racing, rodeo, the circus, the zoo, are all examples of animals being exploited for the entertainment of humans. Who decides where we draw the line? I am not claiming to know.

I have heard that not allowing an animal to do what it has been bred to do, what is has been genetically programed to, what has become instinctual and natural for it to do, is as cruel as the act itself. So not allowing a race horse to run may be just as cruel as racing it.

So if I am watching animal planet, my personal humanity makes it difficult for me to watch a lion devouring a zebra baby, ripping it apart alive in front of its panicked mother. I do find it hard to watch, very cruel, interesting, but I would not consider it entertaining. I would not pay money to witness it either. I do however recognize the human nature that makes us not turn away from the sight of a train crash, horrifying but yet in some way fascinating.

posted by Atheist at 02:53 PM on December 28

And, instead of attacking the messenger, people who disagree should address the issue.

When the messenger calls it 'human cockfighting' or compares it to dogfighting they are not taking the issue seriously enough for me to want to debate it.

Maybe we should just declare any mention of dogfighting to trigger SpoFi's equivalent of Godwin's Law.

McCain's Law. Any mention of dogfighting or cockfighting immediately ends any meaningful MMA discussion.

posted by tron7 at 10:40 PM on December 28

When the messenger calls it 'human cockfighting' or compares it to dogfighting they are not taking the issue seriously enough for me to want to debate it.

So don't. But I don't think the comparison is so outrageous that you can reasonably expect it to be removed from all future discussions. What about comparing it to the enslaved gladiators of ancient Rome? Is that ok?

posted by yerfatma at 08:29 AM on December 29

What about comparing it to the enslaved gladiators of ancient Rome? Is that ok?

I would like to say no but the UFC uses gladatorial imagery a lot so their inclusion doesn't seem as inflammatory. Thanks, UFC.

posted by tron7 at 10:29 AM on December 29

I'll bite. I think the issue with "human cockfighting" is that it immediately discounts or discredits the practice of martial arts entirely before the debate even begins. It assumes that this is mere spectacle, and there is no value to be given for the training, work or discipline involved in the sport.

Basically, it assumes there is no "sport". So if I'm trying to discuss the merits of it with someone who throws up the ol' "human cockfighting" tag, then they've pretty much missed the boat, or more accurately not acknowledged there is a boat to begin with.

I think there are arguments (mostly bad ones) that it's dangerous, or too brutal, but I agree that if you're at "human cockfighting", then what's the point? You're wrong. There is no argument.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:45 PM on December 29

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