FanDuel - WFBC

December 02, 2007

First documented US MMA death.: Samuel Vasquez, a 35-year-old mixed martial artist from Houston, Texas, died on Friday.

posted by Drood to other at 04:43 PM - 7 comments

Many sports have resulted in the death of participants. Boxing has probably had some of the most famous of these. I am fearful that, since MMA is thought by some to be a hyper-violent sport, this death could result in some lame knee-jerk reaction. Can you say mandatory head gear?

posted by FonGu at 04:32 AM on December 03

Oh I guarantee this is going to be used to further a hell of a lot of agendas. It's always struck me as odd for people to call it worse than boxing. Boxing is all about hitting the other guy. MMA has submissions as well as punching, and the fights are shorter. I think it'll probably be that a few politicians will see their chance to get some ink and sabre rattle about this, but MMA just won't go to those states if they pass any legislation. It's very sad, but given the reputation the sport has, "human cock fighting" and all that nonsense, you'd think there'd have been a death long before now. Could it be the media... And I know this will come as a shock, but could it be they OVERSTATED the brutality? *cough*

posted by Drood at 04:50 AM on December 03

While there will certainly be some knee-jerk reactions and attempts to change/ban/limit the sport, I don't think they will get much traction. MMA fights couldn't get licensed 10 years ago until the UFC agreed to make many significant modifications to the sport to make it more safe. They have a very good track record and I see that track record allowing them to make a stand against those who would seek to water the sport down at this time. Still - for this guys family and friends a very tragic story.

posted by vito90 at 07:49 AM on December 03

MMA fights couldn't get licensed 10 years ago until the UFC agreed to make many significant modifications to the sport to make it more safe That's because before Dana White took over the UFC, it was pretty much 'Survival of the Fitess' since people would eye-gouge, bite & throw low blows. Ever since, there's been rules in place for the sport of MMA, with the UFC leading the way. The difference between MMA and boxing is that there are two warriors in MMA that may have seperate styles and they go at it until there's a winner. In boxing (mind you, I love boxing), both fighters are pretty much doing the same things except one may be faster or stronger and/or fight in the southpaw versus the orthodox stance. There's been more documented deaths in boxing than in MMA (Florida has had more boxing-related deaths than any other state during the past 25 years, and other fighters suffer brain injuries) but we all are aware that this is a violent, contact sport and that even though slim, the chances of deaths are relavant.

posted by BornIcon at 08:39 AM on December 03

That's because before Dana White took over the UFC, it was pretty much 'Survival of the Fitess' since people would eye-gouge, bite & throw low blows. This is simply not true. The first UFC run by Zuffa and Dana White was UFC 30 and most of the rules used today were in place by then including weight classes, mandatory use of gloves, and limits on what areas that could be targeted for strikes. Even UFC 1 had rules against eye gouging and biting. There is a pretty good overview here

posted by maurice at 09:29 AM on December 03

And if you read what you posted, it wasn't until 2001 "under the new ownership [that] the UFC brand completely restructured MMA into a highly organized and controlled combat sport" meaning that's when rules were enforced. I remember when UFC was in it's infant stage with the Gracie's and the Shamrock's as their headliners that the UFC was way more violent than what it is now, hence the usage of rules. The point being is that even back then without all the rules & regulations, MMA did not have any type of documented deaths like boxing has thru-out it's conception.

posted by BornIcon at 01:46 PM on December 03

The UFC was running in commission states and rules were both in place and enforced before Zuffa bought the company. Dana White has done a lot to popularize the sport, but he can't take credit for either creating or enforcing the rules. Dave Meltzer has done the best reporting on this issue but unfortunately most of his work isn't on the web. I agree completely on the comparison to boxing.

posted by maurice at 03:50 PM on December 03

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.