The chances of mixed martial arts becoming a recognised sport in Ireland took a significant hit this week, as the Irish Martial Arts Commission opposed any form of regulation in its current state.
The news comes from documents obtained by RTÉ recently, where it was revealed the Irish Martial Arts Commission contacted the Olympic committee board by letter earlier this year asking them not to recognise what they considered, a “pornographic, sadistic and voyeuristic” sport.
“If MMA is not interested in changing the rules regarding elements such as ‘ground and pound’ then a ban is the only option to those whom ‘they’ are saying should regulate MMA,” the IMAC wrote to the Olympic Committee.
In the documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, the IMC also said “consumers of MMA want to see people not just beaten, but physically damaged.”
“There are elements which are allowed in MMA that are intentionally dangerous, that cannot be avoided no matter how many doctors are present.”
The regulation of MMA in Ireland became a hot topic for the first time following the death of Portuguese MMA fighter Joao Carvalho this past April at an event in Dublin.
Carvalho was knocked out during his Total Extreme Fighting bout with Straight Blast Gym fighter Charlie Ward, becoming ill afterward and dying two days later due to head injuries sustained during the fight.
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor recently spoke about the death of Carvalho in an interview with Men’s Health, where he also painted a clear picture how dangerous the sport of MMA can be.
With promising fighters rising through the Irish ranks in an attempt to emulate what McGregor has achieved in the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before the sport is recognised in Ireland.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena