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MMA Is In Trouble Of Losing Its Recognition As A Sport In Ireland

MMA DALLAS, TX - MARCH 14: A detail of gloves worn by Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos in the Lightweight Title bout during the UFC 185 event at American Airlines Center on March 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

In the wake of the passing of Joao Carvalho, while the MMA community worldwide is just dealing with the news, the MMA community in Ireland comes to terms with the devastating loss and the very real prospect of the sport being outlawed on the island.

A sport still in its infancy in Ireland, MMA is still widely considered as a brutal spectacle, rather than a sport by many onlookers, who have limited knowledge of the game and its rules. The Irish Sports Council still does not recognise it as a sport, so the MMA community itself had to regulate the sport itself implementing its own rules and its own standard procedures. For this reason MMA in Ireland at the moment is a dangerous sport.

While all of the promoters and gyms are doing their utmost to make the sport legitimate, there is the elephant in the room that there is no regulatory body overseeing proceedings and overseeing the safety of all involved. Many comments have been made on social media about MMA since the death of Carvalho was confirmed.

While Carvalho’s death is certainly tragic and should serve as an eye opener that a regulatory body should be introduced before any more events are sanctioned, it should not create a media culling of a sport that is misunderstood.

The general attitude among fans of the sport and people involved in the sport has been that they have had to defend it for so long as it struggled to get main stream attention.

Since the UFC took the sport main stream, those problems seemed very distant memories but one fears that the media circus that is following this tragedy is again going to bring the sport back to the dark days, at least in Ireland.

Time will tell if the Sports Council and Sport Ireland decide to take measures to regulate the sport or decide to ban the sport completely. You would imagine that it would have to be one or the other, as they can’t be seen and won’t be seen to do nothing.

More important than the future of the sport in Ireland, is respecting the legacy of a man who was chasing his dream. Joao was a young man with a family and one would hope that all that happens in the wake of his tragic passing, everyone takes his and his families privacy into consideration.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.