UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
We have already discussed about possibilities of long term health damages caused by the rough routine in the fight business.
The main question now is: What if the least thing we wanted to consider happens? I mean, what if a fighter dies right there in the octagon, live, in front of thousand of people?
The consequential questions are so many:
Since every sport faces the risk of a freaking lethal accident, do you think the UFC has an official contingency plan for this right now?
How the public would react and following them, how the sponsors and industry would react, considering there are so many groups absolutely against this sport and the sport, although becoming very popular, is still cementing its place?
Could something like that dictate the fall of this sport or its immediately halt?
If the sport survives the way it is, how would that affect the fighters and also fans like us, after we see something only potential become raw reality?
And also, if the sport survives, should something like that trigger the implementation of new safety rules or use of additional equipment?
What would happen to the opponent's mindset?
I am pretty sure(I hope) the deceased fighter's family and relatives do count with some sort of insurance, specially if the fighter has kids.
You'd have to think its going to happen at some point. With such violence going on inside the cage I'm amazed it hasn't happened already. People die all the time from being punched and as a result of kicks to the head. Maybe MMA fighters bodies are more conditioned for this which is why it hasnt happened yet.
But when it does happen there will be a major shitstorm, I remember after the Benn vs Watson boxing match in the 90's, Watson took a very bad brain injury as a result and that was enough to spark a major debate in every sporting media outlet about boxing, with various organisations lobbying to ban it and so on, or at least make them wear headgear.
The UFC would go into full damage control mode and the media would make a fuss about it. If there was a death I don't think it would be indicative of the sport in general it would just be a freak occurence that would obviously be astronomically rare since it hasn't happened once yet.
The media would have a hay day.... and a bunch of well off white women with nothing to do will start protesting it. They will dig up a bunch of made up testimony from people who have no idea what they're talking.
This is the ultimate risk in combat (or even full contact sports). If they want this banned, you might as well ban everything else except golf and tennis.
UFC will have contingency for when this happens, and it probably will happen, sooner or later.
It's dangerous sport but its not the only one, and its not just combat sports that are dangerous either.
Proper Football (sorry had to get that in)
Winter sports (skiing etc)
Extreme sports (mountaineering, sky diving etc)
Those are just a few of the top of head.
I doubt a death will make the sport go away but it may prevent expansions.
The big difference between nowadays MMA in comparison to most of the sports you mentioned is that, in those sports an impact to the head is the accident itself and protection to the head as helmets are used to prevent serious damage in case of these accidental impacts.
In MMA, to hit the naked head is the goal and a shin bone will impact like a crowbar. Even with all the ongoing rules I see a ferocious legal debate whether someone dying from a kick to the unprotected head will be considered an "accident" as we all can see that possibility coming any day.
Fighters can die in practice too. There have been NFL and college football players die at practice before. I remember Kory Stringer dieing a few years back during NFL training camp due to heat exhaustion.
There've been already some deaths in MMA, mainly unsanctioned fights, but a death in the UFC could be a huge danger for the sport. I think the risk of death in horse show jumping is much higher (when the rider falls of his horse and breaks his neck), but a death in the UFC would be a huge argument in the hands of the anti-MMA lobby. And as MMA is still quite a young sport, it will have less support than i.e. boxing. And you have to keep in mind that in the eyes of average people it really DOES look brutal (and it's not like the fans don't fancy "the most brutal beatdowns").