UFC addresses the death of Michigan fighter


There have been eight death in MMA since it's inception in 1993. The number is ghastly, but has to be put into the context of the general dangers of sports competition. Boxing for example has recorded nearly 1,500 deaths in its history; between 1982 and the spring of 2007, 42 people were killed cheerleading.

Because sports are inherently dangerous, safety standards must be put into place. In the case of mixed martial arts, the sport is widely regulated by state, provincial, tribal and municpal government agencies. However, there are holes in the safety net, no where so massive as in amateur MMA in Michigan, where the sport is legal, but entirely unsanctioned.

Safety is left entirely in the hands of small-time, for-profit promoters. Pre-fight screenings are minimal or non-existent. There are no tests for AIDS or Hepatitis. There is no oversight of matchmaking. There are no suspension following KOs or injury. Fighters under 18 can compete. Fighters over 35 receive no extra screening. No ringside physician is required, or even an ambulance.

Michigan is so bad that the Association of Boxing Commissions last year took the unprecedented step of asking the member commissions to bar amateur Michigan fighters, or those who have recently competed in Michigan.

Last week, Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo, a 35-year-old Nigerian living in Hamilton, Ontario, on a student visa died following his participation in an unregulated amateur MMA bout in Michigan.

The has UFC addressed death of Nchikwo with condolences, and calls for increased regulation.

Mike Chiappetta from MMA Fighting has the report.

On Wednesday, at The Met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC held a press conference to officially announce UFC 161.

The UFC had nothing to do with the fatal fight, which was held an American Legion Post in Lake Huron, Michigan, seemingly a million miles away from the UFC's bright lights. Yet, it is fair to say that there is common strand that weaves it way through the sport at every level. For better or for worse, those humble beginnings are where many stars first shine.

Instead of UFC president Dana White, who usually presides over press conferences, Tom Wright, the UFC's director of operations for Canada, Australia and New Zealand, stood at the podium.

"What we don't know is whether or not there were any pre-existing medical conditions that Pablo was suffering from, and in a regulated environment, we would have known that," said Wright. "We also don't know if the referees were properly trained. We don't know whether or not there were the appropriate EMTs and ambulances and medical precautions in place. We don't even know if it was a fair fight as far as if the competitors were evenly balanced.

"Those are kinds of things we would know if the sport had been regulated, if the event had been regulated. It speaks to the importance of regulation in our sport, why it's important that we have the appropriate kind of rigor and standards, from medical care to pre- and post-fight medical testing to drug testing to insuring the health and safety of these athletes is always first and foremost. And in the case of an unregulated event, you don't know whether those things are in place, which is why we as an organization have always run to regulation."

"It's important that we protect the health and safety of our athletes. It's important that that our sport is properly regulated, and if anything, what the tragic events of last Friday underscore is the importance of that regulation."

Read entire article...


tags: UFC   Tom Wright   Legislation   regulation   Michigan   Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo   


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Recent Comments »

OGT site profile image  

4/11/13 7:42 PM by OGT

both of those were really hard to watch, I feel sorry for both of them but at the same time cant help but think wtf were you guys doing in there...

Steve4192 site profile image  

4/11/13 4:34 PM by Steve4192

Anyone who is against regulation needs to watch Ben Rothwell versus the fat kid or Travis Fulton versus Jeremy Bullock.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9r2GAAaiKshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8tVTuNZ3ZwThose are the kind of fights you see all the time in unregulated local events. Regulation might be a pain in the ass and an added expense, but it is necessary.

TheGoldenRule site profile image  

4/11/13 3:35 PM by TheGoldenRule

although this is a profoundly true statement involving any and everything the govt gets involved with, in some cases (as it would appear to be in this case, and others like it) ; if it would indeed add rather than subtract from these tragic incidents, the govt may be a necessary evil...if indeed you see the govt that way (which I do). glad you posted this

PINKsinglet site profile image  

4/11/13 3:23 PM by PINKsinglet

the problem is that more often than not "regulation" just equals paying the state money to be certified and has NOTHING to do with being qualified  

Ryan Williams site profile image  

4/11/13 2:45 PM by Ryan Williams

Before regulation in Wisconsin I would see all kinds of scary shit. I saw a dude get KOd seize out for 10 minutes with no ambulance in sight. Thankfully one of my teammates and his father were EMTs. I fought on a show where they told us during the rules meeting "Hey tonight we are allowing knees to the head of downed opponents and elbows" this was for both pro and Ammy. Those that think regulation interferes with the promoters, you are correct. However, that interference is necessary to keep fighters safe.

rockyrocks90 site profile image  

4/11/13 2:30 PM by rockyrocks90

I was at a fight where the promoter brought in two fighters from michigan. 1 amateur and 1 pro. the both lost and while working with the pro doing pad work, he didnt have a corner man, i came to the conclusion that he had no business being in a professional mma fight. He said he had over 15 fights in michigan that were unregulated. This blows my mind that the state would put people in danger like this.

Nexuscrawlers site profile image  

4/11/13 1:15 PM by Nexuscrawlers

so, they dont want to regulate MMA because they think its too dangerous, but then by not regulating MMA, they are making it MORE dangerous. am i getting this right? so whats the argument against regulation again? they want more deaths???