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Irish Martial Arts Commission Reject Calls To Recognise MMA As A Sport In Scathing Letters

Irish Martial Arts Commission Reject Calls To Recognise MMA As A Sport In Scathing Letters
By Gavan Casey Updated

It would appear the Irish Martial Arts Commission is not overly fond of its hybrid cousin.

In documents obtained by RTE, the Irish Martial Arts Commission wrote to the IOC earlier this year declaring that mixed martial arts did not deserve to be recognised or legitimised as a sport.

In April this year, the IMAC put it to its Olympic overlord that MMA, in its current form, is 'not a sport', and like dog fighting does not deserve to be legitimised.

The IMAC also said it agreed with reports describing MMA as "pornographic, sadistic and voyeuristic to its core".

We have to be strong enough to say no - to draw a line - and live with the criticism of the MMA fan core and vested business interests.

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,

they wrote in a letter to the IOC.

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The correspondence, which was released under an FOI request made by RTÉ, also saw the IMAC claim that "consumers of MMA want to see people not just beaten, but physically damaged," continuing:

...there are elements which are allowed in MMA that are intentionally dangerous, that cannot be avoided no matter how many doctors are present.

Calls for regulation of MMA were made after the tragic death of the Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho at the National Stadium back in April.

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Separate documents obtained by the State broadcaster show that a prominent neurosurgeon raised serious concerns about the safety of MMA with both the head of Sport Ireland and then-Minister for Sport, just two weeks before the death of the 28-year-old middleweight.

Professor Dan Healy, a neurologist at Beaumont Hospital, suggested that authorities should either "have the courage to ban it [MMA], or take safety out of the hands of commercial promoters".

In a second email to both former sport minister Michael Ring and John Treacy of Sport Ireland - this one after Carvalho's death - Professor Dan Healy urged them to formally recognise MMA, saying:

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...it would be helpful if the sport was given clear targets to reach and assistance in doing so. In EU terms think of it as "accession negotiations with Turkey".

Of Carvalho's untimely passing following a fight with his SBG teammate Charlie Ward, Conor McGregor recently told Men's Health:

How do I feel? How would you feel?

It's fucked up. I wasn't just watching that fight. I helped train a guy to kill someone, and then someone wound up dying.

This is a fucking dangerous game. People call it a sport, but it's fighting. I'm just making sure it ain't me. And that's fucked up.

[RTE]

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