Irish Martial Arts Commission opposes recognition of MMA; compares it to dog fighting

Irish Martial Arts Commission opposes recognition of MMA; compares it to dog fighting
Joao Carvalho died after fighting Charlie Ward at the National Stadium

Documents released to RTÉ News show strong opposition to formally recognise, regulate and fund Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

IMAC Martial Arts Ireland is a national governing body for martial arts in Ireland and had been asked to consider taking MMA under its umbrella and regulating it.

RTÉ have obtained the letter the organisation wrote to the International Olympic Committee in response, in which they said MMA was not a sport and compared it to dog fighting.

The letter, written in April, said: “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.”

The letter also said the organisation agreed with a description of MMA as "pornographic, sadistic and voyeuristic to its core".

It suggested that fans of the sport “want to see people not just beaten, but physically damaged".

In April Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho died as a result serious head injuries sustained in an MMA fight with Charlie Ward at the National Stadium in Dublin.

MMA has become increasingly popular in Ireland, with Dublin fighter Conor McGregor one of the most high-profile stars of the sport.

He fights American Nate Diaz at UFC202 in Las Vegas on August 20.

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