Irish neurologist favours ban on MMA fighting; minister calls for regulation

Irish neurologist favours ban on MMA fighting; minister calls for regulation

A leading medic says he's in favour of a ban on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Professor Tim Lynch, consultant neurologist at the Mater Hospital, claims the aim of the fighting style is to cause brain damage.

His comments follow the death of Portuguese fighter João Carvalho, in Dublin.

Mr Carvalho died on Monday night after his bout with Irish fighter Charlie Ward at the National Stadium on Saturday.

On Newstalk’s Breakfast Show this morning, Professor Lynch was asked if MMA was dangerous enough to merit an outright ban.

“I find it abhorrent that you’d be having any sport where the point is trying to hit and knock the player out and cause brain damage,” he answered.

“So from a personal perspective yes, because I think those kind of sports shouldn’t be allowed.

“Taking it from an overall scheme, could you look at it and really critically regulate it? Maybe.”

Last night, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said he has had major concerns about MMA events in Ireland for some time.

"On the 20th of February 2014, before this event ever happened, I wrote to 17 organisations and these were commercial operators that were running for profit events in Ireland,” Ring told Newstalk’s Off The Ball.

“I wrote to the 17 of them and I outlined to them that I expected the same kind of safety standards that existed for other sports such as rugby, horse racing and professional boxing.

“I am concerned and I have been concerned. And I've been concerned about the growth of this sport and the way that it's unregulated. It needs to be regulated."

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