(Before I start, I never touched on the AP’s article on youth MMA bouts last week. My stance: If kids as young as 8 years old are permitted to box, with protective equipment, why can’t they do the same for mixed martial arts?)
So last night I was flipping through channels on the TV before going to bed when I saw clips of a mixed martial arts bout on FOX News Channel. It was a segment (which is above) discussing the state of Missouri’s current allowance of youth-involved MMA competitions.
Immediately my mind flashed back to Bill O’Reilly’s smear attempt of Dana White and Rich Franklin in June 2006. Let me say that Sean Hannity made a similar attempt last night and just like his fellow co-worker, he failed. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework.
His opening statement included John McCain’s remarks in the past about the sport being “human cockfighting.” However he failed to mention that McCain has since retracted those remarks and has praised the sport for continually working to regulate itself.
Get this: The UFC has actually financially contributed to McCain’s campaign to become president. Potential McCain running mate Rudy Giuliani even used Zuffa’s private jet to travel the country earlier this year. Isn’t McCain your guy Sean?
Another thing that irked me was his use of the term “ultimate fighting.” Five minutes of simple research would have found that the sport is actually called mixed martial arts. Hell, he even said it in his opening statement. If you or anyone else want your opinions to actually be taken seriously by those that follow the sport, try referring to it by it’s proper name. I don’t go around asking my friends if they want to get together for a game of NBA.
Hannity interviewed Nathan Orand, who runs a Miletich Fighting Systems-affiliated gym in Oklahoma. He regularly takes some of his students over to Missouri to compete in the Freestyle Combat League, which is heavily regulated - kids are required to wear protective headgear, gloves with extra-padding, shin guards, stomach guards (just recently made a rule), mouth pieces, and striking above the shoulders is prohibited once a fight hits the ground.
Even though it’s clear as day that mixed martial arts as a whole is safer than boxing, Hannity still goes ahead and states that the goal in MMA is to brutalize your opponent. Pre-meditated ignorance in my opinion.
My favorite part of the interview though had to be when Hannity told Orand that he was taking advantage of the kids and using their participation in the sport for his own benefit because of the controversy it’s currently creating these days.
Seriously? This coming from a guy, who just like O’Reilly, has gained somewhat of a following because he’s nothing more than a political shock jock. Instead of engaging in intelligent discussion, Hannity opted to attempt to embarrass Orand, who did a good job of not taking the argumentative bait that Hannity laid out there. Too funny.