Women in combat sports – why so divisive?

I admit I have a love / slightly hate relationship with the sport of boxing. I really appreciate the extreme fitness, strength & mental toughness to succeed in the sport. And I do love the hoopla and history that goes with it. In fact I recently had a great night at the Jeff Horn v Gary Corcoran fight in Bris Vegas.

IMG_5297

Horn v Corcoran ring side seat view:-)

I do however grapple with the fact that two humans are in a ring with the goal of belting each other into submission.

Which brings me to the UFC and this post pic of Holly Holm after her recent loss to Cris Cyborg (in an epic fight that went the distance) which I found quite disturbing.

Holm-Buffer-UFC-219

Source – MMA Imports

Now I’ll also admit I’m a Rhonda Rhousey fan for numerous reasons not the least for taking the profile of women in sport into the stratosphere and I do like how Holly Holm goes about her business. But I still can’t get my head around being ok with these “post fight pics”.

Is it ok for two women to bash the bejesus out of each other in the name of sport? Or two men for that matter? Is this damage inflicted ok? And where does it fit in the context of the modern sporting issue of long term effects of concussion sustained in contact sports? I haven’t got the answers. Still processing it.

I have heard the argument that boxing is a totally different kettle of fish to say, UFC, as it is more controlled with a clear “no go zone” for hits. But it is clear that the topic is quite divisive from the people I’ve bounced it off. It seems there are two clear camps – no way should women be bashing the cr@p out of each other vs women athletes can do whatever the hell they want and are good at.

(As an aside might we ever see UFC in an Olympics? Stranger things have happened – like skateboarding and surfing making the cut for Tokyo 2020…..)

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