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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
“Supporters of mixed martial arts want to return to the days of gladiators, when any good event required blood to flow. Society has fortunately moved on,” Dr Gannon said.
“Promoters of these sorts of events are only interested in their own pockets and making money by appealing to the baser characteristics of a few people who want to watch organised violence,” he said.
“Mixed martial arts is a very dangerous activity, has damaging health effects, both immediate and over the longer term,” Dr Gannon said.
These are not sports but officially approved bouts of violence where participants are encouraged to strike each other’s heads, the cumulative effect of which is invariably serious and long-term brain injury or even death.
Other injuries occur to the eyes and to the genitals, even though eye gouging and hitting an opponent in the groin is banned under MMA ‘rules’.
“Ideally, the state government should ban all MMA fights because they have almost no rules, can result in serious injuries and have no place in a civilised society.
“There is an increasing body of medical evidence showing that severe debilitating conditions such as traumatic brain injury, dementia and Parkinson’s are a consequence of these forms of fighting, providing further evidence that the activity should be banned,” he said.
“Most medical associations around the world agree that chronic brain damage is caused by repeated blows to the head, which are experienced by all participants in this so-called sport,” Dr Gannon said.