Money talks loudest in Victoria's mixed martial arts debate.
Posted on 2015/11/17
Dr Peter Lewis, chairman of the Australasian Ringside Medical Association (and the presiding doctor for most boxing and kickboxing fights in Victoria), sees the ban in a different light. He explained that the growing size of fighters, paired with more advanced wrestling moves, has increased the number of men being flung from boxing rings. "We have had events where fighters have gone over the top rope and landed on their necks and heads and required hospitalisation," he says. "Of all the serious trauma I've seen, half has been due to going over the top rope."
Lewis argues that the central complaint is one of ethics and aesthetics. Each pugilistic sport has its own injury pattern. Boxing – head blows. Kickboxing – leg injuries. Muay Thai – elbow strikes and lacerations. "And as you go towards MMA, you get the strangulation tap out, which looks horrible," he says. "We might not like the style, but I'm a sports physician – I go where the injuries are."
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