The notorious “Octagon”-shaped cage used in The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has basically been the same material and design since the company formed in November of 1993.
However, according to MMAJunkie.com, fighter complaints could lead to a new design in the works for the Octagon. UFC President Dana White confirmed this after some issues following last night’s (Sat., August 16, 2014) UFC Fight Night 47 from Bangor, Maine “We’ve been working on it forever. We’ve literally been working on that forever.”
One of the most notable fighters to voice her thoughts about the issues with the current canvas is former Olympian and women’s bantamweight title challenger, Sara McMann, who competed last night (August 16, 2014) at UFC Fight Night 47/ McMann got back to winning ways last night with a split decision win over Lauren Murphy. However, McMann admitted the canvas actually got into her head:
“I didn’t like the canvas, and there’s sand on it. I found sand all over my body and I had a little bit of sand in my eye. I’ve fought on canvases like that before. I don’t know about the other fighters, but I was really struggling because I use a lot of dynamic movement. I really push hard off my feet when I was standing and then I drive a lot off my toes. I think it got a little bit in my head that I slipped a couple times on my feet.When I was pushing, my legs were slipping out from under me.”
McMann was not the only one to voice an opinion like this. White said the women of TUF 20 also had similar issues. This is very interesting news, as we have never really heard any complaints like this before.
It is most interesting coming from McMann. She has an Olympic wrestling background and has been competing on the mat and canvas for most of her life time. If there is anyone that would notice an issue with the canvas, it would be McMann.
When speaking on the topic of the canvas being “sandy”, White clarified the situation:
“The sandy stuff is that spray that we spray on there that makes it sticky. It does, it gets all sandy.” White confirmed that the promotion was looking into a couple of different options and trying some new things.
This scenario has created some compelling questions. For example, how much does this really impact a fighter, and how big of a problem is it if this is only the first time we are hearing about it? It will also be interesting to see if a new canvas will actually help fighters to compete at a higher level.
Stay tuned to LowKickMMA.com for up-to-date news on any canvas changes we may see in the future.