Television giant HBO painted mixed martial arts (MMA) in an extremely negative light last night (Tues., July 21, 2015) when it released an episode of its ‘Real Sports’ documentary show chronicling the so-called scourge of domestic violence in the fighting.
While there has been a series of disturbing incidents, namely in the form of former UFC and Bellator fighter John ‘War Machine’ Koppenhaver’s vicious alleged beating of his former porn-star girlfriend Christy Mack, the data and math they used to portray their evidence was undoubtedly a bit faulty.
Their studies showed that an alarming 750 out of 100,000 MMA fighters had been arrested for domestic violence, much higher than the normal rate and even higher than the National Football League (NFL), the mainstream sports behemoth that has fallen under extreme fire lately for the violent arrests of many of its players. You’d be hard-pressed to find a total of 100,000 MMA fighters that could be considered valid for the test, but that’s not to doubt that there is a domestic violence problem in MMA that has to be addressed.
UFC fighters Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Travis Browne, Michael Johnson, and Abel Trujillo have all been involved in recent domestic violence allegations, and while ‘Rumble’ was cleared of the charges and Browne will not have any levied against him, the instant of violence against women (or at least charges of it) is simply a problem that must be rooted out immediately, and the UFC should take steps to do so.
That’s also why HBO could have gone about it in a different way. The ‘Real Sports’ show seemed a bit over-the-top and sensationalized, as they chose to feature examples of the absolute worst of the worst when it came to MMA fighters. Aside from citing multiple time felon ‘War Machine’s’ utilization of MMA techniques in his brutal attack of Mack, they also chose to interview eccentric UFC and Strikeforce vet Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, who has himself been involved with several domestic violence and other run-ins with the law since his MMA career unceremoniously ended in 2012.
‘Mayhem’ can be seen behaving as his recent behavior would dictate, using drugs and alcohol in his colorful California background in a spot that proves HBO, who auspiciously airs a ton of MMA rival boxing, couldn’t have picked to more violent, overblown examples to generalize the entire population of MMA fighters with. Check it above.
Domestic violence is a problem that has to be stopped in MMA. But choosing the two absolute worst examples like HBO did only serves to paint an inaccurate portrayal of its fighters. What did you think of their report?