If you feel like being depressed, you should go check out this article on Sammy Vasquez on Sherdog. In fact, I think we probably owe it to take the time to fully acknowledge and actually feel something for someone who died fighting in MMA. I know that up until reading this article I hadn’t really allowed the story to connect.
Lots of people are going wah-wah about the type of coverage or lack of coverage regarding Vasquez’s death, but really what is there to say? From all accounts it was a complete fluke … there is no fault to be laid at the feet of either fighter, the officials, the medical staff … anyone. Shit like this happens and people want a reaction, but there’s really nothing to react to. Rules were in place. Safety procedure was followed. Someone still died.
People die doing dangerous things all the time, be it driving to their girlfriend’s place on a Sunday night or jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet. People will always say the person driving the car died a more tragic death, because unlike the sky diver, he wasn’t doing anything inherently dangerous and life threatening. But that’s just a dumb subconscious buffer … a car is a deadly thing that kills thousands every week around the world.
So to me, the lesson people should take away from the death of Sammy Vasquez is that MMA is a fucking dangerous sport, and the people fighting can still die despite the best intentions and precautions. People like to say that MMA is safe … NO, it’s not. Most of the people involved do the most they can to make it as safe as it can be, but in the end it’s still two guys beating the shit out of eachother. The least we can do is drop the pretense (at least amongst ourselves outside earshot of mainstream media).