There’s been a big debate over the years as to what’s better for fighting: a ring or a cage. Personally, I love rings when I’m at a live event but nothing drives me more bonkers than watching Japanese events where the fighters get all tangled up in the ropes. And then the ref tries to reset them in the middle of the cage. Hilarity ensues. See above for a perfect example of this retardation.
I got to thinking about all this because I just read an interview with Big John McCarthy on the subject:
TheGARV.com: Interesting. One last question. You’ve reffed in rings and in cages. Which do you prefer as a referee and which do you prefer as a fight fan?
BJM: As a referee there’s no doubt that I would rather do the cage.
TheGARV.com: Oh yeah? Why’s that?
BJM: Because it’s safer for the fighters. There’s no doubt, no matter what anyone wants to say, the cage helps as far as keeping the fight where it’s at. It helps by having less interference by the referee because when you have a ring you have guys get into the ropes and when the referee stops the action, trust me, fighters try to take advantage of those things. I don’t blame the fighters for doing it; the referee’s gotta try and catch it. And so just the interference that occurs because of the ring makes it to where I think the cage is better for mixed martial arts.
If you’re a fan watching it? The actual viewing portion, the ring is better because the cage and the fencing with the posts and everything, it’s going to put something in your line of sight that’s not there with the ring. And so I think that the ring is probably actually an easier viewing platform for the fights, but the cage is an absolutely better fighting platform and safer for the fighters.
In the end, ya gotta do what’s safest for the fighters, which is why I’m so annoyed about the slip’n'slide ads they put on the canvas in the UFC.