The UK promotion Ultimate Cage Fighting Championships—company motto: as you can see, it’s a completely different name—has joined with Wheeled Warriors to announce the first-ever wheelchair MMA event, scheduled for later this year in South Yorkshire. Obviously, it’s a great idea. Just ask Wheeled Warriors spokesman Colin Woods:
“It is clear this concept is well-received and ahead of its time as very few would expect something of its kind to come to fruition so soon. To conclude, this is a great collaboration which surely will improve sports and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.”
Junior flacks take note: it is a sweet PR move to explain that “this concept is very well-received” in the same statement that announces it. You will respond positively to the idea of amputees and men in wheelchairs fighting each other for public amusement. You will not visualize the scenarios implied by this rules clarification:
“You’ll be able to ground and pound but with limited rules like no elbows—just punching. A grounded opponent will be when one fighter is wrestled out of the chair, and they will commence fighting on floor.”
We’re all relieved to hear that after being wrestled out of their wheelchairs, fighters in this event will not be elbowed on the ground—just punched. Never mind that virtually every escape from the mount is rendered impossible when you can’t use your legs. At least we will finally have a night of fights where anyone who yells “stand ’em up!” will be booed out of the auditorium.
Probably this event sounds barbaric and awful to you, since probably you are not confined to a wheelchair. If you are, I’ll bet the prospect of fighting another man similarly encumbered is actually kind of exciting. I don’t know; I have working legs, and I would still be terrified to get in a cage with any of these guys. One man’s exploitative spectacle is another man’s opportunity, I suppose.
(Dan Brooks is the man behind the most excellent Combat Blog, and for the entire month of September he is gracing us with his guestblogging presence here at Fightlinker.)