MMA, the sport that has been predicted to eclipse boxing by the fickle fight press and fanatics alike, finds itself immersed in scandal. Which, makes it look nothing like the new mainstream gold standard of the pugilistic arts or the evolution of the fight-game as it has been proclaimed.
The hits just keep on coming: Jon “Bones” Jones, the so-called Chosen One, has tested positive for cocaine. What does this mean for the would-be future of Mixed Martial Arts? And what about Nick Diaz testing positive for marijuana, who would have thought that Nate Diaz was a dope smoking hippie (wink, wink)? And if that was not enough, none other than Anderson Silva tests positive for anabolic steroids! What the H-E- double hockey sticks is going on? Even the MLB gave us a little break in between scandals. When top-notch athletes within the same match-up come up dirty, it has to be crystal clear that MMA has a serious problem. Well now, we all know that without the UFC there is no MMA fanaticism. The UFC, clearly is in desperate need of a higher degree of ethics and last week they finally did something about it, thank God!
You gotta expect that somewhere in Grand Rapids, Floyd Mayweather is beating his chest and giving a big middle finger as he says, “I told ya so!” If the biggest names in the UFC are being caught, one can only imagine how rampant this issue actually is. Someone had to know. In fact, that someone was all-time-great, George St. Pierre, who famously stepped away from the sport shouting his concerns regarding what seems to be an epidemic in MMA. Like boxing’s Floyd Mayweather, St. Pierre called for far more stringent, even Olympic style drug testing to be interjected into the sport of MMA. He even offered to pay for it! Well it looks like he finally got his wish.
For now, the powers that be, look like they are going to elevate the integrity of Mixed Martial Arts and bring those standards up to the level of the Olympic sports such as Boxing. And you can remember, write down and take a picture right now as I say; “Mixed Martial Arts will be an Olympic event in the not so distant future” MY prediction. There are several things that make me think this way (ie.) introduction of teams and uniforms into the UFC. I like the attrition and evolution of the sport and I am very excited about the future and growth of MMA albeit painful right now.
Now, as far as Boxing vs MMA; why do so many people want to force a choice between them? Does Boxing really need to be saved? The idea that Boxing is dead has been repeated for a number of decades now. And no matter how ridiculous that statement sounds, it is widely used to conjure up some sense of frantic urgency among the hardcore fight fans. Somehow, with the emergence of the UFC, sports insiders have manufactured a common knowledge that, “It is only a matter of time before boxing is dead.” Even though some of the those high-ups, like Max Kellerman, have defended the sport of Mix Martial Arts, the UFC in particular, when some of boxing’s very own have called Mixed Martial Arts, “boxing’s illegitimate little brother.”
Boxing is not flawless by any means. You could even argue that this is the pot calling the kettle Don King, but Boxing’s flaws cannot be attributed to its athletes (drug tests that is). As we must consider the shameful recent events happening within the UFC, those within the sport of boxing who have always dismissed Mix Martial Arts as an illegitimate mockery might very well be “dead-on” (pun intended) for now.