“A Sport In Limbo”


Joao Carvalho (right) died following a mixed martial arts fight in Dublin last Saturday 

Last night Michael Ring (acting tourism and sports minister) spoke to Joe Molloy of Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme in relation to the regulation or the lack thereof of mixed martial arts fighting events in Ireland.

It was a slog.

He saw it coming, he says.

Previously: Losing The Fight

Off The Ball (Newstalk Sport)

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81 thoughts on ““A Sport In Limbo”

  1. Rugbyfan

    So the aim of this ‘sport’ is to know six lumps of sh1t out of your opponent!

    Someone really need to take a look at this!

      1. Tish Mahorey

        Yes it is. It’s a scumfest all about the money, nothing to do with sport. Scumbags with tattoos of stupid crap all over their bodies, talking lame brain rubbish, no sense of anything that matters in life and unable to manage the money they suddenly earn.

        McGregor wouldn’t have made in real boxing because it requires strategy and planning.

        He’s no hero. He’s no role model. He’s just a thug.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Aren’t you always complaining about classism? Scumbags with tattoos? FFS. Also someone was put into a coma in “real boxing” the other week.

          1. Tish Mahorey

            There’s scumbags in every social class. They conduct their violence on society in different ways.

            Real boxing (which I’m not a fan of either btw) is better controlled and has proper governing bodies. It’s not immune from deaths but at least it’s an Olympic Sport which requires more vigilance.

          2. My Meaty Member

            Real scumbags are the people who whine on about classism while reflecting their pig-ignorant ingrained mores and class-derived bias every day to the world at large

          3. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            “Real boxing (which I’m not a fan of either btw) is better controlled and has proper governing bodies. It’s not immune from deaths but at least it’s an Olympic Sport which requires more vigilance.”

            I’m not sure how much more vigilant you could be, what with the medical checks that were performed ever round, the checks that were performed afterwards, the fact he was told by medical staff he was going to hospital even before he took ill. Just like in boxing.

            Should the ref have stopped the fight earlier? Probably but has nothing to do with the checks that were in place already to stop this happening.

          4. mildred st. meadowlark

            Well said Don. I’m not a fan of boxing or MMA, wrestling, or most other violent sports (I’m looking at you ice hockey) but that does not mean I’m going to call them a ‘scumbag’ sport,or denigrate them because I don’t really like them. If you’re playing sport (whatever it may be) at a professional level then it requires skill, dedication and damn hard work, and I respect that.

            MMA, along with any sport like that (boxing, for example), have a number of medical checks to ensure the safety of it’s participants. This horrible death highlights the risks of the sport, and that a number of further checks are needed. People who are demonizing this sport are allowing their bias to speak for them, I think.

          5. Dόn 'The Unstoppable Force' Pídgéόní

            Ice hockey went downhill when they weren’t allowed to fight anymore. It was great!!

  2. ollie

    Michael Ring doesn’t know how sport is regulated despite being Minister, and he saw this coming and did feck all about it.
    Maybe less time spent getting a disproportionate amount of grants for his constituency and more time spent doing his job?
    26 years in the Dail and still useless.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    Chris Eubank’s son put someone in a coma a couple of weeks ago. A few people have died up north flying around on motorbikes. “I saw this coming”. No, the violence offended you and this tragedy validated that. You saw nothing coming.

    1. My Meaty Member

      I agree with Moyestie on this one.

      The sport is completely stupid, banal, supported by dimwits etc in my opinion – it’s not to my taste at all.

      But that’s none of my business. If grown adults want to do this to themselves they’re welcome.

      1. Parky Mark

        “The sport is completely stupid, banal, supported by dimwits etc in my opinion ”
        Sounds just like boxing. A lot like soccer as well.

  4. Cromuel

    Not a sport.

    Bullfighting is banned in civilised countries, as is fox-hunting.

    Bear-baiting, cockfighting, badger-baiting, dogfighting – all banned.

    Why should it be legal for men or women to beat each other as a ‘sport’?

      1. My Meaty Member

        And because the other sports mentioned involve the abuse and inhumane treatment of animals.

        Not really comparable.

        sure there’s cockfighting in here every day anyway

      2. Medium Sized C

        Pretty much.
        And might I add, that is one of the stupidest analogies I have seen made in this whole “debate”.

    1. Martin

      because boxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, karate, wrestling, judo, taekwondo and multiple other martial arts are sports.
      unless you propose we ban all those too?

      1. Cromuel

        I propose that they not be regarded or funded as ‘sports’, yes. Beating people isn’t a sport.

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Ah right, so because you don’t personally like the idea of combat as a sport, it automatically makes martial arts, which have been practiced for many hundreds of years, entirely invalid as a sport. Right.

  5. Funster Fionnanánn

    Ban it.

    It’s been on liveline. Only a matter of time now. Duffy doesn’t like it? The government doesn’t like it. He closed the headshops you know!!

  6. Tish Mahorey

    Use of banned PEDs is rampant in MMA. It’s not properly controlled or enforced because… it’s not a real sport. It’s a street fight moved indoors.

    It has taken advantage of the over-commercialisation of boxing which has undermined that sport to the point where there are too many titles and competitions. People don’t know anymore which is most prestigious one to win.

    So in steps MMA, full of angry little idiots being manipulated by wealthy entertainment managers who don’t give a damn about sport and have no respect for the spirit of sportsmanship.

    It’s bottom of the barrel stuff for people to thick to know any better.

        1. My Meaty Member

          Agreed, it’s hard to compete with the more experienced commenters here in a gimpathon

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      The UFC have brought in the USADA and only last week and Irish doctor admitted giving PEDs to 150 athletes of various sports so your first “point” is out.

      You call boxing a sport yet that it out someone in a coma a couple of weeks ago so evidently you’re being emotional and irrational here.

      I have absolutely no idea what that third paragraph even means. You feel intimidated by the violence and emasculated by working class men so all this is just an emotional rant.

  7. Chris

    A lot of people on here blowing hot air. These guys train, learn and fight it’s their sport. So what. Hysterics. How many people died of SADS playing GAA? Is that banned. Gyms are full of defibs now, many have died, are they to be banned? People die outside as well, I saw that coming.

    1. Medium Sized C

      There is absolutely no suggestion or correlation between SADS and GAA.
      That’s an absolutely terrible analogy that doesn’t help your point at all.

    2. Mario Balotelli

      Daft comparison that’s been doing the rounds the last few days. You don’t go into the gym, lie on the ground and smash yourself nine times in the head. Total strawman argument. You can’t ban accidents, but you can regulate that horrible, violent, MMA nonsense.

  8. Owen

    Its not to my liking, but it can’t be banned. That’s a stupid approach.,

    When boxing started it was not far off MMA in some regards. Mits (not regulated weight), no standing counts, knee off the canvass is fair game, 15rds (initially last man standing), ref could not stop the fight (see Jack Dempsy vs Jess Willard).

    Whats needed if MMA to progress. Boxing has tried a number of approaches, and still is far from perfect (head-guards came and went, 10oz gloves, standing 8 count, 3 knock down rule, 12 rd title fight, 10rd non title fight etc). Rugby has also progressed with concussion protocol.

    This is a trigger in the regulations. Which is needed.

  9. Medium Sized C

    It would be great if a productive debate could arise from this.

    Rather than the ignorant self-important nonsense and bigotry I have been hearing and reading the last two days.

    Honestly like if tattoos are part of any point you are making about anything other than tattoos, you should keep it to yourself. You are just being a bellend.
    Similarly if you argument depends or concludes that any sport isn’t a sport, you should keep it to yourself.
    You don’t get to make that decision and are just being a bellend.
    If you are saying that MMA is violent, you are stating the obvious and being a bellend.

    If you haven’t watched MMA before watching this video, you haven’t the appropriate frame of reference to comment on how it works.

    There are serious issues raised by this incident and there probably is a way to adapt the sport to lessen the risk of things like this happening without telling grown ass men and women what they should be doing, by mutual consent, with their lives.

    Most people advocating for a ban are doing it either out of bigotry, ignorance or some stupid idealism.

    Also fupp Michael Ring. People in MMA in Ireland have been trying to get the government to support their efforts to regulate the sport for years. I know this and I have basically no engagement in the sport outside occasionally watching the UFC.

    1. My Meaty Member

      totally agree

      I don’t like the sport or the hysteria around it but it’s was amusing, then sad, then in fact completely disheartening to see the sort of ludramán on here who complains about social issues etc then completely denigrate and dehumanise the participants because of their lifestyle choice, accents, and yes their tattoos

      liberalism isn’t far from fascism as current practiced by amateurs.

      1. Jess

        Whats liberalism got to do with anything? Just because someone is a hypocrite doesn’t mean that stopping people engaging in this sport is characteristic of liberalism

        1. Jess

          Well they’re just a snob, not a liberal. Granted there is no checklist as to what constitutes a liberal and i may be venturing into a no true scotsman territory but I’d find it hard to describe anyone who regards people who engage in a sport they don’t like as a liberal.

        2. Jess

          I mean ‘I’d find it hard to describe anyone who disregards people who engage in a sport they don’t like as a liberal.

        3. My Meaty Member

          A true liberal recognises that people have the right to engage even in practices or speech with which they don’t personally agree

        4. My Meaty Member

          They deleted my answer for some bizarre reason Jess
          I guess what I had to say goes a bit too close to the bone

        5. Medium Sized C

          I’m not so much baffled as suspicious that Meaty doesn’t know what liberalism means.

  10. Custo

    I’d imagine the problem is lack of quality referees / referee training / coupled with non-professional fighters etc at small scale events such as this, not at the multi million dollar UFC events in Vegas etc.

    Much like how in soccer etc Sunday league referees / facilities & player discipline can be pretty lax.

    Unfortunately in the world of MMA a bad referee/badly trained fighter could end up in a tragedy like this.

    Just a thought. I don’t watch MMA and await your abusive comments.

    1. Frilly Keane


      I think the problem is that it is still a young sport and it hasn’t matured into anything that can be compared to Soccer Boxing Rugby etc

      Certainly not in terms of the Reffing and Organising Bodies behind it

      It’s currently a free for all
      But that will change
      It’ll take 50 years or so
      But it will mature and settle down

      And find some manners

      1. Medium Sized C

        Again, sorry to repeat what others are saying, but a dude was put in a coma in a boxing match the week before last.

    2. Medium Sized C

      They were professionals.

      If your point is that this is probably a complicated matter with multiple causes and some degree of responsibility should be shared between all parties, the afore mentioned “Who killed Davy Moore” situation, then you are spot on in my opinion.

  11. Advertising On Police Cars

    Typical Irish hand wringing, UFC and MMA has been around for a long time, it is a global sport and the athletes that partake are expert in their particular discipline. Royce Gracie, George St. Pierre for example are both intelligent, articulate fighters. Google them. They are not scumbags. Every sport has it’s toe rags: ( rugby has Dylan Hartley, soccer has, well… every soccer player, to be honest!). The Irish only jumping on the bandwagon ( as usual) since Connor McGregor shot to fame. It is tragic that an athlete died. Perhaps the ref could have stopped the fight sooner. The majority of the comments on this post reflect the typical, naval gazing ” I know best because I am an original millennial/hipster” that constitutes the majority of BS contributors these days. Most of you probably have not been aware of MMA/UFC since before 2016. Please , don’t comment on something you haven’t a clue about.

    1. My Meaty Member

      You were doing so well there until you started on about ‘every soccer player’

      Commentary fail.

    2. mildred st. meadowlark

      As. I’ve said above, AOPC, I am not a fan of combat sports, but the other half is a big fan of UFC and MMA and I’ve picked up enough by osmosis. Your comment is spot on. GSP and deSilva, Aldo too, etc are decent people, who are intelligent and well spoken. There are exceptions to every rule but I get the feeling that not many here know that and are jumping to conclusions without any proof.

  12. The People's Hero

    This whole ting has me somewhat conflicted. On one hand I could care less if two people climbs into an enclosed ‘space’ with the intent of beating the head off each other. It’s base and it’s been base for millenia. As a species many of us enjoy observing suffering and inflicted pain on ourselves and other creatures dressed up as ‘sport’. With regard to MMA, they know the risks and the rules of engagement. If you’re down, you can expect to receive more damage inflicted most likely to the back of your head. And therein lies the rub. We can discuss all other sports and make outlandish analogies and comparisons. But neurologically speaking, if you’re on your way down and out and you receive additional blows to the back of your head, it’s probably not going to kill you there and then (given the frequency of fights and infrequency of deaths) but it’s going to damage you in one way or another. Would this poor fella be alive today if you were not allowed to strike him when he’s down? Who knows? But I reckon, he may have had a better chance thought that’s pure speculation.

    I find MMA distasteful and too violent for my delicate sensitivities. But it is here to stay and I cannot agree with a ban. However, out of all that was reported on the event in Dublin was the fact that children were in attendance and look at these fighters as idols now. This is very dangerous in my opinion. If there’s to be any state intervention, it should be a case where no under 16s are to be admitted in these events and certainly not allowed to participate.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “you can expect to receive more damage inflicted most likely to the back of your head.”

      Actually strikes to the neck of the head are illegal in MMA.

          1. The People's Hero

            OK. So I thought I saw that in a clip with McGregor and Aldo, but when Aldo went down, McGregor dived in with a couple more blows to the face/top of his head. I’m not at all au fait with the specifics.

          2. Jesus Wept

            He (Mcgregor) hit him on the nose and upper part of the face.Nobody was hit on the back of the head or the top of the head in that fight.It lasted 13 seconds and if you only watched a ‘clip’ of that fight you are forming your broad opinion on nothing .Atleast you aren’t pretending to know what you’re talking about.

          3. MoyestWithExcitement

            Yes, he did. I can’t really say this without sounding facetious but the “face/top of his head” is not the back of his head.

  13. Desmond

    well, I’ve read the independent, so I’m well equipped to voice my informed opinion. this non sport should definitely be banned. all the other established and accepted sports that some other poster mentioned are fine, just not mixing them together, that’s that stretch too far.. why not just play a non violent sport like rugby, no injury issues there…

    they don’t even wear helmets Joe….

  14. Kolmo

    Attempted murder dressed-up as a sport – with a lot of manipulative sponsorship cash in the background, and a seemingly very touchy fanbase.
    I’m am not in a position to judge any participant or fan, but I have seen clips of participants clearly knocked out and getting additional poundings on the deck before a ref steps in, it looks like attempted murder.
    They may all be top athletes in their own right but the whole MMA circus is a glorification of a really base mentality. But, whadaya gonna do?

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      So many delicate little flowers around. You feel intimidated by the fights and you want to silence that little voice that’s telling you to feel emasculated by spouting incoherent bile like the above.

      1. Kolmo

        It’s an opinion based on personal observation and it differs from your opinion, that’s all.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Yes, that incoherent emotional rant was your opinion. Thanks for stating the obvious.

  15. Cromuel

    if you argument depends or concludes that any sport isn’t a sport, you should keep it to yourself.
    You don’t get to make that decision and are just being a bellend.
    If you are saying that MMA is violent, you are stating the obvious and being a bellend.


    Looked up ‘bellend’, apparently it means the glans of a penis.

      1. Cromuel

        I did not. I vaguely thought it was something to do with barbells. Strange that you can say it on Broadsheet but you can’t say shite, James Joyce’s favourite word, as in shite and onions.

        1. Cromuel

          Ah, I see you can now! Well done, Broadsheet. It was pretty silly to change it to the suburban-England word ‘poo’ all the time.

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