Throughout the years, MMA has received a lot of criticism for how dangerous it is. However, in recent weeks, much of that criticism has been turned towards bare-knuckle fighting, which some see as an even more barbaric form of combat.
Well known UFC veteran Ben Rothwell recently fired back at this criticism in an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani. Rothwell emphasized that the dangers associated with both sports are similar and argued that there is far more danger present in MMA than what people think. He went to say: “It’s crazy because I feel like these same people who are so critical about bare-knuckle fighting have never seen an actual fight and they have no idea how dangerous it can be… But if you look at MMA — especially when we don’t wear shin guards and elbow pads — they use their elbows on us all the time. And elbows do more damage than fists ever will.”
Rothwell also spoke out against many modern day fighters he claims lack respect for the sport saying: “I think a lot of these guys today just don’t understand what respect really means inside [the] cage or outside [the] cage…You can talk all you want about respecting your opponent but until you actually show it in practice then your words are pretty hollow.”
He concluded by emphasizing his point that both sports come with a certain amount of risk and should not be compared: “If anything I would say there is greater risk involved with regular mixed martial arts because our bodies take so much punishment from other things rather than just punches—knees, kicks, wrestling… It’s all part of normal MMA rules whereas in bare knuckle there isn’t any grappling or kicking.”
Overall Rothwell makes valid points when considering comparisons between MMA and Bare Knuckle Fighting; each come hand-in-hand with its own risks – however depending on one’s perspective those risks could vary significantly. In either case though Pankrando fighter Ben Rothwell clearly thinks highly enough of himself to speak out against critics while defending his chosen field – something which speaks volumes regardless whether you stand by his views or not!