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fighter with a bloody mouth and bloody knuckles

Combat sports are becoming more intense, dangerous and possibly deadly for the competitors, and the fans love it.

Combat sports have been entertaining us for many years now. From boxing to MMA, we seem to get a kick out of watching people beat each other up. The newest sport to capitalize on this craving is BKB (Big Knockout Boxing), a pay-per-view in which two boxers fight within a 17-inch diameter circle. The draw of this sport is that the small space prohibits boxers from moving around and evading, forcing more direct action and faster knockouts. You can imagine the kind of toll it takes on someone to endure a flurry of constant punches to the head with no space or time to recover; it’s dangerous.

This thirst we have for brutality and fast-paced, hard-hitting action may very well be gradually endangering competitors more and more. We became desensitized to watching people float around and punch each other, so we started locking them in cages and let them punch, kick, throw each other to the floor and break each others limbs. And now we’re forcing them to get up close and try to knock each others heads off as quickly as possible. What’s next, binding them together with chains which might be used to choke each other with? How much higher can we raise the intensity until it becomes no-holds-barred street fighting?

There’s a fine line between legitimate, competitive sport and gladiator-like entertainment; if you look closely, you’ll see that we’re crossing that line. Combat sports are becoming more dangerous and brutal for the participants, all for the sake of giving the fans the hard-hitting action they crave. It’d do everyone some good if we eased up on the intensity a little bit.