It’s one of the fastest growing sports in the world, so it should come as no surprise to see that MMA has generated several exciting headlines through the course of the year. From fights that leave the crowd exasperated for all the wrong reasons, to legal battles between fighters and the authorities, here are the five biggest stories to have arisen from the sport over the course of 2014.
The one second fight
World record breaking feats usually grab the nation’s attention and if you are lucky enough to be in attendance for them, it’s generally something to be ecstatic about. This certainly didn’t happen in the MMA fight between Sam Heron and Mike Garret on March 15 this year though.
There were doubts that the two fighters were evenly matched from the outset, although nobody could have predicted the events that unfolded. Within one second (yes, that’s a whole 1000 milliseconds), Heron was knocked down with a rear leg head kick and that was the end of the matchup.
The promoter of the event may have proudly announced to the crowd that they have probably witnessed a world record, but this was to have little effect. Instead, the crowd was seething that they had witnessed such a non-event. Prior to this, the world record for a fastest knockout was two seconds in another bout that proved to offer little value to the spectator.
Fighter with Down syndrome sues in bid to fight
A blue belt MMA fighter who suffers with Down syndrome is venturing down the legal route after being prevented from participating in a fight last August. Garrett Holeve is taking on the Florida State Boxing Commission after they cancelled his match against David Steffan – a Special Olympian who suffers from cerebral palsy. The reasons why the fight was cancelled are blurred for the time being, although more than twelve months on from the incident and the ruling still remains the same.
Holeve has already fought before at a similar standard, having taken on Mike Wilson in February 2003. The referee could not decide a winner in that clash, leading many to question just why the authorities have thrown a spanner in the works this time around.
The trial for the case does not begin until the start of December.
Fighter taps out to save opponent
Tap outs are usually associated with defeat; but this didn’t happen in May this year. In an amateur fight between Mike Pantangco and Jeremy Rasner, the former was dominating his opponent to an extent where it looked as though some serious damage would be inflicted on him. However, rather than continuing the onslaught, Pantangco opted to graciously tap out and gift Rasner the victory via TKO (Retirement).
Pantangco claimed that as neither fighter was being paid, he just didn’t see the point in inflicting so much damage to his opponent. We should also point out that one year previously, in the same state of Michigan, an amateur fighter died following a particularly one-sided battle. It now appears as though some fighters are looking to regulate the sport themselves, rather than rely on the lack of control by the sport’s authorities.
Googleplex now hosts its own BJJ classes
It’s a well-known fact that Google is one of the best places to work in the world, but the perks just got better for MMA enthusiasts. Those employees who are based at their Silicon Valley, California office now have the opportunity to take up Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes.
Furthermore, these classes aren’t the run of the mill ones that are available all around the world. Unsurprisingly, the big G has enlisted one of the most prominent men in the sport to teach them, with Milton Bastos being brought in. As well as being a black belt, he also happens to be the 2010 World Champion as well as holding a whole host of other accolades. In other words, they have once again recruited the absolute best of the best.
It already looks as though the decision has gone down a storm, with the first BJJ class being packed to full capacity.
Don’t get on the wrong side of an MMA fighter…
The final news story shows just how useful MMA can be in real-life situations. Petrol stations are seen as easy targets for some criminals, although one gang completely chose the wrong one to target during a failed heist in the US a month or so ago. Two robbers thought they had stuck it lucky when they stumbled across a worker who had returned from the bank with a bag of money, but to say they were unable to make their numerical advantage count would be a huge understatement.
After trying to assault Mayura Dissanyake and steal the station’s cash, they were met by a barrage of MMA moves that left them motionless on the floor. What they didn’t realise was that Dissanyake is a semi-professional MMA fighter – comfortably able to take on two petty thieves. One would assume that they won’t be returning for round two…