This past Saturday at UFC 168 we all witnessed a tragic end to a highly anticipated rematch. For many people it left a sour-taste in their mouth to end an otherwise fantastic MMA year.
Something that I feel most people forget until a bad injury happens is that MMA is an extreme sport. No different then sports such as gymnastics, skateboarding, BMX or motocross. These sports have a culture in which the athletes are consistently getting injured during their quest for greatness.
Time and time again people in these sports experience injuries and while they are not always as intense as a broken tibia and fibula those injuries exist as well.
Fans often hear of fighters being injured in training camp and sometimes it causes them to pull out of the fight. However I don't think we take the time to realize the seriousness unless we see the injury.
In the case of Anderson Silva, we all saw the injury and most sane human beings felt very sad for Anderson. Love him or hate him, no one would wish that upon on or any other athlete.
We are surprised when these injuries take place during the competition because most of the time the fighter has conditioned themselves to be in the best shape possible for those 15 or 25 minutes on that night. When it happens in the competition we are usually shocked and worried.
The main point is that these injuries are simply a part of the lifestyle of these fighters. No different then injuries being a part of the lifestyle for a skateboarder or BMX rider. They WILL happen and it WILL happen more then once.
Are they always as bad as what Anderson sustained? No. However when you're one of the highest caliber athletes in your sport, the brutal injuries are bound to happen to some.
I feel what happened to Anderson Silva is a great reminder of why we should all respect these fighters. Each time they enter the octagon they are risking their health in extreme ways. Anderson thought that the worse thing that could happen was a loss. After nearly 7 years undefeated and never leaving the octagon on a stretcher, I'm sure this kind of injury was the last thing on his mind so it sure was the last thing on our minds (fans).
Respect the fighters, respect their lifestyle risks and be respectful towards their sacrifices because without them you would simply be stuck watching grown men play with balls...