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'Gymnastics Is Much More Brutal Than MMA'

David A Avila of NBC Sports has a story about a book written by a pair of college professors who spent two years studying mixed martial arts. This part is particularly noteworthy:
Another interesting topic hit by the authors is the safety issue. Is MMA still too dangerous?

The two writers delve into that issue with both hands and do a great job of comparing MMA to sports like boxing, football, rugby, and other sports where there is physical contact.

"Football is much more violent. ...There's a former female gymnast who is now in MMA and she says gymnastics is much more brutal."

Many people have such a visceral reaction to the blood in MMA that they're incapable of any real examination of the safety of the sport. But there's no doubt that it's less dangerous than football, and I'm not at all surprised to hear that gymnastics -- which leaves thousands of girls with permanent back and joint injuries -- is viewed as more brutal by someone who has participated in both.

What opponents of MMA really have a problem with isn't that MMA is dangerous, it's that it looks dangerous. It's too bad so many people fail to make that distinction.