At a time when mixed martial arts is gaining popularity in India, it's disappointing to note that we can add one of the world's largest newspapers, The Times of India, to the long list of mainstream media outlets that print inaccurate information in an effort to bash MMA.
The Times of India, an English-language daily that has a circulation of 2.4 million, has an editorial out today headlined "Don't Glorify Violence," and the text of the editorial is the usual sanctimonious screed against the sport, with the usual assortment of factual errors included.
The editorial starts by noting the controversy over the UFC's upcoming show in Germany, and then it gets to this:
'Ultimate fighters' are men who maul each other with bare knuckles and feet in octagonal cages, a setting straight out of Mad Max. And they can go all out in terms of brutality. About the only thing a UFC participant can't do is bite his opponent or gouge out his eyes. But he can, for instance, keep battering his adversary's head till the referee deigns to break it up. No wonder they call it "human cock-fighting".Actually, no, the fighters don't have bare knuckles, and no, biting and eye gouging aren't the only things UFC fighters can't do. There's a long list of things UFC fighters can't do, a list that's readily available for anyone who wants to do even a modicum of research.
I guess we've reached the point where we shouldn't be surprised by factual inaccuracies and references to "human cockfighting" in newspaper articles, but it is a disappointment that as the UFC continues to expand, it continues to face the same type of opposition that it faced in the early years in the United States. Eventually I hope MMA reaches the point where even those who dislike it don't feel the need to offer factually inaccurate criticisms of it, but we're a long way off from that point.