Following their historic battle at UFC Fight Night 33 which resulted in a draw, Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva were seen backstage congratulating one another for their performances.
Hunt tweeted the following photo:
He also wrote, “Brothers in arms well done Bigfoot 1 love.”
If this isn’t a display of great sportsmanship, I don’t know what is. Hunt and Silva spent twenty-five minutes battering each other’s faces to the point where both of them were covered in blood, yet after the dust was settled, they still congratulated each other for putting on a great show.
Many critics don’t consider mixed martial arts to be a real sport due to its exceptional level of violence and bloodiness. However, it should also be noted that many of those critics know very little about MMA and are completely unaware of the level of camaraderie that exists among fighters.
MMA fighters hurt each other, yes, that’s true. They also train together, teach each other, and take pictures and smile together as well. No one can say that fighting isn’t a violent sport, but to deny its status as a legitimate competition is just unfair.
Fighters make the biggest sacrifices of any other athletes. They go through brutal training camps year round, spending time away from their families, so they can push themselves past their physical and mental limits.
In sports like baseball, the players get into unlawful fist fights over a ballgame based on points, completely disrespecting their opponents and the sport in which they participate in. In mixed martial arts, fighters engage in one-on-one, hand-to-hand combat in an attempt to incapacitate their opponents, but afterwards, put their emotions aside to congratulate each other (I mean no disrespect to baseball, I’m just trying to make a point).
Various forms of martial arts have existed for thousands of years, and almost all of them, in their teachings and values, hold sportsmanship paramount to everything else. As MMA grows into a mainstream sport, it continues that tradition of sportsmanship that it inherited from its predecessors.