Fighting Mad
Thanks to Amy Silverman for her informative article on extreme fighting ("John McCain Breaks Up a Fight," February 12). John McCain has been exposed. I wonder if the Anheuser-Busch brewery and the senator's office will respond to the requests for clarification on these matters, or if they will continue to practice their disreputable antics. I think it's the arrogance of McCain's office that is most upsetting. McCain must come clean and for fair competition now that the sport is made much more safe than boxing.

Kirk Belanger

Thanks for a great article about Eddie Goldman, extreme fighting and that bullshitter John McCain. This is exactly what the sport needs.

Chris Anderson

I would like to congratulate Amy Silverman on an outstanding article on "extreme fighting." This is the first article I have ever read about extreme fighting that the author actually seems to have done some real research into the event.

It is usually portrayed to the public as "human cockfights" by those who have only heard about it (not watched it) in other articles I have read. I have been a fan of the fights for five years and hope to see it become even larger. With educated articles like Silverman's, it will happen. Thank you!

Kip Emenhiser
Bravo, Amy Silverman! She has uncovered the real Senator John McCain and shown in broad daylight his under-the-table funding cover-ups and his campaign of censorship. I hope the good voters in Arizona (hey, I was born in Tucson) will act at the polling booths to bring new blood into the office, new blood that doesn't make public policy based on surreptitious money slipped into his pocket. His latest target, the mixed martial arts events in Arizona, shows his bullying behavior. He ignores the facts that more than 40 Americans have been killed in boxing matches since 1938 and that there has never been one serious injury in mixed martial arts (the techniques used in the competitions are boxing, wrestling and judo-type submissions, which, incidentally, are all Olympic sports), and rants on about the "blood-sport cockfights" that he knows they are. Amazingly, he rushed to ban the Arizona events without realizing that there were no closed-fist blows allowed to the head or face! His thoroughness in researching what he is rabidly trying to censor leaves me underwhelmed. If he knew anything about mixed martial arts, he would have to admit that their safety record over 300 recorded matches here in the U.S. and 70 years in Brazil has been exemplary: No serious injuries and, of course, no deaths. Interestingly, his own beloved sport, boxing, of which he is an extremely active proponent, causes deaths regularly and chronic brain damage. I wonder if Muhammad Ali today would be less brain-damaged if he had done mixed martial arts instead of boxing.

Dal Richardson
Idaho Falls, Idaho

I can't tell New Times how pleased I am that it ran this article! As a 37-year-old married father of one, and a computer expert, I am not some beer-bellied redneck looking for bloody violence. I am looking at practitioners of centuries-old arts. Most of the press just seems to churn out the garbage that spews from the mouths of ignorant people like Senator John McCain. New Times has taken the time to look into it and see that it is a safe sport, and the opposition has an agenda.

Stephen Olson

Thanks for publishing a great piece on the questionable bias against MMA tournaments. It's about time someone shed some light on what can only be called a witch hunt. As usual, the murky financial doings of a man in power (John McCain) go a long way toward explaining a seemingly pointless exercise in headline-mongering and political haymaking.

Rob Wolsky
via Internet

I am deeply concerned about the senator's involvement in banning certain sports (shoot fighting, UFC, etc). I have followed the UFC since its inception. I have also followed my 12-year-old niece's soccer career with the same enthusiasm. I can tell you absolutely, unambiguously, that the injuries I've seen in children's soccer are far more serious than I've seen in the UFC.

We know that there are regular deaths in boxing (not to mention the brain damage from repeated blows to the head, not seen in UFC bouts), and football injuries rival that of car wrecks. I seriously doubt UFC-type events could make the Top 10 most dangerous sports.

Somehow I think the senator knows this. Therein lies my concern. Why his interest in banning a sport that has a perfect safety record? One has to ponder the reasons:

1. The senator has a financial interest that is threatened by the sport. He has been linked to professional boxing. The threat to boxing by an event whose outcome isn't determined by Don King is very real.

2. The senator really doesn't believe in personal liberty. I've been involved with Republican politics since graduating from high school. I'm ultimately confused: Adults can't make the decision as to what sports they involve themselves in? If this is the issue, better start banning half the sports in this country. This stinks of blatant hypocrisy!

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