For a sport so brutal as mixed martial arts, for a sport that still struggles to prove its worth and value to mainstream society, events like UFC Fight for the Troops really display the integral quality that MMA represents.
Sure, it is a sport that showcases violent exchanges of heart, skill and determination between competitors. Sure, two athletes engage in hand to hand combat inside of a chain link cage. Sometimes there is blood, and it’s a rough and tumble game.
While those aspects of the sport may not appeal to everyone who lays eyes on it, those are limited examples regarding what this sport is really made up of, to the core, at the foundation.
Money is always the key, but when enough money is made, then character and perception alter paths as much as anything. And when we talk about MMA from a moral standpoint, once the violent nature is understood from a historical aspect, then the character of the sport and its components will shine true.
What the UFC and their fighters did with the Fight for the Troops event held in Fort Hood Texas on Saturday night was one of the finest displays of character this sport can offer.
An event like this speaks volumes as to what type of people are involved in this sport, and what tremendous good can be done when a bunch of scrappers and a promotion get their heads together for a great cause.
That cause is to give a small handful of soldiers the night off so they can watch some great scraps, and to raise money for those who served so selflessly in our name.
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports the both severely injured veterans and their families as they transition to life back at home. Often these brave soldiers endure injuries that change their lives forever.
Weaved in and out of some amazing displays of mixed martial arts action were the testimonials of veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, which is a focus of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
To see and hear about the impact these soldier’s sacrifices have had on their and their families’ lives was deeply moving and extremely eye opening. All those participating in the event, from the announcers to the competitors, were obviously moved and emotional playing their parts in this powerful event.
Simply put, UFC Fight for the Troops was an amazing example of just how great this sport can be. Not just in the show itself, but in the human element it displayed and the feeling of unity those involved felt as the card unfolded.
One second the camera was on an extremely emotional Pat Barry as he gave a victory speech, holding up the dog tags of the father he lost as a child, sharing his story with the troops. The next second the camera was on crying soldiers in the stands, who were obviously moved by his story and his triumph that night.
The whole thing just left you with your jaw dropped and wanting to step up and do what you could to be a part of it. And in that the UFC played their role perfectly. They brought together a seamless and powerful production to shed light on an amazing cause.
They formulated a stunning night of fights, brought together some important people, entertained some active duty troops and raised some much needed money for a most deserving group of people.
Any narrow minded individuals who find themselves opposing this sport over some self righteous moral boundary might do well to take a look at the UFC Fight for the Troops event and ask themselves if they really know this sport. Do they really know the people that make it up?
This event is only one example of efforts like it. Randy Couture does so much for our soldiers, regional events like the World Fighting Federation give back to the soldiers in their community, the good coming out of this barbaric bloodsport is quite astonishing if one knows where to look.
There are a lot of people in this world who need a leg up and in many cases across the globe, MMA is stepping up and giving back to the community. The examples are countless.
It is truly encouraging to think where this sport will be as time moves on, and how it continues to weave itself into the fabric of society. Once those qualities, ones that are often overlooked, are injected back into the community, perceptions will change.
And then MMA will finally get the credit it is due. And if the UFC can raise four million dollars as the leader of an unaccepted and frowned upon bloodsport, imagine what it can do with a little open minded acceptance.
This article originally featured at Hurtsbad.com.