UPDATED: State better take hold of MMA before someone gets severely hurt or killed
Two fighters went crashing through a ring that should have never been approved and landed on a hardwood floor 4 feet below the canvas.
Christian Fulgium, a former Benton wrestler, and Darrell Wood were relatively unharmed -- not to mention the scoring judge and media member the duo hit on the way down.
It was a pretty wild scene and pretty ironic considering official Alvin Topham warned the media ringside about fighters coming through. Although he initially misrepresented himself as a member of the La. State Boxing and Wrestling Commission -- he's really the ISKA representative (I actually do pay attention to this stuff) -- things worked themselves out.
However, what the commission and Topham should have been concerned with is the ring in place Friday night.
Fighters wouldn't blast out of the ring if they were fighting in a cage OR a ring with thicker ropes. The ropes may have been fine for boxing, but there were a lot smaller (and more flimsy) than the ropes from previous shows in town.
Of course, how about a 5-rope system. There were 4, sadly thin ropes.
Fulgium, who was unharmed in the fall (unlike his opponent), even said he had concern before his fight as he watched previous bouts worked against the thin ropes.
The sport of MMA suffered its first documented death when a Texas fighter recently died.
Louisiana is EXTREMELY lucky it didn't have No. 2.
Part of the 13-bout card will air on TV in Shreveport on Friday and the editors will likely make the crash through the ring the center of attention -- in part because the professional bouts were sub-par to be nice. Nothing against the fighters, but they either were terrible matchups, ended with controversial referee stoppages, low blows or because fighters crashed through the ropes.
The amateur portion of the card was terrific. The inexperienced fighters definitely outshined their professional counterparts.
The state's Boxing and Wrestling commission better get a hold on safety, now! Louisiana has a special thing. As we saw last night, this is a hotbed for amateur fights because La. is one of a handful of states that allows amateur MMA bouts.
There were amateur from Georgia and others from Oklahoma and Texas (I had previously said two fighters from Miami were amateurs. They were professionals -- I had that right in my story that night, but the blog was incorrect).
That's who we need to worry about. Not who's sitting ringside. Keep the fighters in the ring -- or better yet in a cage (this is cage fighting after all) and you won't have to worry about the people outside the area of battle.
I love the sport, but oversights like Friday's give it the bad reputation it has.