TheJournal.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more »
Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 23 April, 2017
Advertisement

‘UFC isn’t ultra-violent, it’s incredible’ – Senator defends MMA

Averil Power said other sports are much more dangerous.

A FIANNA FÁIL Senator has defended the Ultimate Fighting Championship, after a fellow Seanad member called for UFC fights to be banned in Ireland.

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone had described Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as “ultra violent” and “awful”, before admitting that she had “jumped the gun” on the issue.

Today, Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power, who boxes in her spare time, described UFC and MMA as “incredible” sports.

Speaking on the Tubridy Show on 2fm, Power said people should be “incredibly proud” of Irish fighters such as Conor McGregor and Aisling Daly.

“I’m a big fan of MMA and UFC,” she said.

Conor McGregor 18/7/2014 Conor McGregor Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Power likened criticism of the sport to that which once surrounded women’s boxing, before Katie Taylor brought it to the masses.

“I think Katie has massively changed the perception of the sport, obviously by excelling at it, by doing so incredibly well … She’s such a nice lady.”

People have this idea that boxing is just about aggression and violence and it’s not. It’s the opposite, it’s all about discipline and control and not losing the head.
You take the blow but then you’re thinking strategically, you’re being rational. It’s about defence as much as it’s about offence.

Power said people should watch MMA before criticising it, as many of its vocal opponents “don’t know anything about the sport”.

“If you haven’t seen it, watch it and then you can say anything you like about it, but watch it first.”

She said the sport is highly regulated and has a very low rate of injuries, adding that participants are “trained to highest level, they know how to protect themselves”.

“It’s actually far safer than many other sports, it’s really well-regulated, there’s tonnes of rules about no head butts, no gouging, certain kicks are forbidden.”

Abuse

Noone received online abuse after her initial comments, including a rape threat.

Noone 2 - blacked out

Power said this was unacceptable, noting that she had also received a rape threat when her motion to recognise Palestine as an independent state was passed.

She said she enjoyed getting into the ring “when I’ve finished the verbal sparring inside of the Seanad”.

If I can work off my frustration in the gym it makes it easier to be nice the rest of the time.

When asked by Ryan Tubridy who she’d like to fight, Power joked that she might have to challenge Noone:  ”I hear that’s she’s saying now that’s she’s willing to be educated and learn more about the sport.”

The boxing coaches who helped turn Conor McGregor into the fighter he is today

Senator Catherine Noone reports abusive tweets which wish her raped or dead

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

Read next:

COMMENTS (44)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

Leave a commentcancel

Trending Tags