The situation in Ireland is not great for mixed martial arts right now. A saddening and tragic death of 28-year old MMA fight Joao Carvalho dominated the headlines last week. ‘Rafeiro’ was taken ill following a mixed martial arts contest in Dublin, suffering from headaches and nose bleeds.
48 hours later, the worst was confirmed, Carvalhp had died from injuries sustained in his three round TKO loss to Charlie Ward. A team mate of UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor, Ward had hurt Carvalho on the feet and finished the bout with ground and pound.
The news was terrible to hear, and rocked the MMA community, but more than that it has caused the loss of a young man to his family and friends. It’s also stirred the pot in the debate of MMA in Ireland.
Joe Brolly of the Irish Independent has blasted MMA, Conor McGregor and the fans who support this sport, in a recent article:
Is it good enough that a young man be beaten to death in a cage for our amusement? Is it good enough that as he begins the slow process of dying, lying on the canvas like a tranquillised cow in the abattoir, Conor McGregor, our most famous sportsman, is giving high fives all around, laughing, and beating his chest? Is it….