Bare knuckle fighting is a taboo concept in the combat sports world. MMA, boxing and kickboxing are often labeled as “too brutal” or a “blood sport” and many would say that removing gloves from the equation would make things even less civilized.
But what if I told you that fighting without gloves is actually much, much safer? Well, guess what? It is.
As detailed by UFC commentator Joe Rogan, losing the mitts and tape is actually better for the athletes. Here he is breaking down why:
The long and short of what Rogan is saying here is basically irrefutable. The biggest misconception about gloves in MMA and boxing is that they are designed to protect the person that is being punched. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
Boxing gloves are actually designed to protect the puncher, not the punched, ensuring that they can throw any strike safely. MMA gloves, on the other hand, offer some protection but not nearly as much. Fighters frequently break hands during fights by landing a punch to the elbow or forehead, something boxers simply don’t have to worry about.
Following that trend, studies have shown that, when gloves are completely removed from the equation, fighters suffer substantially less trauma than with gloves due to the fact that the risk (and sustaining) of hand injuries encourage less volume, more work to the body and more accurate punches. That, in turn, lowers the risk of the sustained beatings that lead to serious head injuries or even death.
Will gloves be removed from combat sports anytime soon, though? Don’t count on it.
While bare knuckles may keep fighters safer, promoters and commissions are more concerned about it looking like they are protecting fighters. Because of the seediness attached to the idea of “bare knuckle boxing”, the power brokers in combat sports won’t get behind it, no matter how many people it may help.
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