Did Brock Lesnar Ruin the UFC for Me?

Hands down Brock Lesnar might be one of the most intimidating dudes on the planet! The 6′ 3”, 265 lb Mixed Martial Arts fighter is a monster in the ring. His defeat of Frank Mir – a UFC fighter he originally lost to in his first ever UFC appearance – proved just how powerful a fighter he is. But it was his antics after the fight last Saturday that were even more disturbing.

The UFC has had a long battle to earn its place as a recognized and semi-credible sport. Originally it was billed as a “blood sport,” which led some to lable it as “human cock-fighting.” Since current President Dana White took control, however, the sport has become more respected. Its atheletes represent not only top notch professionals, but also good sportsmen. Brock Lesnar, however, concluded his fight by flipping off the audience, taunting the broken-nosed Frank Mir, criticizing UFC’s sponsors, and discussing his sex life. It was a spectacle and, accoridng to UFC president, an embarassment.

As a Christian who has really enjoyed watching the UFC, part of my defense of the sport has been the good sportsmanship, and atheleticism of MMA. The fighters don’t usually have a hatred for one another, nor do they have any real interest in killing or critically imparing one another. In light of those points I have been able to suggest that Christians can watch this sport just as they would any other: with a desire for good atheletic displays. I have contrasted that with the view others take of the sport as a bloody display of human depravity. Lesnar’s hatred, poor sportsmanship, and general vicisiouness throw a wrench into my justifications and will send me back to the drawing board on consideration of this sport.

Lesnar apologized after the fight in a press conference, saying his adrenaline carried him away. The apology seemed less than earnest, but it was an apology. My hope is that one man’s stupidity won’t ruin the sport, only time will tell. As it does I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the matches, both for enjoyment and for careful consideration of its morality.

All Christians need to be ready to continually re-evaluate things such as the UFC. As culture changes Christians must continue to evaluate those changes in light of Scripture. Just because it was morally acceptable once doesn’t mean it will remain so in light of cultural changes. If we decide, however, that it’s not okay to watch the UFC, I don’t think I’ll tell Brock…who knows what he’d do.

About Dave Dunham
  • http://opus.fm/ Jason

    This post immediately came to mind when I saw this Penny Arcade strip.

    It’s crass (it is Penny Arcade, after all), but quite funny.

  • Pingback: Brock Lesnar Apologizes During Press Conference | Brock Lesnar Zone

  • CJ

    Hi David,
    I have just read most of your blogs on the UFC. I did notice however that they were written more than a year ago now. A lot has happened since then and as you said as Christians we need to constantly be re-evaluating things such as UFC. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on the UFC now? Are you still a fan? How does it fit in to a christians view on life etc.
    Being a fellow christian and living in Australia, I can see that MMA and the UFC inparticular is about to go BOOM. Give it 6-12 months and it will be massive here. But how do i respond to it as a christian? I still don’t know the answer to that and am trying to work through this with God’s help right now.
    The company that i work for has recently signed an agreement to work very closely with the UFC so it will have a direct impact on me personally one way or another.
    Really keen to hear your thoughts…..

  • David Dunham

    CJ,

    Thanks for the question and for reminding me to think critically again about this subject. I confess I haven’t watched any matches in months and that is largely because of time. My time has been consumed with more important things and therefore I haven’t watched a single match for quite some time. In light of that I am not sure what my conclusion is about the sport.

    My inclination is to say that one man’s antics do not make or break a sport. There are idiots in every arena and we usually, as individuals and Christians, try not to judge the whole by a few.
    The moral dilemma for me has never been the violent nature of the sport. I am not sure how it differs from boxing, football, soccer, rugby, or any other sport in its presentation of violence. some say it is more graphic, and perhaps that is true. But just because you can see blood fly in one sport and not in another hardly represents a thoughtful argument. I remain a fan at some level, but it is certainly an issue of a personal nature. Each person needs to make up their own mind.

    Sorry I am not of more help. What are your concerns particularly?


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