MMA would be wise to favor sport over gladiator showdowns

Anthony Pettis showed sportsmanship when he let go of this submission hold on Benson Henderson.
Getty Images

That's what's best for the fighter being damaged, best for the one inflicting the damage as well. And in the big picture, it's what's good for the sport. If mixed martial arts wants to play with the big boys, it's going to have to adapt its game a little and play by the rules of the mainstream. It's not so much adapting the game, even. The rules already are in place. It's more a matter of adapting expectations. We go to the arena looking for a fight. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we're not there for a life-and-death gladiator showdown. We're there for a sporting event.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.