Really, wheelchair ultimate fighting?

You’ve more than likely heard about wheelchair boxing, and that’s usually about as extreme as it gets when it comes to an adapted sport that pits two people against. But that’s not enough for some wheelers. Wheelchair ultimate fighting is the next hot sport for wheelers wanting to let off a little steam (and beat the crap out of another person in a wheelchair).

Ultimate Fighting, also known as MMA, has been a popular sport for several years now, but I’ve never heard of wheelchair-users wanting to get in on the action. It just never occurred to me that it’d be something that was even possible. But what I love about blogging for the site is I’m constantly proved wrong.

Last Spring, unbeknownst to me, Mark Zupan (a quadriplegic who became famous after starring in the movie Murderball), fought in an exhibition match against Jason Ellis, an able-bodied fighter, at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Jason was duct taped to a wheelchair so he couldn’t use his legs, and the two fought three proper rounds, with Mark winning after Jason’s chair tipping over (and yes the crowd roared). Not quite sure how serious the audience took it.

The match lasts for about 4 minutes, but it was recorded (yay!) and is you can watch it here. This is one of the only wheelchair ultimate fighting videos online, so it’s definitely worth the watch.

And apparently, this exhibition match wasn’t a onetime event. There is a real public interest in this sport, despite a lot of people thinking it as more of a joke. Over in the UK, a MMA chapter is organizing wheelchair ultimate fighting bouts, which will be happening sometime in 2013. Read all about it here. The feedback has definitely been mixed online, with a lot of people thinking it’s a plain out stupid idea.

What do you think? Do you think wheelchair ultimate fighting is a bad idea? Or should beating the crap out of each other being equal opportunity sport?

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  1. Arthur Torrey says:

    Whatever makes people happy to do – Seems dumb to me, but long as I don’t have to play… (I do adaptive climbing, and there are plenty of folks think that is strange too.)

    I would say that IMHO the fight was not a fair one because of the HUGE equipment differences – Zupan’s ultra high camber, low center of gravity, 6 wheel chair gave him a HUGE advantage over the cheap transport style chair that Ellis was in… Far as I’m concerned the rules need to require both fighters to be in the same kind of chair (with possible mods for seating only)

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