Sporting Life

Is MMA a sport? Is bridge? Everyone has their own view

Boxing is a hard science and mixed martial arts is crude thuggery. In the ring there are occasional ear-nibblers, in the cage it's a sanctioned street fight. One is art within rules, the other's a bar brawl. That's what my friend says yesterday after watching the Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagomedov riot. The aggressive glint in his eye suggested I should not disagree.

It's not sport, he insists. Neither is synchronised swimming, quips another colleague. I'd better direct him to two videos on YouTube. One of a synchro team doing pull-ups in L-position which makes you wince just to look at; another of the precision of movements needed to stand upside down and still in water.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Is MMA a sport? Is bridge? Everyone has their own view'. Subscribe