If MMA is such a safe sport, why do fighters need medical insurance?

via cdn2.sbnation.com

That's one of the questions New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly is asking following the much-heralded announcement that Zuffa, parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), would be extending its medical insurance coverage to protect athletes in training camp.

Those New Yorkers are tough to please.

Despite the promotion's best efforts alongside former Governor David Paterson and even one Frank Shamrock, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is still outlawed in "The Empire State."

That's much of the reason why New York native Jon Jones fought Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 in New Jersey's Prudential Center and not Madison Square Garden (MSG), despite the kind of revenue it would have generated for "The World's Most Famous Arena."

Part of that has to do with legislation of yesteryear and regulatory scare tactics that have men boarding up their windows while the women and children cower under the bed.

Blood! Violence! Human cockfighting!

The evils of mixed martial arts have long been unveiled as nothing more than ignorance and misinformation, but unfortunately you can't teach old dogs like Assemblyman Reilly new tricks -- but that hasn't stopped him from devising his own solution (via MMA Fighting) to compensate for training injuries.

Just do away with them!

Here's more:

"What immediately came to my mind was, What's the need for insurance? Because advocates for MMA have been touting how safe this sport is and that no one is ever injured, and in fact, the testimony here is that the worst that ever happened was a broken arm. But I don't think that insurance is going to do anything for the very prevalent brain damage that fighters will suffer. I think what MMA should be doing is, instead of providing insurance for injuries, is to do away with injuries. It's certainly not a bad thing that they provide this insurance, but it really does little or nothing to solve the problem of what will happen to fighters financially, of the physical damage done to fighters or the fact that this violent sport begets violence in our society. So it does nothing to address the systemic problems of MMA. I think it's a positive thing, but I don't think it's a positive step. In the sense that it doesn't address the systemic problems of MMA. But it's certainly not a negative thing."

Zuffa recently announced the introduction of customized accident insurance coverage underwritten by Houston Casualty Insurance Company designed to complement existing event coverage to nearly all of the 350 athletes competing on the UFC and Strikeforce rosters.

The expanded policy now adds "24-hour worldwide medical life insurance and dental coverage, as well as emergency medical evacuation," in addition to paying 100-percent of the insurance premiums.

That coverage now extends to training camp, a major source of fighter injuries.

In Bob Reilly's a perfect world, sport injuries would not exist, but since Bob's nobody's perfect, we have to do the best we can to avoid them and when neccessary, treat them.

UFC has made a step in that direction.

Anyone besides Mr. Reilly think it's "not a positive step?"

Opinions, please.

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