Senator John McCain has been one of the most outspoken and harshest critics of mixed martial arts in America. In 1996, when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., saw a UFC tape, he was horrified at the ground fighting, kicks, and head butts. It was “barbaric,” he said. It was “not a sport.”
McCain then sent letters to all 50 governors asking them to ban ultimate fighting. The outcry against “human cockfighting” became a crusade, and like many crusades, it was founded on misunderstanding and by 1997 MMA was banned across every state in America.
But ten years later, backed by numerous key rules changes, savvy promoting and general education about the sport, MMA has become the fastest growing sport in America and has made a believer out of it’s harshest critic according to The Daily Telegraph.
“The sport has grown up,” said McCain. The rules have been adopted to give its athletes better protections and to ensure fairer competition.”
UFC President Dana White agrees.
“The sport bares no resemblance to what it was when it started in 1993,” said White. “UFC is here to stay.”