On Tuesday, 12 January an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale ravaged the already destitute nation of Haiti. This is likely a story that most are familiar with as the media coverage has been thorough and the solicitations for donations and aid to the struggling country have been many. It is of note, however, that the MMA community is doing its part to raise awareness about the disaster.
In a recent article on Sherdog.com, MFL fighter David “The Crow” Loiseau (18-9), who has close family ties to Haiti, went so far as to propose to Zuffa and Tapout (his sponsor) a charity bout where his entire purse and extra earnings would go to benefit the Haitian relief effort. Loiseau told Sherdog, “People are sleeping outside or in their cars fearing that their houses will come down on them. They can hear others crying through the rubble, but they don’t have the machinery to get to them.These people are in a way worse position than me. I want to do what I do, which is fight, to inspire the Haitians and people all over the world and to let them know the MMA community is thinking of them.”
Two videos have been posted on UFC.com of fighters making similar pleas. Wanderlei Silva (32-10-1, 1 NC) promoted charity Yele Haiti and even demonstrated how to have a donation added to your phone bill by texting to the charity. “The Axe Murderer” pointed out how it is easy to overlook the situation because it is not on our shores or in our faces. “And when the tragedy doesn’t happen in front of our eyes…we feel like it matters less,” the fighter told in Portugese, “But it can’t be like that. We must help in any way possible.”
The second video comes by way of the WEC’s Mackens “Mack Da Menace” Semerzier. He also detailed ways that the MMA community can contribute, and stated that every dollar counts. Citing his heritage and relatives as the driving factor behind his concern, Semerzier poignantly noted: “Haiti is crying right now. I hope the world takes heed. Just like we’ve done. We always unite and help each other out, that’s why the world is so beautiful.”
Whether motivated by concern for family, respect for heritage or empathy for the human condition, these fighters have reached out to the MMA community to help a crumbled nation. It behooves us all to heed their call. For ways to donate visit www.redcross.org or text ‘Haiti’ to 90999 to make an automatic 10 dollar donation to be charged to your phone bill.