THERE is no comparison between Mixed Martial Arts and coward punches.
Sunshine Coast Daily's Bill Hoffman questioned modern society's attitude to violence when he asked why the same people who condemn coward punches celebrate Ultimate Fighting Championships, "cage fighting, Fight Club or whatever other guise this blood sport masquerades as".
Sorry Bill but this statement is like comparing apples and oranges.
In any fight staged by UFC, Eternal or any other MMA promotions, the two combatants have trained and developed their style for months with full knowledge of who they will meet in the Octagon.
When it comes to fight night they are governed by more rules than a casual observer would know.
They start every fight standing and facing each other, and both have equal opportunity to win.
The most important component is the rules and regulations that govern self defence: if a fighter covers up and can not fight back, the fight is over.
Referees have a duty of care to call off the fight if one combatant is at serious risk of injury.
He or she is entrusted with making the split second decision that could not only prevent further, serious injury, but also cost a fighter his or her career.
There are no referees on the street to stop an attacker from further injury.
Coward punch victims do not know they are about to be hit and therefore can not brace or defend themselves.
One of Fraser Coast's best mixed martial artists Greg Atzori, the current Fight World Cup and Eternal Lightweight Champion, is a disability employment services consultant who told the Fraser Coast Chronicle it was lazy to blame violent acts on the sport.
His comments were in the wake of a video that surfaced after Conor McGregor knocked Jose Aldo out in 13 seconds.
"Unfortunately we live in a society where we're going to see that (violence), especially when it's alcohol-fuelled," he said.
"This sport has taught me that if I drink I'm not as fit as I could be.
"You can't blame a sport for influencing people - to me that's lazy and it's making excuses. To me, it was that person and that person got in a fight and they're at fault; you can't just blame something else."
Our attitude to violence is one thing, but to drag legitimate sports like MMA (not to mention boxing and kickboxing) into an argument about coward punches is completely off the mark.