Only A Game? - It’s not sporting to jump on another human’s head

Two men pummel one another during a Team Fighting Championship match recently.
Two men pummel one another during a Team Fighting Championship match recently.

There’s nothing sporting about jumping on another human being’s head.

I found out the hard way that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans do not take kindly to others criticising their sport when I wrote a scathing column about Irish brawler, Conor McGregor, last year.

Be that as it may, I would be willing to bet that some of those who took umbrage with what I wrote about UFC would agree with me when it comes to latest unabated violent phenomenon, Team Fighting Championship (TFC).

I enjoy simulated violence as much as the next person but it’s not real. It’s make believe. It’s pure escapism. Unfortunately, if you happen to be in the ring during a TFC match, there is no escape.

TFC is based in Latvia and each match pairs two teams of five against one another. It’s a case of last man standing wins the fight and aside from stabbing an opponent to death, fighters can do whatever it takes to bring their opponent down. A team of so-called judges patrol the ring and once a competitor is beaten to within an inch of his life, he is dragged from the ring lifeless and bleeding.

I’ll admit, I was absolutely gripped when I watched several of the fights on YouTube but just because something is gripping does not make it sport or even entertainment.

The sad reality of TFC is that it is unabated thuggery. Jumping on an opponent’s head and kicks to the face are all encouraged.

Some have said TFC is not for the faint hearted but that suggests that it is the faint hearted who are the problem. In fact, it’s the other way around.

UFC looks like a pillow fight when compared to TFC. TFC is violence for violence’s sake. Many of the men who make up the teams are not even trained in any specific martial art. One team, from Poland, comprised of five street fighters.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of TFC is when there is only one man from a specific team left in the ring to face the five men in the other team.

There’s absolutely nothing entertaining about watching five men gang up and punch, kick and jump on top of another human being until he submits, bleeds or passes out.

It might hold your attention but that’s because it’s utterly primitive and shocking. It’s not sporting.

I don’t need to have fought in a TFC fight to have either an opinion or know that it is both vile and repulsive. It’s base level thuggery, pure and simple.

I think I am stating the obvious when I say that I am not a massive fan of UFC but at least with UFC it’s a fair fight. It’s one against one.

One of the TFC fights I watched was of a team from the United Kingdom called ‘Brawlers’ against a team from Sao Paolo in Brazil called ‘Ground and Pound’.

The five men in each of the two teams looked like something you would expected to see in one of Dante’s seven circles of hell and what followed was just horrible.

‘Ground and Pound’ were no match for the ‘Brawlers’.

As the fight reached its conclusion the five ‘Brawlers’ are laying into the only standing Brazilian with the most violent of kicks and punches.

As all this is going on, an English man, presumably a ‘Brawlers’ coach, can be heard shouting to his team ‘jump on him, jump him’. What a lovely sport!