Dan Hardy has jumped to the defence of the MMA community after some incendiary comments from Paulie Malignaggi.
The professional boxer and commentator Malignaggi made headlines recently after claiming that the MMA community misrepresents the sport of boxing. Following Monday’s BKFC 6 press conference, Malignaggi said to FightHype.com that there is a common misconception that MMA is the more dangerous sport of the two, and that he finds this frustrating.
“Lobov and the mixed martial arts community have really disrespected my sport in a lot of ways; boxing, saying that we fight with pads on and it’s not a real fighting sport and what not, but we have all the deaths,” he said.
“We have more of the deaths by a long shot. We have more of the permanent damage by a long shot. This is not to diminish the danger of mixed martial arts or any other combat sport, but there is a reason why boxing has more deaths and more traumatic brain injuries in one night because we are the most dangerous combat sport.
His sweeping statement understandably dismayed a lot of MMA stars including former UFC welterweight title challenger Dan Hardy. During an MMA podcast on SiriusXM, Dan Hardy told RJ Clifford his thoughts on the matter:
“It disappoints me that he is grouping all MMA fans together,” he said. “We are not all grouped together, we are not poking fun at boxing because they wear pads, we do respect it and it’s often been boxing that has drawn the ‘us vs you’ argument because of the rise of MMA.”
Hardy went on to critique Malignaggi’s comments about the dangers of boxing. He believes the sport’s high rates of deaths and injury is nothing to brag about, but rather, something that should be fixed.
“To claim the deaths in boxing is ridiculous, to say we’re [boxing] the toughest sport because we have the most deaths is silly,” he said. “Maybe what we should do is analyze why there are deaths in boxing and see if we can fix it, and part of the problem maybe is [that] they are wearing padded hands.
“Now Paulie is going to get a very different look when he’s bare-knuckle boxing cause he’s going to break both his hands on Artem Lobov’s head. He’s got soft hands and no punching power as it is…He’s also set the bar very high now because if he goes into this fight against Artem, he breaks both his hands and he can’t continue to fight what’s he going to do, tough guy it through?
“What we’re interested in is the most efficient and effective style of fighting. It’s not a comparison with boxing, it never has been. I appreciate the art of boxing, but it is a small element of the whole of combat sports and it has been so refined that it is not really very realistic in real combat.”
What do you think of these comments from Dan Hardy?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/23/2019.